Speed loss probably caused Black Sea crash - Armenian air chief-1

15:11|06/ 05/ 2006

YEREVAN, May 6 (RIA Novosti)-Bad weather most likely caused a dramatic
loss of speed that led to an Armenian Airbus crashing into the Black
Sea Wednesday, killing 113 people, the chairman of Armenia's aviation
association said Saturday.

Dmitry Adashyan said, "In my opinion, which is based on preliminary
information, the main version of the liner's loss was a loss of speed,
which fell to below the minimum 'critical' speed."

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said Wednesday that bad
weather was most likely to have caused the crash and Adashyan, who
is also a former head of Armenia's civil aviation authority, echoed
the idea.

He said that after losing speed the plane's nose section dropped and
fell into a spin.

"The resistance of a 'wet' plane increases several times and so the
engines might not have had enough power, which could have caused the
nose to drop," he
said.

Adbashyan also said lighting could have been responsible for the
tragedy.

"The Airbus might have crashed after a lightning strike," he said.

The A-320 operated by Armenia's Armavia was flying from the Armenian
capital, Yerevan, to Adler airport, which services the popular Russian
resort of Sochi, when it crashed six kilometers off the Russian coast
early Wednesday morning.

Adbashyan said he hoped that the flight recorders would be recovered
from the seabed on Saturday. He added that many parties wanted to find
them, particularly France-based Airbus, which was seeking confirmation
that a technical malfunction was not responsible for the tragedy.

"We know where the 'black boxes' are and bringing them to the surface
is only a technical matter," he said.

Experts said earlier they believed the recorders were at a depth of
680 meters (2,230 feet).