In the recent Aeroflot Superjet 100 crash, it seems to me that (at least) the landing gear was spiked upwards, penetrating the fuel tanks, which might be one of the factors that lead to disaster.

In my naive mind, dumping the fuel before landing might have mitigated this factor.

Would it have been possible for this airplane to dump its fuel before landing?

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    $\begingroup$ Lack of time, lack of control and it was over a populated area??? $\endgroup$ – Dave Gremlin May 11 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ It may not have that capability... $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer May 11 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks for speculation about a recent accident, which is explicitly off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J May 11 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ No it's not off topic because the fact is that it didn't dump its fuel, because it can't, so this isn't speculation. $\endgroup$ – John K May 11 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ No it wasn't dumped because it CAN'T. That's not speculation. $\endgroup$ – John K May 11 at 18:02

This aircraft does not have fuel dumping capability. In general, only large wide body airliners have fuel dumping capability.

Aircraft can land overweight quite easily but getting stopped on the runway safely is the main problem.

Even with fuel dumping, aircraft will often still plan to land overweight. The amount of fuel to be dumped would be planned to make a safe landing on the available runway without excessively heating the brakes and tires.

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    $\begingroup$ Correct, and they won't dump any more fuel than they need to in order to bring the landing within margins. Fuel is money, and it's also much worse for the environment than exhaust, and unlike exhaust, impacts the local environment (a matter of interest to local ATC). That is to say, CO2 from exhaust is quickly dissipated by wind, but dumped fuel falls down into the local environment, affecting local smog. $\endgroup$ – Harper May 11 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ In most cases an overweight landing is no big deal if it's a "normal" landing. The only fallout is that a special inspection is required after the fact to look for structural damage, which should be fine unless the landing was hard. $\endgroup$ – John K May 11 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Harper : "fuel is money" - if they only cared about money, even then it would make them lose much more money to have the plane end up in a big fireball with most of the passengers dead. Also, they don't have to dump fuel before every landing, just before emergency landings, which are usually on the one in a million scale. So for such rare occasions money and environmental factors shouldn't be an issue. $\endgroup$ – vsz May 12 at 20:05

They probably didn't need too - in smaller aircraft like the SSJ100, the Max Landing Weight (MLW) is close to the Max Takeoff Weight (MTOW). It's unlikely that it was departing Moscow at MTOW, so that would be my reasoning - they may well have been below MLW. This is just speculation though, so don't take my word for it - wait for the accident report to come out to be certain.


  • $\begingroup$ Harry thank you for your answer, however Mike's answer seems more concrete. $\endgroup$ – gsamaras May 11 at 13:39
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, I definitely agree! $\endgroup$ – Harry Karmel May 11 at 14:56

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