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Bad weather seen as main cause of Mi-8 crash in DRC in March

May 13, 2013, 14:06 UTC+3

Investigators also consider technical malfunctioning and pilot’s mistake

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YEKATERINBURG, May 13 (Itar-Tass) - Investigators consider bad weather conditions as the main cause of the crash of a Mi-8 helicopter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March, a spokeswoman for the Urals transport investigation department of the Russian Investigative Committee told Tass on Monday.

Besides, investigators also consider technical malfunctioning and pilot’s mistake, but bad weather conditions is the main factor the investigators looks into.

“A criminal case was opened over the Mi-8 crash under ‘violation of flight safety rules, inflicting the death of two and more people’ article of the Russian Criminal Code,” Marina Bubkina said. An investigation continues, she said.

The Mi-8 helicopter owned by UTair crashed on March 9 while on a U.N. charter flight to Shabunda-Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to extreme weather conditions over mountain terrain.

The crash site was located on the following day, March 10, in a very remote area in the mountain jungle at an altitude of 2,700 meters. Mi-8AMT RA-22474 carried no passengers or cargo on board.

The helicopter found by rescuers was destroyed and partially burned. All four crewmembers were killed in the crash. There was only the crew on board.

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