Aeroflot SuperJet Suffers Engine Failure Upon Departure

On Tuesday, an Aeroflot aircraft set to complete a domestic flight from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) to Saratov (GSV) made an emergency landing 30 minutes after departure. As the Sukhoi Superjet 100 climbed to 8,000 feet, one of its engines failed, resulting in the aircraft making an emergency descent back to Sheremetyevo.

A SaM146 engine on a Sukhoi Superjet 100 malfunctioned on Tuesday. Photo: SuperJet International via Wikimedia

The Aeroflot flight landed in Saratov after a three-hour delay, utilizing an Airbus A320 as a replacement aircraft.

What went wrong?

In a report by the Aviation Herald, the faulty SSJ100 aircraft is registered as RA-89105 and was operating flight SU-1356.

The plane departed from Sheremetyevo’s runway 06R at 06:35 on 5th May, and as it ascended to 8,000 feet, the crew stopped the climb after noticing a problem with the left-hand engine. The SaM146 engine was thus shut down before the airplane made an emergency landing back in Sheremetyevo.

Aeroflot SuperJet Suffers Engine Failure Upon Departure
The aircraft landed back at Moscow around 34 minutes after departure. Photo:

The replacement Airbus A320, registered as VP-BFE, then completed the domestic flight and landed in Saratov at 11:20, instead of the scheduled 09:25.

SSJ100 burst into flames last year

Eerily enough, exactly one year ago, on 5th May 2019, was when the airline’s most significant incident occurred – which resulted in the death of 41 occupants. Also involving a Sukhoi Superjet 100-5, the Aeroflot flight 1492 had burst into flames at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, after it got struck by lightning. The Aeroflot SJ100 crash eventually turned into a criminal investigation against plane commander Denis Evdokimov.

According to Russia’s RT News, Evdokimov has refused to accept any responsibility, pushing the blame to the airlines’ for their “non-compliance with standards of airworthiness.”

The SSJ100 hasn’t been popular outside of Russia. Photo: Aeroflot

Are Sukhoi Superjet 100s safe?

The airline is no stranger to engine failures, having experienced its fair share of incidents with its Sukhoi Superjet 100s. An event occurring just last month reportedly involved an SSJ100 experiencing hydraulic failure.

Aeroflot operates 49 SSJ100s, for short- and medium-haul flights. They have been utilized for commercial flights for nine years running. Designed by Sukhoi, a division of the United Aircraft Corporation, these jets seat 87 occupants in both economy and business class.

According to Russian business publication Vedomosti, Safran Aircraft Engines of France and UEC Saturn of Russia produce the SaM146, the faulty engine in question. SaM146 engines are allegedly known for having cracks appearing in combustion chambers after “2,000-4,000 hours of flight,” which translates into around the second year of operation.

According to Planespotters, the aircraft in question has been up and running for 2.6 years.

Aeroflot-Sukhoi-superjet-100s-ra89105-engine faulty
Sukhoi Superject 100 RA-89105 suffered from a faulty engine during a domestic flight. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia

However, it seems that the SSJ100s will continue to prevail despite numerous accounts of engine failures. Aeroflot has placed an order for an additional 100 of these aircraft, which will be delivered between 2019-2026.

Simple Flying has reached out to Aeroflot for comments on the RA-89105’s engine failure but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article when a response is received.

What are your thoughts on Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100’s? Would you fly in one? Let us know in the comments.