Flydubai Plane Crash
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FlyDubai aircraft was fully fit. So, what went wrong?

Saj Ahmad/Dubai
Filed on March 21, 2016
FlyDubai aircraft was fully fit. So, what went wrong?

There are a few facts that we already know.

Given that the flydubai flight FZ981 crash happened only 36 hours ago (at the time of going to press), there will be a lot of information that will be collated in the time to come which will help form the basis of the investigation and the eventual report detailing what happened and why.

There are a few facts that we already know.

We know the airplane in question, a Boeing 737-800 operating as FZ981, built in 2011 as A6-FDN, had a major C-check in January 2016 and was fully fit for service. By any metric, this is a very young airplane. A 737 takes off or lands somewhere in the world every 3 seconds.

The 737-800, that is part of the flydubai fleet, has a dispatch reliability rate of 99.77 per cent and flydubai's fleet operates with a daily utilisation rate of about 14 hours - one of the highest of any 737 operators, demonstrating its high reliability rate.

It's frankly impossible to find a better airplane anywhere in the industry to even come close to this when you compare numbers like these. The 737 isn't Boeing's biggest selling and fastest selling jet without good reason. It is a piece of engineering brilliance and perfection.

Put simply, the 737 family is one of the safest airplanes you could ever hope to fly. Its evolution on a technical, engineering and safety basis is beyond amazing and jets like this simply do not fall out of the sky without a very good reason.

Based on the information at hand, it does not appear that there was any mechanical or structural failing of the 737-800 and this is supported by the fact that the jet circled for almost two hours after its first landing attempt. If there was something amiss, then I am sure that the pilots would have declared an emergency landing, but as we know, there was no distress signal or mayday call.

Nobody in the aerospace business knows the 737 than the people at Boeing, who build it. Boeing will leave no stone unturned as they help the relevant authorities decipher what happened to this young airplane.

Weather, as well as human aspects will be investigated. Until information from the flight data and cockpit voice recorders is not extracted, we simply have no idea at this stage what the pilots were encountering as they attempted to land for a second time.

Second-guessing is irresponsible at this juncture and it's prudent to wait for investigative analyses to emerge before we're in a better position to paint a picture as to what led to FZ981 crashing.

The writer is chief analyst at the London-based StrategicAero Research. Views expressed by him do not reflect the newspaper's.





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