The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (GSS) is firing back at allegations in the news media that its speed sensors may have malfunctioned and contributed to the deadly crash of a passenger plane outside Moscow on February 11.
The newspaper Kommersant previously reported that seven Aeroflot flights canceled takeoffs from Sheremetyevo airport on February 4 and 5, because pilot crews noticed discrepancies in the speed-sensor readings on their Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft.
Spokespeople for GSS say this was thanks to the regular function of these planes’ warning systems, which detects potential icing of the speed sensors. One the engines on a SSJ 100 are turned on, the plane’s speed sensors are automatically heated to melt away ice, the company added.
On February 11, an An-148 passenger jet crashed outside Moscow, killing all 71 people onboard. On February 12, the Interstate Aviation Committee published preliminary data showing that the heating mechanisms on the plane’s three speed censors had been deactivated.