According to the Nacrad Civil Aviation Authority, this was the exchange between this aircraft and the air traffic control.
Pilot: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), Runway two five right (25R), clear for takeoff, after takeoff climb five thousand (5000) and contact one two three decimal eight (123.8).
Officer: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), departure, identified; climb [and] maintain Flight Level one seven zero (170)
Pilot: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), [inaudible] one seven zero (170)
Officer: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), contact approach one one niner decimal one (119.1)
Pilot: One one nine decimal one (119.1), good day, Aeroflot [inaudible].
All was well, until this Russian plane suddenly made a left turn, contrary to the standard procedure, which led to a frenzied exchange of words between the Approach frequency and the Aeroflot.
Officer: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), expedite climb. Terrain ahead, terrain alert, expedite!
Pilot: Aeroflot [Inaudible] now expediting, now flying towards RUMSY
Officer: Roger, expedite climb, climb flight level two seven zero.
Officer: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305)?
Pilot: Aeroflot [Inaudible] go ahead?
Officer: Aeroflot one three zero five (1305), [we/we'll/will] need to file [a] report about that turn you did there, just [to] let you know.
Pilot: Um yeah, roger, um, uh, sorry about that.
The plane climbed sharply, and missed a nearby hill by only 500 feet, says the NCAA preliminary report, which admitted that these Russian pilots "deviated from the designated track", but added that the air traffic controllers immediately spotted this deviation and guided the plane on the right track, after which it was safely on its way. It was not clear as to why the aircraft made this turn, but the NCAA had floated several theories, including the pilots mistaking "flight level 170" to "heading 170", faulty programming of the autopilot, or faulty equipment. Aeroflot have, however, so far declined to our invitations to comment on this incident, and is currently under investigation by the NCAA.
"It was definitely a scary moment," says Olivia Kwong, the air traffic controller on duty at that time, "The Aeroflot suddenly making a turn towards the mountains."
"Aeroflot, the air traffic controller, and the flight crew responsible are invited to join a debriefing session," says the NCAA, "So that the investigations can be conducted with utmost haste and future similar incidents can be avoided." However, so far, neither Aeroflot nor the flight crew had agreed to hold this session.