Russia may amend its civil aviation rules after FlyDubai plane crash

Russia's prime minister has ordered officials to examine whether to amend Russian flight safety rules, while FlyDubai has announced it will resume flights to Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday.

MOSCOW // Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered officials on Monday to examine whether Russia’s flight safety rules need to be tightened up after a passenger jet crashed in southern Russia, killing all 62 people on board.

Investigators were trying to repair the voice recorder recovered from the plane, so they could recreate the conversations of the pilots in the moments before their Boeing 737-800 hit the ground.

FlyDubai flight FZ981 crashed in the early hours of Saturday at Rostov-on-Don airport in Russia in strong, gusting winds on its second attempt to land.

Mr Medvedev told the government to analyse the reasons behind the crash.

“If there are some technological issues, then they should be analysed and, at the conclusion of that analysis, proposals should be made to the government so that some amendments can be made to technical equipment ... or to the rules in our country’s aviation,” he said.

Russian media said the two main theories being considered by investigators were possible pilot error or a technical failure.

FlyDubai said that it would resume flights to Rostov-on-Don today. Local authorities said on Sunday that workers had cleared the runway of debris, which had been scattered up to 1.5 kilometres from the crash site.

On Saturday, Ghaith Al Ghaith, the airline’s chief executive, had said it was too early to determine why the plane, which was just over five years old, crashed.

One question is why the plane attempted to land in what were reported to be strong winds and did not divert to a nearby airport. An Aeroflot plane had earlier made several aborted landing ­attempts and been diverted.

Investigators are likely to focus, among other issues, on how the decision to land was reached, and why the plane circled above the airport in a holding pattern for more than two hours.

* Reuters, with additional reporting from The National staff and AFP