YEKATERINBURG, February 19 (Itar-Tass) – Reports about spotting an An-2 airplane that went missing in Russia’s Sverdlovsk region in June 2012 have proved false, a spokeswoman for the Urals transport investigation department of the Russian Investigations Committee said on Tuesday.
On January 26, mass media reported that a resident of the city of Nizhny Tagil had information about the whereabouts of the lost plane.
“It was established that the aircraft depicted in a photo presented by the Nizhny Tagil resident had no relation to the An-2 plane that went missing in the Urals last June,” she said.
In the evening on June 11, pilot Khatib Kashapov, a native of the town of Orsk, Orenburg region, took off on crop-duster An-2 without permission. The plane belonged to Avia Zov, a company based in Chelyabinsk. There were the pilot and twelve passengers onboard. A criminal case was opened on charges of violations of air traffic safety and aircraft operation rules that resulted in the death through negligence of one or more people.
The search operation was officially halted on November 13, 2012. By that day, aircraft and ground parties had surveyed more than one million square kilometers. The search operation was conducted in the Perm Territory, the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions, and in the Khanty-Mansi autonomous areas. No trace of the plane or its passengers was found.