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Officials: Pilot error, drunk navigator caused Russian crash

By Maxim Tkachenko, CNN
A rescue worker walks amid the debris of the Russian jet that went down on June 20 in Petrozavodsk, killing 47 people.
A rescue worker walks amid the debris of the Russian jet that went down on June 20 in Petrozavodsk, killing 47 people.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Russian plane should have circled for another landing attempt, a report says
  • The crew didn't interact properly, according to Russian investigators
  • 47 people died in the crash in June
  • The report comes nearly two weeks after another plane crash that killed hockey players
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Moscow (CNN) -- Pilot error, slight intoxication of the navigator, and a failure of the crew to interact properly caused a plane crash that killed 47 people in June of this year, Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) said Monday.

The crew should have circled to make a fresh attempt at landing in poor weather conditions, the IAC probe found.

It "was the failure of the crew to decide on a go-around and descend below the minimal established safety altitude in the absence of visual contact with approach lights and landmarks which resulted in the collision of the aircraft with trees and ground," the IAC said.

The report comes out nearly two weeks after another plane crash that killed dozens of Russian and international hockey players in Yaroslavl, Russia. An investigation into that crash is ongoing.

Monday's report examined a Tupolev-134 airliner that went down June 20 in the Russian northwest city of Petrozavodsk.

The jet with 43 passengers and a crew of nine took from Moscow for Petrozavodsk, about 950 kilometers (600 miles) to the north.

Controllers lost contact with the twin-engine plane, and it crashed onto a highway outside Besovets, near the Petrozavodsk airport, the Transportation Ministry reported.

"The first thing that the plane had contact with was a pine tree of about 15 meters high," Alexander Neradko, head of the Russian Federal Aviation Agency said on Russian state TV at the time of the crash.

"This proves that the plane didn't break in mid-air but that all that destruction was inflicted to it as a result of that contact," he said.

Nearly 140 rescue workers, doctors and police officers responded to the crash.

The IAC investigates and analyzes aviation accidents in the former Soviet Union, and oversees civil aviation across the region.

 
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