Pilot blamed for Russia crash

by Emily DUNBAR on June 21, 2011

 

Officials are currently investigating what caused a plane crash in Russia that caused the death of 44 people.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov said that the crash, near Petrozavodsk in the north west of the world’s largest country, was probably a result of a pilot error in challenging weather conditions.

The plane veered away from the runway of the airport it tried to take off from and made an attempt to land on the motorway before it crashed and caught fire. A 10-year-old male and his sister, aged 14, were among the eight survivors, as was a flight attendant.

The RusAir Tupolev 134 airplane, with 43 fliers and nine crew members on board, was making its way from Moscow to Petrozavodsk, which is the main city in Karelia. Thankfully, it just missed a number of houses that are close to the motorway. In a state of shock and horror, an eye-witness source told foreign and local news agencies that bodies were scattered across the road.

Mobile phone footage of the scene just after showed flames from the plane’s wreckage soaring through the night sky. Mr Ivanov said that the crash resembled the one experienced in April last year that saw Polish President Mr Lech Kaczynski and at least 95 others killed as a Tu-154 plane that was attempting to land near Smolensk, another Russian city, crashed.

I don’t wish to pre-empt any inquiries, he explained, but from initial external data it looks like the pilot’s error is clear as, in bad weather conditions, the plane was veered right of the runway in foggy conditions until the very last minute and didn’t find it.

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