Wind Shear Eyed in FlyDubai 737 Crash

Controllers issued a warning to the pilots moments before the jetliner crashed in Russia.

FlyDubai 737
Officials believe wind shear is to blame for the recent crash of a FlyDubai 737 in Russia.Wikimedia Commons/Faisal Akram

Pilots of the FlyDubai Boeing 737 that crashed in Russia on Saturday after a second attempt to land in high winds were warned by controllers of wind shear moments before the jetliner descended rapidly and exploded in a fireball next to the runway.

Both flight recorders have been recovered, and experts from the United Arab Emirates, United States and France are assisting with the investigation, according to the Interstate Aviation Committee, Russia's civil aviation authority.

According to flight tracking website data, the 737 with 62 aboard made a missed approach and entered a hold, circling for a lengthy period of time before making another landing attempt at Rostov-on-Don Airport. A Russian Aeroflot flight scheduled to land around the same time made three landing attempts but then diverted to another airport, according to published reports.

“By all appearances, the cause of the air crash was the strongly gusting wind, approaching a hurricane level,” said Rostov Regional Governor Vasily Golubev, according to news reports.

The winds at the time were reportedly blowing at 34 mph gusting to 50 mph. Just before the crash, the tower advised the FlyDubai crew of “moderate wind shear,” according to ATC tapes of the crash.