The Russian air crash appeared to be "an accident which really didn't need to happen", a British aviation safety expert said.
David Learmount, opera-tions and safety editor of Flight International magazine, said: "This looks like an accident which really didn't need to happen, but I am still shocked that so many people died."
He compared it to a similar accident in August last year, when an Air France Airbus A340 was engulfed in flames after overshooting the runway at Toronto Airport in Canada.
None of the 297 passengers, including seven Britons, on the packed Air France flight was seriously injured, in marked contrast to yesterday's tragedy in Russia.
Mr Learmount said: "The Air France A340 was full to the gunnels and the aircraft was a total write-off - when the fire had finally been put out it was completely gutted.
"But not a soul was hurt. That is what I would have expected for a runway overrun accident."
Reports that the Airbus was carrying many children could help explain the high death toll, he said. "Children generally tend to wait for an instruction. If instructions don't come they are less likely to be able to save themselves than an adult is."
Mr Learmount said investigators would want to look into the effect of the wet weather and whether the pilot should have tried to land at that time.
He added: "This aircraft seems to have gone over the end of the runway at some speed and crashed through quite a few barriers.
"I am sure there are going to be some questions about the nature of the obstructions in the overrun area. Overruns do happen quite often but usually nobody gets hurt."
The A310, which first entered service in 1983, typically carries up to 220 passengers, and has a top speed of 557 mph and a maximum range of 5,200 nautical miles.
Its wings were built in Britain by British Aerospace, which has since been broken up into BAe Systems and Airbus UK.
Mr Learmount said the A310 was "not absolutely cutting edge" but was a modern and reliable aircraft if well-serviced. ..SUPL: