Areoflot Sukohi Superjet 100 Crash

In this image provided by Riccardo Dalla Francesca shows smoke rises from a fire on a plane at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday, May 5, 2019. (Riccardo Dalla Francesca via AP)

On May 5, 2019, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 operated by Russia’s Aeroflot burst into flames on impact with the runway. 41 people were confirmed dead. The plane took off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for Murmansk, Russia. On the initial climb, the plane was struck by lightning and requested a return to the airport. The controllers cleared the plane for an emergency landing. The plane circled the airport twice before initiating the final approach. The plane landed hard and the tail section promptly burst into flames. This most likely happened because the skin of the airplane was still electrically charged when the plane landed. This happened because when the electricity had a path to the ground, it passed the metal fuel tanks and ignited the fuel. The plane then skidded down the runway and spun 165 degrees.

Emergency slides extended but for several seconds no one got out. This is peculiar because when the pilots conduct an emergency landing, the pilots complete an evacuation checklist before evacuating the passengers.. The pilots in this situation probably just turned off the engines, activated all fire extinguishers, and extended evacuation slides. At this point, all passengers should have been evacuated immediately. This did not happen. The reason for this is explained by an anonymous survivor. The survivor states that the people in first and business class stopped to retrieve their luggage. This clogged the aisles and stopped many passengers in the rear economy class from exiting the aircraft. Several criminal charges have already been filed against some of the survivors.  


by Zachary Dunne ’25

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