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Yak Service ex-deputy chief charged in ice hockey squad air crash

September 06, 2012, 11:39 UTC+3
Timofeyev was accused under Article 263 Part 3 of the Criminal Code for violation of the flight safety rules
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Investigation Committee issued charges against the former deputy general director for flights in the Yak Service air company Vadim Timofeyev in the criminal case over the air crash outside Yaroslavl, where the whole ice hockey squad of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl died almost a year ago.

“The detectives found that Timofeyev permitted the crew to make a flight illegally in violation of the flight safety rules and was not permitted to make independent flights at the moment of the air crash,” spokesman for the Russian Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

Timofeyev was accused under Article 263 Part 3 of the Criminal Code for violation of the flight safety rules.

“According to the version of the investigation, doing the work and occupying the post, at which he should observe the flight safety rules, Timofeyev was in charge of organizing the flights, keeping up the qualification of the crew, making their professional level higher and organizing training and qualified tests of pilots,” Markin said. “Meanwhile, this was Timofeyev who had the right to give a permit for the crews to the flights and the right to suspend them from flights in case of their improper qualification,” he said.

The detectives found that “the crew was permitted by Timofeyev (for the flight) illegally in violation of the flight safety rules and was not permitted for independent flights at the moment of the air crash.”

“In particular, the permit for the commander of the crew was given by Timofeyev on the basis of falsified documents, at that moment of time the second pilot did not end the retraining for airplanes Yak-42 and was not entitled to make flights,” Markin said. “Timofeyev did not exercise the control over professional training of pilots, regularly forbade them from training, despite the incomplete training course, permitted the pilots for flights illegally. Timofeyev knew for sure that the crew did not pass the training and consequently the crew lacked the full skills for making a safe flight,” he noted.

According to the Investigation Committee, the similar situation occurred on the day of the tragedy on September 7, 2011.

“On September 5-17, 2011, the crew was to pass the training for the correct division of working duties between crewmembers of the airplane. Under such circumstances Timofeyev did not have the right to entrust the crew of the airplane with the transportation of passengers, and in case of Timofeyev’s decent fulfilment of his working duties, the air crash, which claimed 44 people, could have been avoided,” Markin remarked.

Timofeyev faces up to seven years in prison under these accusations.

On September 7, 2011, the main squad of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl took off from the Tunoshna airport outside Yaroslavl for its first match during the championship of the Kontinental Ice Hockey League (KHL) in Minsk. Yak-42 crashed almost right after the takeoff. The airplane was carrying 45 people, including eight crewmembers and 37 passengers, including ice hockey players, coaches, doctors and personnel. Ice hockey player Alexander Galimov, who died at the hospital five days later, and steward Alexander Sizov survived in the tragedy.

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