Pilots say Mayday after frozen fluids in plane’s nose disrupt flight

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The pilots were forced to call Mayday, the signal of a deadly emergency, as they exited Magadan, Russia on Wednesday.

Flight S7 5220 was en route to Novosibirsk when it encountered ice-related issues and suddenly plunged shortly after take-off.

“After take-off, the aircraft flew in the clouds and in an area of ​​severe turbulence accompanied by heavy icing. As a result, the plane ended up in a difficult space position, ”reads a report from the Air Accident Investigation Bureau.

The Airbus A321 made two attempts to return to Magadan Airport, but the pilots were unable to unload enough fuel to do so, forcing them to fly for nearly five hours until a no diversion.

Finally, the pilots were able to land safely in Irkutsk, near the Mongolian border.

On landing, ice was found on the wings, as well as “frozen liquids” in the nose of the aircraft which had interfered with the aircraft’s sensors.

According to the AAIB report, “continuous snowfall and melting during taxiing at below freezing ambient temperatures [had] caused a frozen layer of ice in the forward fuselage disrupting the airflow from the pitot tubes.

“Therefore, take-off with the surface of the fuselage and engine cowls covered with a thick layer of snow in icing and turbulent conditions posed a real danger to flight safety.

Local police are reportedly investigating whether an intentionally defective or tampered de-icer was used on the plane’s fuselage before take-off, according to the aviation blog. Wing view.

De-icing is an important part of preparing for flight in cold climates, with a special de-icing fluid made up of a heated combination of chemical glycol and water sprayed on parts of the aircraft to keep them from freezing or freezing. break down on take-off.

Ryanair and Brindisi airport staff came under fire in January 2019 after a plane at southern Italy’s airport was filmed being de-iced using buckets of water instead. than the approved chemical.


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