No evidence so far of terrorist action in the Christmas Day loss of the Tu-154 — And think of all future Christmases for the 92 families


December 26, 2016 – Fort Russ News –

–, translated by Tom Winter –

Part of the search operations

In the case of the Tu-154 plane crash near Sochi four basic causes are being looked into, as Tass has reported from the FSB Public Relations Center.

According to the agency, so far there is nothing to indicate the possibility of a terrorist act or sabotage.

“According to the FSB, the main working versions are: 

  1. foreign objects getting into the engine; 
  2. poor quality fuel, resulting in loss of power and failure of the engines; 
  3. piloting error; and 
  4. technical failure of the aircraft,” 

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Earlier, on December 26 the source the radio station “Moscow speaking” at the Sochi airport said that the jet fuel, from which the lost Tu-154 had been refueled, passed an audit, and was found fit. The simultaneous failure of the planes’ three aircraft engines because of low-quality fuel was repeatedly expressed by experts on December 25 and 26, but no official comments on this matter have been reported.

The Tu-154B-2 RA-85572 of the 223rd Flight Detachment of the Defense Ministry disappeared from radar at 05:27 UMT on December 25 after the departure from Sochi. It had arrived there from Moscow to refuel. The aircraft, heading for Latakia, fell almost immediately after takeoff.

According to specified data, on board were 92 people, including eight crew members and actors of the Alexandrov Choral Ensemble headed by Valery Khalilov. Also on board were nine journalists of the First Channel, Zvesda and NTV, as well as several others, including the Executive Director of the Fair Aid Fund Elizaveta Glinka (known as Dr. Lisa) and the head of the Defence Department of the Ministry of Culture Anton Gubankova.
Your translator adds two comments one personal, one technical:

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There is another tragedy on top of the Christmas Day loss of 92 people in the Black Sea: For all of their families, all their lives, the joyous day will be tinged with tears. I know: December 26, 1948, Harlow John Winter died. He had been hit by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve. He was thrown through the air by the impact. He was determined NOT to die on Christmas day, and made it to the day after. For his widow and for his five children, of whom I am the youngest, Christmas is hard. It is a day on the edge of tears — while all around are in joy. And that’s where 92 families are, and for the rest of their lives.

In my mid-fifties I got a pilot’s license and a small airplane. After every fill-up, we drain a sample of the aviation fuel to check for water. (If the fueling is from the bottom of the source tank, where water condensation would collect, we have been sold water instead of, or along with the 100 Low Lead.)

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