4 July 2001 - Vladivostokavia 352

Vladivostokavia Flight 352, a Tupolev 154M with registration RA-85845, operated on a flight from Ekaterinburg to Vladivostok with an intermediate stop at Irkutsk. The flight departed Ekaterinburg at 19:47 local time and climbed to the cruising altitude of 10,100 m. Some three hours after takeoff, at 01:50 local time, descent was initiated. The descent and approach into Irkutsk was flown by the first officer.

At 02:05 the crew reported at 2100 m, runway in sight. The airplane still had an airspeed of 540 km/h. The maximum speed at which the langing gear may be lowered was 400 km/h. At 02:06:56 the airplane leveled off at 900 m, the airspeed still being about 420 km/h. The first officer ordered the gear down and the speed further decreased to 395 km/h with engines at idle. When the gear was down and locked the airplane entered a left hand turn with a 20-23 degree bank. The airspeed further decreased to 365 km/h where the recommended speed was 370 km/h in this stage of the flight. Power was added slowly. This was only just sufficient for maintaining an altitude of 850 m at 355-360 km/h. At 02:07:46, while still in the left hand turn, the angle of attack increased to 16,5° because the autopilot attempted to maintain altitude with a decreasing speed. An aural warning then sounded, indicating a high angle of attack. The first officer attempted to correct this and by using the control column, he disconnected the autopilot. Because he deflected the control column to the left, the left bank increased trough the maximum permissable value of -30° to -44°, and then to -48°. With the nose pitching down the speed increased to 400m.
The airplane entered a layer of clouds, so the crew did not have a possibility of observing of the natural horizon and the landmarks under these conditions at night.

The captain intervened and attempted to control the airplane. He alternately deflected the steering wheel to the left and right. An intensive deflection of steering control to the right, caused a positive angular acceleration of +4,4°/sec2. The captain reacted by deflecting the steering wheel to the left again. The first officer now realized that the airplane was in a steep left bank (-45°) and indicated that they should be rolling to the right.
Because of an increase in vertical descent rate (20m/sec), one of the crew members pulled the control column. The airplane pitched up rapidly, entered a stall and a subsequent flat spin. The crew were unable to regain control. After spinning for 22 seconds, the aircraft slammed down on its belly, broke up and burned.

The 19.00 GMT METAR observation for Irkutsk read: temperature 12deg C; dewpoint 11deg C; pressure 1007hPa and wind West at 6mph/10kmh.

Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

ATC = Irkutsk Approach
ATIS = Automatic Terminal Information System
CAP = Captain
F/E = Flight Engineer
F/O = First Officer [pilot flying]
NAV = Navigator
?? = Unknown
() = editorial insertion Aviation Safety Network
# = expletive deleted
times are local times

