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MOSCOW, April 2 (Itar-Tass) – One version of the ATR-72 plane crash near Tyumen, which occurred a year ago and took the lives of 33 people, was icing of the airliner, according to the investigation. Legal assessment of the actions of the territorial division of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) will also be made, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
On April 2, 2012, the ATR-72 plane crashed in the area of the Gorkovka village in the Tyumen Region about 3–5 kilometres from the runway. The airliner, performing a flight from Tyumen to Surgut, was carrying 39 passengers and 4 crewmembers. According to the investigation, the aircraft during climb drifted off the course 150 degrees to the left and, developing a left roll during an emergency landing touched the ground with its left engine, after which fell apart. As a result, 33 people were killed and 10 people were injured.
“According to a version of the investigation, the catastrophe was caused by the non-fulfilment by the contractor UTair-Technik of the procedure to protect the aircraft from ground icing. At air temperatures of two degrees Celsius below zero the plane stood all night in the open air,” the SK spokesman said. In the morning, the staff of UTair-Technik did not conduct an inspection of the aircraft and permitted the flight with obvious signs of icing. The crew commander also did not examine the plane.
“During the investigation the legal assessment will be given to the actions of the staff of the Tyumen interregional territorial air transport department of the Federal Air Transport Agency whose job includes monitoring the compliance with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations to personnel who carry out aircraft maintenance,” Markin promised.
He said the investigation continues – a comprehensive forensic air-technical expert examination is conducted, the conclusion of which will be based on the research-backed decision of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC). “In connection with the fact that the owner of the aircraft ATR-72 is Bermuda, the manufacturer – France, and the operator – the Russian Federation, the IAC conclusion is currently undergoing a trilateral coordination procedure,” Markin said. He emphasised that based on the results of the forensic expert examination and the MAC decision those responsible will be held criminally liable.