It's like to "apply salt on wound"



Le BOURGET - Sukhoi's general designer Mikhail Simonov started today's press-briefing with apologies to Le Bourget participants and visitors for the crash of the Su-30MK first prototype, the Blue 01. He confessed that for him to speak about the crash is like to "apply salt on wounds". The sad emotions from seeing the destruction of an expensive and valuable flight vehicle, however, are somewhat compensated by seeing both pilots safe and sound, Simonov continued.

A new generation hard-surface flight recorder installed on the aircraft has been found. The data it contained have been processed, apparently proving that Sukhoi managers, including Simonov, suggested the actual causes of the crash at a press-briefing on the day of the accident and the next day. Simonov promised to "draw the right conclusions" from the event, including that of training of crews and compiling flight display programs. The Sukhoi head said that the investigation commission, formed by the show organizers, is working on the problem now and that he has complete trust in the commission.

The most important information from an analysis of the data taken from the flight recorder is that the airplane behaved well to the last. Even after it touched the ground and maintained contact with the surface for about 100 yards the airplane responded to the controls and its power plant functioned. This allowed the Su-30MK pilot Slava Averianov to execute a steep climb after touching the ground in order to guarantee safe ejection. If it were an ordinary aircraft without a thrust vectoring system, it would have dropped its nose during contact with the surface and flown into the ground, Simonov said. Instead, the Blue 01 kept its nose up, and thus at the cost of itself, proved more advantages of thrust vectoring. Secondly, the Blue 01 did not explode, neither during the moment when it touched the ground nor when it flew into the ground after the pilots had ejected. Thus, Simonov concluded, putting aside the sad feelings about the loss of the valuable aircraft, the accident should be considered not just as a loss, but also as a source of unique information for analysis on aircraft behavior in critical situations. Such information could not have been acquired by any other means, Simonov said.
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