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Ministry not to ban use of Yak-42 planes – official

September 12, 2011, 19:18 UTC+3

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered to equip all the aircraft operated in Russia with modern means of monitoring and control

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MOSCOW, September 12 (Itar-Tass) — Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko said his agency would not ban the use of Yak-42 planes by sport confederations.

The cause of the accident is not in the plane, but in its operation, Mutko said in comments on the air crash in which the whole Lokomotiv hockey term from town of Yaroslavl, Central Russia, was killed.

When asked who he believed was guilty of the accident, Mutko said, "of course those who are responsible for control over these processes and transportation."

"There are different tragedies and natural disasters but when such things happen those responsible must be punished. I'd wait for the commission's conclusions; I think it will name the cause, and later - the culprits. Overall, we should pay closer attention to safety in the broad sense of this word," the minister said.

He reminded that the Spartak team had flown dozens of times on the crashed Yak-42 plane. "What does the Yak-42 have to do with it? Boeings and Airbuses fall, too. The cause is not in them, it's in how the plane is operated, in pilots and ground equipment. It's about general safety and tighter control," Mutko said.

"It's economy; each club chooses its own company," he explained adding that the ministry had no intention to issue special instructions on this account.

Meanwhile, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, the coaches and the Continental Hockey League expressed deep condolences over the death of Lokomotiv forward Alexander Galimov, one of the two survivors of the crash who died in a Moscow hospital earlier on Monday.

"Doctors have been trying to save Sasha's life for five days, but failed. We had been hoping till the last moment that fighter as he was, he would be able to get out of this difficult situation," the FHR said in a statement on its website.

"We're expressing our heartfelt condolences to Alexander's relatives and all those for whom his struggle for life was the last hope in this terrible tragedy," the Federation said.

The hockey player had been in critical condition all the time. Medics said he had suffered burns of over 90 percent of the body. He was placed in an artificial coma and connected to artificial kidney unit. He also had special life support treatment.

His death brings the toll from the accident to 44. The doctors continue to vie for Alexander Sizov's life.

On Monday, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) said it might decide on full-scale experiment emulating the Yak-42 crash.

"Aside from mathematical calculations, a decision might be made on a full-scale experiment on the basis of a flight test institute," IAC chairwoman Tatyana Anodina said at a conference on aviation safety.

According to the IAC official, the Committee's probe has not detected any equipment failure during the crash.

"Preliminary analysis shows that the take-off mass was within norm, and the crew logged no equipment failures during the pre-flight check," Anodina said.

"Engines were running before the collision, and stabilizers and flaps were in lift-off attitude. No one-time commands that would indicate equipment failure have been found in flight data recorders so far," she added.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered to equip all the aircraft operated in Russia with modern means of monitoring and control.

"All The aircraft that are not equipped with modern means of monitoring should have this equipment installed. Those that cannot be upgraded must be withdrawn from the market," he said noting that this applies to the planes of both Russian and foreign manufacturers.


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