A possible flap failure could have caused the Tu-154 Russian military plane to crash in the Black Sea, claiming the lives of more than 90 people on December 25, media reports said.

Sunday's Tu-154 plane crash in the Black Sea could have been caused by a problem with the wing flaps, according to media reports.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that a preliminary analysis of the data obtained from a flight recorder recovered from the wreckage of the Tu-154 has allowed the experts to narrow down the possible causes of the incident.

According to the statement, experts from the Air Force Central Research Institute continue to decode data from the main flight recorder, which was recovered from the crash site on Monday and delivered to Moscow.

The Russian news network Life.ru quoted a source close to the investigation as saying that the final words uttered by the Tu-154's pilot indicated a possible flap fault.

Life.ru referred to the final recording of the cockpit before the crash, in which the pilot can allegedly be heard yelling "the flaps, damn it!" which was followed by "commander, we're going down." This has yet to be officially confirmed.

Life.ru also quoted Russian aviation expert Viktor Zabolotsky as saying that flaps-related problems typically lead to a situation where pilots finally prove to be unable to take control of a plane while in the air.

According to the FSB’s latest conclusions, no evidence has been found linking the crash to terrorism.

The Tu-154 Russian Defense Ministry aircraft en route to Syria from Moscow crashed soon after takeoff near Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, killing all 92 people on board. The plane was carrying eight crew members, 64 musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble, nine reporters, the head of Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity Elizaveta Glinka, and two civil servants. 

Source: Sputnik