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Flydubai Russian crash investigation indicates pilot error

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MOSCOW – A Flydubai passenger plane crashed in Russia a month ago in the wake of being flown in a  contradictory manner minutes before it smashed into the ground, a statement from investigators said on Friday, suggesting pilot error was to blame.

The Boeing 737-800, operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down in the early hours of March 19 at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia on its second attempt to land after flying from Dubai.

All 62 people on board were killed.

Poor weather conditions, including strong winds and rain, made landing difficult.

In a statement on Friday, the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which is investigating the crash, said the plane had been flown in a contradictory manner in the minutes before it crashed.

It said the crew had decided to abort landing and circle round again. They had begun to gain altitude when the controls of the plane were abruptly pushed away, pushing its nose lower.

That, combined with the angle of the tail fin, sent the plane into a steep dive which the pilots were unable to pull out of, the IAC said.

It stopped short of saying the pilots were definitely to blame, noting they had the necessary experience and training, but said their condition and actions were being evaluated.

The IAC said it now needed to complete work on deciphering the pilots` final conversations in the hours leading up to the crash before it could wrap up its investigation.

Unnamed sources have told Russian newspapers that an initial read-out of the plane`s flight recorders had suggested the two pilots argued about the right course of action to take in the minutes before the crash.

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

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