Armenian Plane ?Did Not Malfunction before Crash?

(AP)–The Armenian airliner that crashed into the Black Sea last month killing all 113 people aboard was intact–had its engines operating normally–and had enough fuel to land–a Russian commission said Monday.

The Armavia Airbus A-320 was under manual control of its pilots up to the moment of the May 3 pre-dawn catastrophe near the Russian port of Sochi–the Transport Ministry commission investigating the disaster said in a statement. The commission–which based its conclusions after analyzing the plane’s "black box" flight recorders–did not attribute blame for the crash.

Prosecutors have dismissed the possibility that terrorists brought the plane down–and officials point to rough weather or pilot error as the likely cause. Armavia officials have suggested that air traffic controllers were at least partly to blame–giving the pilots improper instructions.

The commission said it planned further analysis of the recorders and computer modeling to determine a cause. The flight was en route to Sochi from Yerevan.


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