ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A320-211 EK32009 Adler/Sochi Airport (AER)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 3 May 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-211
Registration: EK32009
MSN: 547
First flight: 1995-06-28 (10 years 10 months)
Total airframe hrs:28234
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5A1
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 105 / Occupants: 105
Total:Fatalities: 113 / Occupants: 113
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:6 km (3.8 mls) SW off Adler/Sochi Airport (AER) (   Russia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Yerevan Airport (EVN/UDYZ), Armenia
Destination airport:Adler/Sochi Airport (AER/URSS), Russia
Flightnumber: 967
Armavia flight 967 departed Yerevan (EVN) at 00:47 on a scheduled flight to Sochi (AER). Weather at Sochi was poor with rain and poor visibility. Radio contact with Sochi was established at 01:10. The flight crew discussed the current weather conditions at Sochi with the approach controller. At 01:26 the crew decided to return to Yerevan due to the below minima weather conditions at Sochi. At 01:30 the crew again requested the latest weather information. Visibility now was reported as 3600 m with a cloud base at 170 m. The captain now decided to continue to Sochi instead. Clearance was give to descent to an altitude of 3600 m. At 02:00 further descent instructions for 1800 m were issued by the air traffic controller. Weather conditions for an approach to runway 06 were now equal to the airport minima. Sochi Tower then cleared the flight to descend to 600 m. The glideslope was captured and the gear was lowered at 02:10. The crew reported ready and where cleared for landing. Weather was reported as 4000 m visibility with a cloud base at 190 m. Weather deteriorated quickly and thirty seconds later the controller reported that the cloud base was now at 100 m. He instructed the flight to abort the approach and told the crew to make a climbing right hand turn to an altitude of 600 m. The aircraft was flying at 300 m and performed a climbing turn to 450 m. Simultaneously the groundspeed dropped and the Airbus descended until it contacted the water and broke up. Wreckage sank to a depth of 700 m.

Probable Cause:

CONCLUSION: "The fatal crash of the Armavia A-320 EK-32009 was a CFIT accident that happened due to collision with the water while carrying-out a climbing manoeuvre after an aborted approach to Sochi airport at night with weather conditions below the established minima for runway 06. While performing the climb with the autopilot disengaged, the Captain, being in a psychoemotional stress condition, made nose down control inputs due to the loss of pitch and roll awareness. This started the abnormal situation. Subsequently the Captain's inputs in the pitch channel were insufficient to prevent development of the abnormal situation into the catastrophic one. Along with the inadequate control inputs of the Captain, the contributing factors to development of the abnormal situation into the catastrophic one were also the lack of necessary monitoring of the aircraft descent parameters (pitch attitude, altitude, vertical speed) by the co-pilot and the absence of proper reaction by the crew to the EGPWS warning.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: MAK Russia
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 285 days (10 months)
Accident number: -
Download report: Final report

Loss of situational awareness
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Water

» SKYbrary 
» MAK Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC)
» Ministry of Emergency Situations (MChS) of Russia

METAR Weather report:
22:00 UTC / 02:00 local time:
URSS 022200Z VRB01MPS 4000 -SHRA BR BKN006 OVC027CB 11/11 Q1018 TEMRO 1500 BR VV005 RMK G/~Z QFE762 SC05=
wind variable at 1m/sec, visibility 4000m, light rain showers, mist 5-7 oktas cloud at 600ft, 8 oktas overcast cloud at 2700ft with thunder clouds, temperature 11C dewpoint 11C, QNH 1018hPa, visibility 1500m mist vertical visibility 500ft

Follow-up / safety actions

MAK issued 22 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Airbus-A320-211-EK-32009
accident date: 03-05-2006
type: Airbus A320-211
registration: EK-32009
photo of Airbus-A320-211-EK-32009
accident date: 03-05-2006
type: Airbus A320-211
registration: EK-32009

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Yerevan Airport to Adler/Sochi Airport as the crow flies is 516 km (323 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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