MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on bestowing the Order of Courage on three pilots of an Il-112V military transport plane that crashed near Moscow on August 17, according to the information posted on the Kremlin’s website on Tuesday.
The award was bestowed posthumously "for the courage, valor and self-sacrifice displayed in testing and mastering a new aircraft," the statement says.
"To bestow the Order of Courage on Dmitry Komarov, 1st class test pilot of the Ilyushin Public Aircraft Company, the city of Moscow (posthumously)," the statement reads.
The Order of Courage was also posthumously bestowed on Nikolai Kuimov (head of the flight service, 1st class test pilot) and Nikolai Khludeyev (1st class test flight engineer).
Russia’s sole prototype of the latest Il-112V military transport plane crashed on August 17. The disaster occurred just 1.5 km from Kubinka airfield outside Moscow. The crew of three, including flight commander, merited test pilot and Hero of Russia Nikolai Kuimov, died.
The pilots were laid to rest at the Defense Ministry’s military memorial cemetery on Tuesday.
A criminal case has been opened on charges of violating flight safety and aircraft operation rules (part 3, article 263 of Russia’s Criminal Code).
The Il-112V is the first military transport plane developed in Russia from scratch in the post-Soviet period. Work on the plane’s development has been in progress since 2014 at the Ilyushin Aircraft Company (part of the United Aircraft Corporation within the Rostec corporation).
The Il-112V is designed to carry up to 5 tonnes of cargo and transport personnel, military hardware and armaments. Russia is working on the aircraft to replace its An-26 and An-24 turbo-prop planes.