113 KILLED IN BLACK SEA PLANE CRASH

Guardian Unlimited
Press Association
Wednesday May 3, 2006 6:28 AM

An Armenian passenger jet crashed in bad weather off the Black Sea
coast while trying to make an emergency landing in Russia, killing
all 113 people aboard.

The Airbus A-320, which belonged to the Armenian airline Armavia,
disappeared from radar screens late on Tuesday night, about 3.7 miles
from the shore, and crashed after making a turn and heading toward
Adler airport, near the city of Sochi, Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman
for Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, said.

The ministry's southern regional branch said all 113 people aboard
the plane, including five children, were killed.

Wreckage from the plane was found not far from the shoreline,
Beltsov said. Search and rescue teams have pulled 11 bodies from
the water. Boats and divers were involved in the search, which was
hampered by rough seas and driving rain.

The plane disappeared from radar screens during a flight from
Yerevan to Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea in southern Russia,
Beltsov said.

He said the plane went down while trying to make a repeat attempt at
an emergency landing.

The Armavia representative said the crew had communicated with Sochi
ground controllers while the plane was flying over the Georgian
capital, Tbilisi.

The controllers said there were poor weather conditions but the plane
could still land, according to the representative.

But just before the landing, they told the crew to make another circle
in the air before approaching the airport. Then the plane crashed.

He said weather conditions were "certainly" the cause.