According to Kommersant, the most likely cause of the crash of the Epic LT aircraft in Germany, in which Natalia Fileva, the co-owner and S7 Group board of directors, her father and the pilot carrying the family, were killed, experts believe the latter’s mistake. Pilot Andrei Dykun during landing probably lowered the speed of the machine to a critical value and thus allowed it to fall into a flat spin. At this point, the pilot instantly lost control of the aircraft, and its flight, in fact, turned into a fall.
Last weekend, owned by Globus Airlines (part of S7) Epic LT No. RA-2151G was used for the private needs of Natalia Fileva, head and co-owner of the S7 Group. A businesswoman and her father, Valery Karachev, toured Europe with him, visiting Polish Krakow and French Cannes on Saturday. The next destination, already scheduled for Sunday, was to be the German town of Egelsbach, located not far from Frankfurt-am-Main - in it, according to some sources, Mr. Karachev was supposed to receive advice from a doctor.
According to the Kommersant source, precisely because of the need to land at the small private Egelsbach airport, Ms. Fileva preferred the six-seat turboprop single-engine Epic, which was declared by the manufacturer as an “administrative aircraft”, to the Gulfstream G550 jet propulsion jet that was more familiar to her. "Gulf Stream" simply could not stay on a short, less than one and a half kilometer-long strip of the airfield.
At about 3:30 pm, the pilot of Mrs. Fileva, Andrei Dikun, requested permission to land at Egelsbach and received it. Then, as stated by the representative of the German Flight Safety Service (DFS), he said that he disconnected from the radar control system and switched from instrumental (Instrumental Flight Rules) to visual (Visual Flight Rules) flight. The decision, as Andrei Dikun's colleagues explained to Kommersant, was quite logical, since the Egelsbach airport was still not equipped with modern approach control systems, and the visibility and weather allowed the pilot to control the situation and plant the car manually.
The pilot did not report any problems on board, and eight minutes after entering Epic, instead of getting on the lane, he crashed into a private field a few kilometers from the airport. The fallen car immediately caught fire, so all three aboard, even if they survived after hitting the ground, instantly died in the fire.
Investigation of the disaster took the commission of the German Federal Aviation Investigation Bureau (BFU), which will include an employee of the Interstate Aviation Committee. As stated in the committee, the Russian specialist has already been sent on a business trip to Germany. The technical commission will determine the cause of the state of emergency, and in the meantime, the Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) will try to find the perpetrators of the tragedy, the victims of which were three Russian citizens. On April 1, the TFR announced the initiation of a criminal case on the fact of violation of traffic safety rules and operation of air transport with serious consequences (part 3 of article 263 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
Despite the significant forces involved in the investigation, it will not be easy to deal with the circumstances of the emergency situation and convincingly prove their position to specialists, according to a source close to the international commission. First of all, because so far it has not been possible to find recorders from a crashed plane, which, perhaps, was not at all.
A parametric black box, as explained by the source of “Ъ”, is structurally provided for in this model, but could have been removed by the owners, since its presence is not necessary in small aircraft.
Speech was absent initially, because the “administrative” plane is controlled by one pilot and there is simply no one to talk to him in flight. Is that with the passengers.
Meanwhile, according to Kommersant’s sources, a version was put forward after the Epic debris analysis completed on April 1, which will apparently become dominant in the investigation. According to this assumption, after switching to manual control of the machine, the pilot Dikun for some reason made a dangerous loss of speed of the aircraft. This led to a decrease in lift and stalling the machine into a so-called flat corkscrew. The critical situation arose so quickly that the pilot did not even have time to report the dispatcher about it: the car made a spontaneous sharp turn and spiraled toward the ground.
As one of the interlocutors of “Kommersant” explained, the loss of control of the vehicle by the pilot (in the dialogues of the commission members the phrase “Loss of control” or LOC in the international classification is constantly heard) is indicated by the compact arrangement of debris on the field. The car fell with a large vertical and very low horizontal speed, so after the fall the remnants of Epic occupied a small area.
Due to the inspection of the wreckage, it was possible to establish another important fact - the aircraft engine at the time of hitting the ground probably worked at low revs, and only because of this, some Epic propeller blades were not cut off when hitting the ground, but remained intact.
All these observations allowed the experts to suggest that the pilot did not even try to compensate for the mistake he made during landing — for example, to go to the second circle or make a forced landing. The sudden corkscrew did not leave him any time or opportunity.
53-year-old Andrei Dykun has worked for Globus since the day it was founded, since April 2008. In it, he served as a senior instructor pilot. Its total flight time on various types of aircraft was 11.5 thousand hours. The press service of S7 reported that in the airline he enjoyed a well-deserved prestige among colleagues and subordinates, and in his personal file there were many orders for the promotion of leadership.