Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet makes emergency landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo after fire on board – 41 casualties


On 5 May, an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B (RA-89098) departed from Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport for flight SU1492 towards Murmansk. Shortly into the flight, the pilots requested to return to Moscow for an emergency landing as the aircraft was hit by a lightning strike losing all electronics on board. 30 minutes after take-off – during the roll out – the aircraft burst into flames, veered left off the runway and came to a stop on the grass adjacent to the runway, the aircraft completely burned down.

The aircraft issued a distress signal (squawk 7600 – radio failure -, then escalated to 7700 – emergency -, ed.) after take-off. The pilots tried an emergency landing, did not succeed the first time and, at the second attempt, the landing gear hit the ground, then the nose, and the aircraft ignited,” said a source at the Interfax news agency.

In total, 73 passengers and five crew members were onboard the aircraft. Russian media announced that 41 passengers died in the accident, leaving 37 survivors; at least six injured passengers were hospitalized. Initial reports suggest that the fire originated from electrical equipment on board. News agency TASS is reporting that the crew confirmed that their aircraft was hit by a lightning strike.

The airport authorities closed the particular runway, seriously reducing the airport’s capacity.

In a short statement on their website, Aeroflot confirmed the accident with flight SU1492: “The aircraft headed back to Moscow Sheremetyevo after technical issues and caught fire after landing. The passengers left the aircraft via the emergency slides. Victims have been reported, but the exact number still needs to be specified. Emergency medical care is provided to all those in need.

The aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft also issued a rather strange statement:

“On May 5, 2019, SSJ100 performing its flight Moscow-Murmansk returned to the airport of departure upon receipt of the information about the abnormality aboard. After tough landing, the aircraft was burned down. The investigation is launched. The representatives of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, the manufacturer of the aircraft, are part of the commission conducting the investigation. The following information is to be provided as long as it will appear.

The aircraft MSN 95135 was produced in August 2017. It was under scheduled maintenance at the beginning of April 2019.”

A commission has been established to investigate the causes and circumstances of the accident. The Aeroflot crisis headquarters was quickly assembled.



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