Citing a source close to the investigation surrounding the deaths of 41 people in a Moscow airplane fire, Kommersant reported that key power systems on the plane failed after a lightning strike in the air.
According to the source, the lightning bolt left a characteristic mark on the surface of the jet. The strike caused the jetʼs storm defense system to shift the plane into an emergency electricity consumption mode, leaving the plane in the full manual control of the pilots without automatic error correction.
Kommersant described the situation onboard after the lightning strike as abnormal but not an emergency in accordance with Sukhoi Superjet 100 documentation. The experts with whom the newspaper spoke claimed the pilots may have been able to perform a manual landing according to industry norms, but they accelerated and dipped the nose of the aircraft just before landing, leading to the catastrophic fire that followed.