Quick question on the SSJ. Does it not have fuel dump capabilities?
Slightly digressing, but the lightening strike has got me be a slightly worried. If it managed to fry the electronics, and disable systems, who is to say that even if it did have a fuel dump system, it would have become inoperable?
It does have fuel dump capabilities, but the pilots decided not to dump, since they lost radio contact with the tower due to widespread electrical malfunction. And plane was not too heavy, I read somewhere only 1 ton over maximum landing weight.
However, from the initial reports, which reported plane landing in flames and everyone safe, where I thought "wow, look at this aircraft, no way one could pull that of in a Boeing/Airbus, it must be resilient as hell", now a troublesome picture emerges. Forgive me, anyone, for speculating, but we know some of the thing as fact, due to having flightradar24's track and many videos of the landing... did the pilots make the fatal mistake with the rushed landing?
What we know now or can deduce is:
1) Something causes widespread electrical failure on the plane.
2) Radio is disabled, among other things, pilots lack the ability to contact tower, they only squawk codes for radio failure and emergency
3) This being FBW aircraft, it goes to direct law (seen reports stating this) after avionics and sensors are taken down by electrical failure
4) Crew turns around and decides for emergency landing.
5) There were reports that this was second attempt at landing, but flightradar24 track does not support that assertion, aircraft makes one 360 circle and then attempts to land.
6) Landing goes terribly wrong, the airplane is bounced 2 times to a height of at least 5 meters, the force of last bounce pierces fuel tanks, aircraft on fire.
Everyone, please help me understand/confirm the following:
1) Plane went to direct law, but it was obviously still flyable - there is plenty of airborne maneuvering that would be impossible if pilots lost all control. Engines were working, so there would be hydraulic power too.
2) Even in direct law, plane can be perfectly flown and landed, just it lacks envelope protections to guard against clumsy pilots, in direct law, flight surfaces get directly connected to pilot's inputs.
3) Is there any failure mode where plane would be flyable (they basically nailed the runway, as flight data shows) but some controls would be inoperable to land it safely?
I simply cannot understand how they got all the way to landing and then a disaster... in a FBW plane?
4) Were the pilots in too much hurry to get it down ASAP and they made mistake by not going around?
5) Is it even possible that they lost all the instruments and could not estimate landing speed and height visually?
6) The visual conditions were good for VFR and I assume that if they routinely fly that kind of plane you actually don't need the instruments to show you that you are going way too fast, not to mention too high?
I now suspect that severe pilot error is on the table as well... they survived, so they will be able to tell their side of the story soon, I guess.