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Russia: Crashed TU-154 Engine & Landing Gear Found

The engine and landing gear of crashed Tu-154 have been discovered in the Black Sea.

The black box has been delivered to Southeast Moscow Research Center in fair condition. The Tu-154’s main flight data recorder was found at the depth of 17 meters (56 feet), Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The ministry added that five more fragments of the crashed plane have been located.

The crashed shortly after takeoff killing all on board including 64 musicians of the Alexandrov Ensemble. The search of the plane includes 98 divers and 14 different deep-sea vehicles.

On Monday, the Emergency Situations Ministry reported 45 ships and 135 divers from across Russia found parts of the jet about 1.5 kilometers from shore and 25 meters under the sea.

Russian media reports speculated on possible causes such as a technical problem, human error, or that the plane may have been overloaded.

“The Tu-154 has not been manufactured for quite a while and the Ministry of Defense was practically the only user of the aircraft,” says Maxim Pyadushkin, managing director of Air Transport Observer magazine. “But the Defense Ministry stated that it had passed through the capital maintenance. That means its condition was under control. We can’t so far state whether there were some technical issues. The results of the investigation will show.”

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