‘Last words’ of Flydubai pilots revealed

One of the pilots in the seven-minute recording can be heard asking whether the “weather is better?” as they approached Rostov-on-Don

Published: Updated:

The pilots of the Flydubai plane that crashed in Russia on Saturday, killing 62 people, had expressed concerns over weather conditions, an air traffic control recording has allegedly revealed.

One of the pilots in the seven-minute recording can be heard asking whether the “weather is better?” as they approached Rostov-on-Don airport.

Preliminary information indicates the FlyDubai Flight FZ981 was landing when it hit the ground and broke into pieces at the airport about 950 kilometers south of Moscow.

The Boeing 737-800 had to abandon an initial attempt to land and came down while making a repeat attempt, according to a Russian ministry statement.

Four children were among the 62 people killed when the plane crashed into the ground at around 4am Moscow time.

In the recording, allegedly a conversation between the pilots and air traffic controllers, the pilots are asked repeatedly about their visibility and can be heard saying it is around 5km.

Also in the recording, obtained by the UK’s Daily Mail, the pilots asked to receive any information about changes on the ground.

The conversation switches between English and Russian and can be heard below.

The aircraft was piloted by Cypriot Aristos Sokratous and co-pilot Spaniard Alejandro Álava Cruz.

The Investigative Committee of Russia said it is looking into a pilot error or a technical failure as the most likely causes for the plane crash, Russian news agencies reported.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region, said on Saturday that the plane crashed around 800ft short of the runway.

He added: "By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strongly gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level."

In response to the crash. Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith, said: “Our primary concern is for the families of the passengers and crew who were on board.

"Everyone at flydubai is in deep shock and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those involved. We don’t yet know all the details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause. We are making every effort to care for those affected and will provide assistance to the loved ones of those on board.”

FlyDubai's fleet is dominated by relatively young 737-800 aircraft, the same model as the one that crashed. The airline says it operates more than 1,400 flights a week.

The airline has expanded rapidly in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. Dubai is a popular tourist destination for Russian visitors.

(With Agencies)