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18 June 2021, 19:31

Belarus yet to receive Ryanair aircraft instrumental data, data believed lost

Artyom Sikorsky
Artyom Sikorsky

MINSK, 18 June (BelTA) – Belarus has not yet received the necessary data from the Ryanair aircraft. It is likely the data has not preserved, BelTA learned from Director of the Aviation Department of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry Artyom Sikorsky.

The official said: “We've sent a letter to the president of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the secretary general, and the head of ICAO's investigation team, which is investigating the landing of the Ryanair aircraft in Minsk. The letter drew attention to a number of facts. We'd sent a number of requests for instrumental data from the Ryanair aircraft to Ireland and Poland. We have yet to receive instrumental data. This is why we contacted ICAO.”

According to Artyom Sikorsky, an investigation into the incident with the Ryanair aircraft continues in Belarus. “An investigation is in progress within the framework of the commission the Aviation Department and the Investigative Committee have set up. We need instrumental data. We expressed our fears in this letter and presented our assumption that the air carrier had not preserved the data we need. ICAO had to contact the air carrier to request the preservation of all the data from this aircraft. We need details. Why didn't the aircraft start descending until the very border? Why did it choose the airport in Minsk although it was supposed to go to Vilnius? What were the flight attendants and passengers doing when it was announced that the aircraft would land in Minsk?” the director of the Aviation Department of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry said.

“Belarus has provided all the instrumental data for investigating this case. We have received nothing that we need,” Artyom Sikorsky noted.

BelTA reported earlier that an aircraft of the air carrier Ryanair was flying over Belarus on the way from Athens to Vilnius on 23 May. The aircraft sent a distress signal. The Minsk airport received the signal at 12:50. The FR4978 flight squawked code 7700 – it is the main emergency code, which signifies an emergency situation on board. A message about a bomb on board the aircraft was the reason for the distress call. The pilot-in-command decided to divert the aircraft to the Minsk National Airport where the aircraft landed at 13:15 (Minsk time). There were 123 passengers on board the aircraft. The aircraft left the Minsk National Airport for Vilnius at 20:48.

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