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Russian-Made Jets Delayed, Grounded After Deadly Fire

A Russian-made passenger plane has encountered delays days after an emergency landing ended in a plane fire that resulted in the deaths of 41 people in Moscow.

Questions resurfaced about the Sukhoi Superjet 100’s safety after one of the planes crash-landed shortly after takeoff at Sheremetyevo Airport on Sunday, killing 40 passengers and one flight attendant. An investigation is considering several causes of the disaster, including a defect on the plane.

In the wake of the tragedy, two international flights and one domestic flight had been delayed at Sheremetyevo, while two other domestic flights have been grounded.

Aeroflot replaced an SSJ bound for Riga and an SSJ headed for Minsk with other Sukhoi Superjet 100s, delaying departure times by at least two hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

A Moscow-bound SSJ was grounded due to a malfunction in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted an unnamed source with knowledge of the situation as saying on Wednesday. The passengers were said to have reached Moscow via other flights.

A fourth Superjet 100 — another Aeroflot flight departing toward Ulyanovsk from Sheremetyevo — was delayed because of issues with reverse thrust on Wednesday. The airport's departures table lists an Ulyanovsk-bound SSJ 100 departing with a three-hour delay, indicating that the malfunctioning plane had been replaced with another Russian-made jet.

A Wednesday afternoon Moscow-Perm and evening Perm-Moscow flight has been entirely canceled.

SSJ flights had been rescheduled over malfunctions in the past, but “no one paid much attention” before Sunday’s tragedy, an unnamed source within Aeroflot was quoted by the RBC news website as saying.

Meanwhile, a widely spread Twitter thread by an anonymous user who claims to have worked as an Aeroflot flight attendant lists a number of technical faults on the SSJ.

These include a freezing door slide switch and malfunctioning backdoors that “can literally fall off on opening.” Maxim Moiseyev, the 22-year-old flight attendant who died onboard the fatal SU 1492 flight, was reported to have tried but failed to open the back door.

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