Almost a year ago, in May 2019, a Sukhoi Superjet aircraft caught fire in Sheremetyevo, which operated the flight Moscow - Murmansk. This happened after a lightning strike and an emergency landing. The fire killed 41 people who did not have time to get out of a burning plane. For the freedom and good name of the ship's commander Denis Evdokimov, who was "appointed" the main culprit of the disaster, his wife Oksana intervened on her blog. Her first post, Novye Izvestia, was published a week ago, and today it’s the turn to continue Oksana’s private investigation.
Oksana Yevdokimova, the wife of a pilot
Currently, the investigation into the disaster has been completed and the case has been transferred to the court. During this period I learned so much about the reverse side of aviation that I consider it my civic duty to share with everyone, since we all fly on airplanes, and then everyone will be able to independently evaluate this information and draw their own conclusions.
In civil aviation, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) investigates the causes of the disaster, which, by law, should not determine blame. This is a law enforcement case. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (TFR), in accordance with the law, should conduct its independent investigation in order to determine the guilt of the persons involved in the disaster. Further, the prosecutor's office of the Russian Federation checks the correctness and legality of the investigation and, if there are no violations, transfers the case to court. And only the court determines the culprit and the degree of punishment.
There are too many dark spots in this simple sequence that appear to directly affect flight safety. This is the dark side of the investigations and I want to tell.
In accordance with the current legislation, the causes of disasters include actions, inaction, circumstances and conditions, or a combination thereof, leading to an incident or accident (disaster). The IAC website states: “The IAC is designed to serve the achievement of the goals of the safe and orderly development of civil aviation.” It sounds beautiful, but unconvincing.
What do we have? Judging by his reports, the pilots are always to blame, and the circumstances and conditions, which are the same causes of accidents along with actions or inaction, remain undetected and not eliminated from the air transport system and wait for another victim like a time bomb. The IAC never answers the question why the actions of the pilots were such, since the answer to this question lies in the field of circumstances and conditions that are systemic, but who allows himself to touch systemic problems, because we can’t be bad.
The IAC is investigating the catastrophes of those aircraft that he himself certified, and this in itself is a conflict of interest and a systemic problem. Only in 2015, the certification of aircraft from the IAC was transferred to the Federal Air Transport Agency. However, in the case of my husband, this type of SSJ aircraft was certified by the IAC and is now investigating. Now the question is: “Is it possible in such circumstances to expect an IAC from an objective and comprehensive investigation?” Logic and common sense say: "NO."
And this is confirmed by the fact that instead of improving the safety of flights, which is the aim of investigating disasters, according to the results of the IAC, the state of flight safety in the Russian Federation does not improve, and the accidents, according to the IAC, occur for the same reasons - poor training of pilots. This position satisfies everyone except the passengers and the pilots themselves.
In November 2014, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) carried out a routine audit of the Russian Federation regarding the organization of safety oversight. The comments concerned, inter alia, the use of IAC reports. In short, the Russian state is prescribed in this report “To amend the current legislation, processes and organizational structure to ensure independence in the investigation of serious incidents”.
As well as “Create and implement effective means of ensuring non-interference of judicial proceedings in investigations”, “conducting an investigation in accordance with Appendix 13 separately from the investigation conducted by the judicial authority”.
But after these comments, the IAC does not just continue to cooperate with the ICR, but signs the Cooperation Agreement between the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the Interstate Aviation Committee.
Who and for what purpose are we deceiving, without fully investigating aircraft accidents? I’m sure that we ourselves, because both passengers and pilots continue to die. Perhaps we just do not quite understand the seriousness of the issue.
With this approach to the investigation of disasters and non-compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), of which Russia is a member, Russian airlines can simply be banned from flying abroad, and in the best case, we will only fly around the country, since we have a lot of it. Let me remind you that this was once the case when it was forbidden to fly abroad to domestic aircraft that did not pass the ICAO standards in terms of noise. Conclusions are not made.
In this plane crash, the crew, fortunately for the relatives and unfortunately the aircraft manufacturer, survived. But his opinion, contrary to ICAO standards, is ignored by the IAC. At the same time, my husband repeatedly met with members of the commission and said: “I am ready to answer any questions. Ask, ask if you need any clarifications, clarifications, etc. ” But no one listens to his words, and this is a very important source of information for understanding the causes of the disaster, not to mention the fact that he is a witness. Based on the testimony of the crew, one can find out the circumstances and conditions that "formed" the conditions for the disaster, which are never investigated in Russia.
The chairman of the commission at the IAC for the investigation of the SSJ-100 crash was appointed a specialist with no flight experience, who does not have a flight education. Earlier, from open sources, I learned that the mother of the aircraft commander and the wife of the second pilot YAK-42 (the plane in which the hockey team of Yaroslavl “Lokomotiv” died) wrote a complaint to the ECtHR on the IAC, which blamed their relatives for the tragedy. They stated that the IAC commission was incompetent, that there was not a single person in it who would pilot the Yak-42. That is, nothing has changed since 2011, the working methods are the same.
Test pilots working in the GSS (the former company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft) take part and write conclusions in the IAC commission of inquiry, which is a conflict of interest.
In your opinion, is it possible to speak of independence of opinion if interested persons are very worried that significant flaws in the design of the aircraft can be revealed?
And this is provided that the IAC is also not interested in a real investigation, since it also has a conflict of interest, because it was he who certified this type of aircraft. That is, none of the parties involved in the investigation, a priori, can recognize their own shortcomings, if any. And if the plane does not meet airworthiness standards, then they will obviously hide it.
That is why the preliminary report of the IAC does not mention in any way about the compliance of the aircraft with the airworthiness standards, and they should be at least both lightning protection and the design of the main landing gear, which, when destroyed, damaged the fuel tank box, resulting in fuel leakage and fire. And this, as it turns out, according to the airworthiness standards, there shouldn’t be under any hard landing: the chassis must be folded without destroying the fuel tanks, as recently happened with the Boeing aircraft when landing in the city of Usinsk (photos of this landing are in the public domain )
I want to convey to everyone and this is IMPORTANT: never among the pilots, and my husband, including, WAS NOT AND CAN NOT HAVE MOTIVATIONS to commit a disaster, therefore it is important to understand the true circumstances and causes of the disaster in order to prevent them in the future, and does not stop only on actions or inaction.
ICAO documents indicate that the crew is the last link in the chain of events that begins with the development of aircraft drawings. However, only pilots are made extreme for all omissions in this chain. The true causes of the disasters are not identified, but hidden behind the crew’s charge. Such an approach to the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents does not ensure flight safety and, therefore, is not in the public interest.
I hope that someday an independent disaster investigation authority will appear in the Russian Federation and its investigation will “serve the achievement of the goals of the safe and orderly development of civil aviation”, taking flight safety in the Russian Federation to another level. In the meantime, everything turns out sadly for both pilots and passengers...