On 19 March, FlyDubai flight 981, operating from Dubai, UAE, to Rostov-on-Don, Russia crashed after initiating a go-around at Rostov-on-Don Airport. None of the 55 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the flight survived the crash. The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800 with registration A6-FDN, delivered to FlyDubai in January 2011.

Update — 26 November 2019

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee released its final report on the accident. You may view the final report here.

FlyDubai flight 981, Dubai to Rostov-on-Don
FlyDubai flight 981, Dubai to Rostov-on-Don. Click to view playback.

FZ981 departed Dubai International Airport at 18:38 UTC and climbed to a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet (FL360/10,972 m). The flight began its initial descent into Rostov-on-Don at 22:17 UTC and approached the airport, attempting to land for a first time at 22:42 UTC on Runway 22. At an altitude of 1,725 ft (525 m) the pilot initiated a go-around, climbed to 8,000 feet, and was vectored around the airport by air traffic control.

Annotated flight path of FZ981from first landing attempt to final recorded position.
Annotated flight path of FZ981from first landing attempt to final recorded position.

The flight then climbed to 15,000 feet (4,572 m) and entered a holding pattern to the southeast of the airport at 23:27 UTC. At 00:24 UTC FZ981 began its second approach to Rostov-on-Don’s Runway 22 almost two hours after its first attempt.

After establishing on the Runway 22 localizer, the flight continued its landing attempt until 00:41:10 UTC when the pilot initiated another go around. The flight climbed to 4,025 feet (1,226 m) when at 00:41:56 UTC the aircraft began descending, reaching a maximum vertical speed of -21,760 feet per minute in our last recorded data point.

Flightradar24 Data Available

Included here are three separate data files. The first is a KML file showing the full flight path of FZ981, suitable for viewing in a program such as Google Earth. The next two files are CSV files, the first being the file of data points displayed on Flightradar24’s website as seen here.

The second CSV file contains data extracted and decoded from a single receiver near Rostov-on-Don Airport and includes Extended Mode S data and a more granular time scale than the other files. This receiver began tracking the flight as it began its initial descent into Rostov-on-Don at 22:17 UTC.

FZ981 Full Flight KML File (zipped)

FZ981 Full Flight CSV FIle

FZ981 Single Receiver + Extended Mode S Data

Information about the column headings in Single Receiver Data set.

AUTC Timestamp
BMode S Transponder Hex Code
ECalibrated Altitude (in feet)
GVertical Speed (feet per minute)
IGround Speed (in knots)
JGPS Altitude (in feet)


Featured Image by Alexey Ignatyev

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