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Investigation claims low-quality fuel main reason for An-2 crash Sverdlovsk region

July 23, 2013, 15:50 UTC+3

Plane fragments were found by two local hunters one year after An-2 disappearance in 2012

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YEKATERINBURG, July 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Investigative Committee said the An-2 that crashed in the Sverdlovsk region in the summer of 2012, contained inferior quality fuel in its tanks. The conclusion was reported by specialists after an expert examination of fuel and oil samples retrieved at the An-2 crash site, the press service of the regional department of the Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

In fact, it was a heavily modified car fuel, they said, "also, it contained mechanic admixtures and water," the press service said.

The analysis results differed from an analysis of the samples taken at the Serov airfield in June 2012, after the An-2 plane took off without authorization and later was reported missing.

"Because of higher resin concentration and high density, uncharacteristic for petrol, the fuel did not meet the requirements. An examination of oil also ascertained the presence of mechanical admixtures above the norm," the press service said, "experts believe these parameters are indicative of the burning or evaporation of light fractions. One of the reasons behind the presence of mechanical admixtures and water in the fuel is the destruction of the aircraft and the storage of fuel in off-nominal conditions."

"This makes it impossible to compare the fuel retrieved from the An-2 crash site with the fuel sampled in June 2012, due to significant changes in fuel composition," the investigators said.

On June 11, 2012, pilot Khatip Kashapov flew the An-2 from the town of Serov without permission. The plane belonged to the Avia Zov company. The search was officially halted on November 13, 2012. Search parties surveyed more than 1 million square kilometers of terrain. The 30-million-rouble rescue effort involved more than 1,500 people, including police, volunteers and civilians, in the Perm Territory, the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area.

Plane fragments were found one year after An-2 disappearance by two local hunters as they were inspecting hunting grounds in a wood eight kilometers form the town of Serov. Remains of 13 people who had been on board, were found as well. They were taken to Yekaterinburg for forensic tests.

DNA tests lasted for more than a month, due a large number of fragments /about 1,000/ found at the crash scene. Blood samples were taken from the victims' relatives.

Earlier reports said the investigators were considering two main leads of the An-2 crash: technical failure or piloting error.

The remains of pilot Khatip Kashapov and passenger Yuri Sobolev were the last to be identified. The investigators said in their concluding report they could not name the exact cause of death because of the condition of the victims' remains.

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