Russian aviation authorities say the pilots of a FlyDubai passenger plane that crashed in Rostov-on-Don on March 19 had acted "in a contradictory manner" minutes before the plane crashed into the ground, killing all 62 people on board.
Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee said Friday in its first report on the crash that the pilots attempted two landings in bad weather before climbing to 900 meters and abruptly pushing the nose of the craft downward. The action caused the plane to plummet into the ground at a speed exceeding 600 kilometers per hour.
It is not clear why the plane went into its fatal steep dive. Investigators say they are still analyzing the audio from the plane's cockpit voice recorder, which may give some clue as to what the pilots were trying to do.
The weather in Rostov-on-Don March 19 was poor, with strong gusts of wind and heavy rain that complicated attempts to land.
FlyDubai's Chief Executive Ghaith Al Ghaith said in a statement Friday that his company is aware of the findings and supports the investigators' work. He said FlyDubai wants to get conclusive findings as soon as possible.
Last week Russian state television has aired a transcript of the final words of the pilots.
Rossiya-1 television cautioned in its April 1 broadcast that its interpretation of the transcript should not be considered the official version. But it said the pilots lost control and the plane nosedived into the ground immediately after the autopilot was turned off.
"Don't worry," one of the pilots says in the transcript. Seconds later, the pilot is heard saying, "Do not do that." The last recorded words were repeated calls to "pull up."
FlyDubai airlines has said the five-year-old aircraft underwent an extensive maintenance inspection earlier this year. The March 19 crash was the first deadly incident in the budget carrier's seven year history.