Faulty Speed Readings Might Have Led to An-148 Crash

Russian investigators have reached a preliminary determination that ice buildup in the pitot tubes led to a difference in speed reading between the primary and standby air parameter modules in the Saratov Airlines Antonov An-148 that crashed on February 11 in the village of Stepanovskoye, outside Moscow, killing 65 passengers and six crewmembers.

Following retrieval of both the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, Russia’s International Aviation Committee (MAK) determined a “dangerous situation” began to unfold two and a half minutes after liftoff, when the airplane had reached an altitude of about 4,265 feet at an indicator speed of 251 to 254 knots. According to MAK, a malfunction of the pitot tubes’ heating system or failure by the crew to turn on the device caused the ice buildup, thereby feeding the wrong speed reading to the aircraft’s digital flight control system.

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Source: AINonline