01:58:07 NAV: 845, 5700 (meters QNE)
01:58:10 ATC: 845 Razdolye confirmed (passing of waypoint), 5700 (meters) contact approach 125.20
01:58:21 NAV: 125.20
01:58:21 CAP: Okay
01:58:22 RDO-1: Irkutsk approach 85845, g’evening Razdolye at 5700, information X-ray.
01:58:32 ATC: 85545, Irkutsk approach, g’evening, final 282 degrees, distance 80 (km), descend and maintain 2700 (meters) to downwind, left pattern.
01:58:43 RDO-1: 845, to downwind descending 2700 meters
01:59:25 CAP: Sounds good
01:59:35 CAP: …it will take us 550 meters
01:59:45 ??: …
01:59:46 CAP: to downwind
01:59:48 ??: …
02:01:04 CAP: it seems we have to put it up
02:01:42 CAP: Yura (name of F/E), switch on VNA heating
02:01:43 F/E: Switched on
02:01:55 ATC: 845, distance 40 (km), descend and maintain 2100 (meters)
02:01:58 F/O: 2100 (meters)
02:01:59 RDO-1: 845 descending 2100 (meters)
02:02:29 ??: …
02:02:59 CAP: at home while descending on straight-in approach, we’re passing DAGES on that altitude, here we’ve got more 550 meters. We’ll drop it on. (DAGES is intersection name)
02:04:09 ATC: 845, Latest Yankee (ATIS), confirm you’ve got Yankee
02:04:13 RDO-1: Roger, listening now
02:04:17 ??: Is it for me? Is it?
02:04:21 ATIS:… millimeters, QFE 947, no significant changes, confirm you’ve got Yankee on initial contact…
02:04:43 CAP: Kolya (name of NA), you listen, let me work with them (ATC)
02:04:45 NAV: Roger, I’m listening
02:04:49 RDO-1: 845, 2100 (m)
02:04:52 ATC: 845, what type of approach?
02:04:55 RDO-1: NDB approach, information Yankee, altimeter 7-10 (mmHg)
02:05:02 ATC: 845, you’re cleared for NDB approach, descend 900 (m) for base altimeter 7-10 (mmHg)
02:05:08 RDO-1: 845, Descending 900 (m) for base turn, altimeter 7-10
02:05:14 ATC: 845, You’re downwind now, 11 km off final
02:05:18 RDO-1: Roger, we have in sight, that’s copied
02:05:28 F/O: Yura (Name of F/E), clear. It could be off now! Then we’ll see…
02:05:29 CAP: Yeap, it is working
02:05:32 NAV: I’m expecting 20 km
02:05:34 CAP: Okay
02:05:36 NAV: Altimeter now 7-10 of mine
02:05:43 CAP: Completely tip off now (it looks like referring to spoilers – not clear from CVR as used non standard phraseology) and slow down, decelerate speed
02:05:44 ??: decelerate, decelerate
02:05:47 CAP: Lets set altimeter 7-10 (mmHg)
02:05:48 F/O: 7-10
02:05:49 ??: 7-10
02:05:55 RDO-1: 845, at 1800 (m), altimeter set 7-10, will report through 1250 (m), descending 900 (m)
02:06:01 ATC: Roger
02:06:03 NAV: 150 (m) to assigned (altitude)
02:06:04 F/O: Yes
02:06:05 CAP: Decelerate, reduce speed
02:06:05 F/O: reducing, reducing
02:06:06 NAV: Watch out mechanization (again not clear, to what mechanization crew member refers to, using nonstandard phraseology “flaps” or “spoilers” were not mentioned)
02:06:08 CAP: We’ve got 100 meters to assigned (altitude)
02:06:09 F/O: That’s affirmative, 100 meters
02:06:10 NAV: … kilometers
02:06:13 CAP: You’ve set 8 (8 m/s descend rate), that’s why you’ve got such speed
02:06:17 CAP: Here we go Yura (name of F/E), now in clouds
02:06:20 CAP: Look there, what temperature is
02:06:21 NAV: they gave 290 degrees at 5, 14 degrees, 710 CAVOK
02:06:25 CAP: All right
02:06:26 CAP: Okay, now turn it on and…
02:06:28 F/O: Is it engaged? Is light on?
02:06:30 NAV: … is on (working)
02:06:32 CAP: How much remaining? (km)
02:06:34 NAV: 8 kilometers
02:06:34 F/O: 8 (km)
02:06:35 CAP: Copied
02:06:56 CAP: Okay, take it there, I’ve switched hold altitude
02:06:58 F/O: Okay
02:07:02 F/O: 400 kilometers (km/hour)
02:07:03 CAP: Rudder good, gears down
02:07:06 F/O: Putting down
02:07:08 F/E: they’re going (gears going down)
02:07:10 F/O: Gears …
02:07:12 ATC: 845, turn to base, descent 850 meters for final
02:07:17 RDO-1: 845, descending 850 (m) for final
02:07:21 F/E: Gears down
02:07:23 CAP: Okay, speed is decreasing too much
02:07:25 CAP: descend
02:07:27 CAP: 850 (m), power 70 (N1=70%)
02:07:29 F/E: 70
02:07:30 CAP: 350 (km/h), speed in range
02:07:32 CAP: power 7-5 (N1=75%)
02:07:33 F/E: 7-5
02:07:37 NAV: approaching 850 (N1meters)
02:07:39 CAP: power 80
02:07:40 F/E: 80
02:07:42 CAP: 8-2 (power thrust N1=82%)
02:07:43 ??: 8-2
02:07:44 NAV: 850 (meters)
02:07:45 CAP: 850 (meters)
02:07:45 --: Audio tone of AOA (angle of attack) alert and maximum acceleration reached (duration 1.5 sec)
02:07:47 --: Audio tone of autopilot disconnection warning (duration 2.3 sec) (AOA warning might disconnect A/P automatically or it could be F/O pushed yoke down causing A/P disconnect)
02:07:49 CAP: Fuck! What are you doing!
02:07:51 CAP: Speed!
02:07:52 ??: …
02:07:53 CAP: … Fuck, push it up! (throttles)
02:07:53 F/O: Stop! Stop! Where! Where!
02:07:55 CAP: Stop! Stop! Stop! (said in patter)
02:07:55 NAV: This way, this way, this way.
02:07:57 CAP: We’re recovering!
02:07:58 NAV: Easy, make it easy, easy!
02:07:59 F/O: Lets to the right!
02:08:01 --: Audio tone of Radio-altitude alert (duration 4 sec) and audio alert tone of AOA (remaining to the end of recording)
02:08:02 ??: Power! Add thrust!
02:08:05 ??: Power!
02:08:06 F/E: … got it!
02:08:08 ??: Add thrust!
02:08:09 F/O: Take off power! Oh my God!
02:08:10 F/E: Take off power set
02:08:11 ??: That’s all guys! Fuck!
02:08:16 --: Audio tone of radio altimeter alert (remaining to the end of recording)
02:08:32 --:
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