Investigators look at pilot error in deadly Russia crash

Russian investigators say they are focused on pilot error, failings among ground staff, bad weather and technical faults as possible causes of the plane crash.
2:37 | 05/07/19

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Transcript for Investigators look at pilot error in deadly Russia crash
that killed 41 people including an American. Officials have recovered the black boxes. ABC's Dan Harris is in Moscow with new reporting. Good morning, Dan. Reporter: Good morning. According to a well-respected local newspaper here in Moscow investigators are honing in on pilot error as a likely cause of this fiery and fatal crash. This morning, as we see new images of Russian investigators working inside the charred husk of the plane, as well as these images from inside the cabin with passengers screaming as they see the rising flames, investigators are now reportedly keying in on the pilot of that ill-fated aeroflot jet. The first potential mistake, the flight carrying 78 passengers and crew took off from sheremetyevo airport on route to murmansk and flew into storm clouds and was in the air for 28 minutes during which time it was reportedly hit by lightning. Lightning strikes are not unusual but according to a local newspaper, investigators are looking at whether the pilot then made another ear or by hurrying to make an emergency landing instead of burning off the extra fuel and that is when things went horribly wrong. You did see the plane landing too fast and too hard appearing to bounce three times. After that an explosion. Flames and black smoke trailing as the plane careens down the What we saw was a botched landing, it went awry and hit so hard it broke the airplane up and caused that horrific fire. Reporter: Making matters worse, investigators are also reportedly looking into whether the emergency response was too slow. It appears the alarm may have been raised too late. There are, however, this morning stories of heroism including this 22-year-old flight attendant who died reportedly while trying to get the plane's rear door to open. In all, 41 dead including one child and one American, Jeremy brooks from Santa fe, new Mexico, who had just graduated from college and was taking a job as a fishing guide in Russia. I think it was more of a state of shock for all of us. To us, Jeremy was invincible. Everybody loved Jeremy and Jeremy in turn loved everyone Reporter: Back in Moscow with one more note on that pilot now under so much scrutiny for having made that hard landing with so much extra fuel on board, he has been quoted by local media as saying he followed procedure.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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