CVR – Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise Flight 612

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Update February 2022: Subtitles have been thoroughly reviewed and are now deciphered to the best of mine and my colleagues ability.

Aircraft Photo:
• https://www.planepictures.net/v3/show_en.php?id=430592

Photo of RA-85185 is dated January 4th 2006.

Accident Details:
• https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20060822-0
• https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-tupolev-tu-154m-novgorodskoye-170-killed

Final Report:
• https://www.baaa-acro.com/sites/default/files/import/uploads/2014/06/RA-85185.pdf

On August 22nd 2006, a Tu-154M operated by Pulkovo Aviation Enterprise, conducted a passenger flight on the route Anapa – St. Petersburg (Russian cities) with 160 passengers and 10 crew members. The flight crew consisted of:
• Captain: Ivan Ivanovich Korogodin
• First Officer: Vladimir Vladimirovich Onishchenko
• Flight Engineer: Viktor Petrovich Makarov
• Navigator: Igor Yurievich Levchenko
• Trainee: Andrei Nikolaevich Khodnevich

The takeoff took place without complications, but the weather over Donetsk that day included bad-lightning and thunderclouds up to 13 kilometers high. The crew flew around the first thunderstorm from the side without difficulty, but after another 100 kilometers there is another storm.

ATC did not warn the crew (as he was occupied by a Turkish pilot, said pilot struggled to understand the ATC instructions.) Ivan turns left with a bank of 15 degrees, but this was not enough and the plane flies right into the center of the thunderstorm. In this case the correct decision would be to return to the airport, but the captain decides to fly around the thunderstorm from above, given that they see the height of the thunderstorm, the crew begin to climb.

However, the engines cannot handle the high altitude (service alititude for thr Tu-154 is 39,500 feet), and the speed decreases. Noticing this, Ivan pushs the yoke away and pulls it up again, causing the already unstable aircraft to sway. The first officer suggested a descending, but captain refused.

At some point the speed became critically low, but the captain’s command “hold it!” left no chance – the aircraft was thrown up (48degrees nose up) and fell into a tailspin. Two engines flamed out, the horizontal speed dropped to 0.

For the remainder of the flight, there was not a single attempt to perform the right action. As the aircraft circled in the stall, the captain pulled the yoke up. Roughly two minutes after the aircraft entered the tailspin, it crashed into a field near Donetsk and was completely destroyed. All 170 people died. (The aftermath was filmed and uploaded to YouTube).

The cause of the accident was due to pilot error, primarily the captain. A psychological analysis showed that he was prone to taking risks and underestimating the consequences.

English subtitles added, HUGE thanks to Алексей Паленков for helping me!

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