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Inexperienced crew caused plane crash in Russia's Kazan in 2013 — report

December 24, 2015, 8:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The airliner, which belonged to the Tatarstan air company, crashed when it went for a second circle before landing at Kazan airport on November 17, 2013, killing all 50 people onboard
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Boeing 737-500 crash site in Kazan, 2013

Boeing 737-500 crash site in Kazan, 2013

© ITAR-TASS/Russian Emergencies Ministry

MOSCOW, December 24 /TASS/. The Inter-State Aviation Committee (MAK) that investigated the 2013 Boeing 737-500 crash in Kazan has concluded that inexperienced crew, poor flight safety standards at the Tatarstan air company and lack of proper control over crew training on the part of the aviation authorities at all levels were the root causes behind the plane crash, which claimed the lives of 50 people, the committee said in a report published on its website on Wednesday.

"Systemic shortcomings in revealing the factors of risk and danger; poor flight safety standards at the air company and the absence of control over crew training on the part of the aviation authorities at all levels [the Tatar Inter-Regional Territorial Department of Air Transport and the Federal Agency of Air Transport — Rosaviatisya] made it possible for an inexperienced crew to qualify for the flights. All these factors ultimately caused the plane to crash," the report said.

The airliner, which belonged to the Tatarstan air company, crashed when it went for a second circle before landing at Kazan airport on November 17, 2013. The plane flew from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport to Kazan. All the 50 people onboard died. They included Alexander Antonov, the head of Federal Security Service department for the Republic of Tatarstan, and Irek Minnikhanov, a son of the president of Tatarstan.

The report of the Inter-State Aviation Committee said that the plane’s automatic landing autopilot system had switched off before the plane went for the second circle. The crew failed to notice that fact and allowed the plane to nose up. The plane’s captain did not have the skills to take the plane out of this position and switched on a steep dive mode. As a result, the plane nose-dived into the ground.

The need of going for an extra circle was caused by an error in the work of the airplane’s systems, which failed to show the plane’s exact location. The Boeing deviated 4 kilometers from the landing trajectory. The crew turned out to be incapable of navigating the plane with required accuracy. Besides, they did not receive any active help from the airport’s ground services, the Inter-State Aviation Committee said.

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