A Rough Landing During A Flight Test Is Bad News For Russia's New Jet

Sukhoi Superjet100

A Sukhoi Superjet 100, the first new civil aeroplane developed in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, hit the runway with its landing gear up during a test flight in Iceland on Sunday, injuring one.

In a statement, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft said the SSJ100 “touched the runway with retracted landing gear,” and one of the five people on board hurt his leg.

The flight was part of a program to test the aircraft’s automatic landing system in strong crosswinds, while imitating the failure of one of two engines. It is unclear why the landing gear was not deployed at Reykjavik’s Keflavic International Airport. 

In a second statement, Sukhoi said the incident will not not impact airlines operating the SSJ100, because the testing was conducted to earn a supplemental certification not necessary for commercial use.

Nonetheless, the incident is bad news for Sukhoi, and calls to mind the crash of a SSJ100 in May 2012. All 45 people on board a demonstration flight were killed when the plane smashed into the side of an Indonesian volcano. The accident was eventually blamed on pilot error.

Mexican low-cost airline Interjet took delivery of its first SSJ110 last month, at the Paris Air Show. It is the first Western airline to buy the aircraft.

Here’s an image of the downed plane:

Which calls to mind the 2012 crash in Indonesia:

wreckage of a Russian Sukhoi SSJ 100 from May 2012Wreckage of an SSJ100 that crashed in Indonesia in May 2012.

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