Report: Navigator drunk when plane crashed

Sept. 19, 2011 at 7:11 AM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A "slightly intoxicated" navigator was partly responsible for June's plane crash in northwest Russia that killed 47 people, a safety investigation indicated.

The Interstate Aviation Committee said in its report the crew decided "not to go [around] for a second approach" before landing because the plane already was below a "minimum safety altitude," when it crashed and caught fire after landing on a highway short of the airport in Petrozavodsk in the Karelia republic, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The RusAir Tupolev Tu-134, with 43 passengers and a nine-person crew, was flying from Moscow to Petrozavodsk.

"The subordination of the captain to the navigator, who was in a state of agitation and slightly intoxicated" was a contributing factor, the report says.

Another contributing factor was poor crew resource management by the captain, the report said.

The Interstate Aviation Committee's report said information provided to the crew about weather conditions at the Petrozavodsk airport 30 minutes and 10 minutes before the landing was incorrect as well, ITAR-Tass reported. In addition, the crew failed to use data of some plane indicators for safe landing.

ITAR-Tass said a criminal case was opened and focused on charges of violating air transport safety regulations.

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