Tape Reveals Kids Got Flying Lesson Before Crash
MOSCOW - The cockpit tapes recorded a chilling scene: The pilot's children getting a flying lesson just before an Aeroflot jet crashed, killing all 75 people aboard.
The transcript of the desperate final minutes before the March 22 crash, published this week in the magazine Obozrevatel, reveals that the Russian crew almost succeeded in saving the plane.
But the presence of the children and the crew's unfamiliarity with the foreign-built Airbus helped doom the flight, according to the tapes and an aviation official's analysis.
Russian International Airlines, Aeroflot's international arm, has disputed that children were in the cockpit during the flight from Moscow to Hong Kong.
The Moscow magazine would not identify its source for the "black box" transcript. Aeroflot and Airbus officials said they could not comment until investigation of the crash is complete.
A source close to the probe, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the transcript appears accurate, though not complete or official.
Obozrevatel recently published the transcript of the tape in the Airbus A-310's flight recorder from the March 22 crash in Siberia.
In the cockpit:
Captain Yaroslav Kudrinsky.
Co-pilot Igor Peskaryov.
Kudrinsky's daughter, Yana, 12.
Kudrinsky's son, Eldar, 16.
Co-pilot to airport: Novosibirsk, this is Aeroflot 593. Passing you at the altitude of 10,100. Expect to turn at 41 minutes.
Traffic control: 593, 10,100, passing you to Novosibirsk control.
Co-pilot: Thank you, goodbye.
Traffic control: Good luck.
Yana: Daddy, can I turn this?
Yana: Have you turned on the autopilot?
Yana: What is that little star?
Yana: There, see?
Captain: It's a real one. We've passed Novosibirsk. Novokuznetsk next.
Yana: Daddy, raise me up.
Sound of seat being moved.
Captain: There's Novokuznetsk on the left, see?
Yana: Are we flying low?
Captain: Here, look, 10,100 meters.
Yana: It's a lot, isn't it?
Captain: A lot.
Yana: So, no clouds, right?
Yana: No clouds?
Captain: No clouds, right. Look, I will take you out now. (pause) Wait, don't hurry. (pause) Don't hurry, careful!
Yana: I am careful!
Captain: The left leg has to come first when you are sitting down. Left leg first.
Captain: Well, are you going to fly it?
Captain: Hold the wheel, hold on! But don't push the buttons - this button, the red one (autopilot switch), don't touch it.
Eldar: Can I turn this?
Eldar: The wheel?
Captain: Yes. If you turn it left, where will the plane go?
Captain: Turn it! Watch the ground as you turn. Let's go left. Turn left! (pause) Is the plane turning?
Captain: Is it turning? Is the plane turning left?
Eldar: Yes, it is.
One of the pilots: Set the horizon right for him.
Eldar: Why is it turning?
Captain: It's turning by itself?
Unidentified co-pilot: Hey, guys!
Captain: Hold on, hold the wheel, hold it.
(Low whistling noise, then loud roar.)
Captain: To the left! To the left! To the right!
Co-pilot: To the other side!
Eldar: I am turning it left!
(Apparently, Eldar cannot get out of the captain's seat quickly. Roar continues, and an alarm signals the loss of altitude. Two seconds later, another alarm signals critical bank).
Captain (apparently to Eldar in seat): Get out!
Co-pilot: There's the ground!
Captain: Crawl out to the back!
Captain: Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!
Sound of autopilot switching off
Co-pilot: Full throttle! Full throttle! Full throttle!
Captain (apparently back in his seat): Have full throttle, have full throttle!
Co-pilot: Full throttle!
Captain: Got it!
Co-pilot: Full throttle, no?
Captain: Got it, got full throttle!
Co-pilot: Getting out, getting out, getting out . . . to the right! Too much speed, close throttle a bit!
Co-pilot: Take it easy.
Captain: Giving you more speed. Easy, we'll get out of it now. (pause) Everything's fine. (pause) Pull backwards a little . . . take it easy . . . take it easy, I tell you.
Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.