Russian Plane Crash Probe: Engines Running Until the End

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 5:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Russian aviation experts looking into the airplane crash that killed almost an entire ice hockey team say the plane's engines were operating up until the moment of the accident, and that the stabilizer and flaps were in their proper position.

The Interstate Aviation Committee issued that assessment Friday as it examined the flight data recorders from the Yak-42 passenger jet that crashed following takeoff from the city of Yaroslavl, about 240 kilometers northeast of Moscow. The accident Wednesday took the lives of 43 of the 45 people on board. Most of those killed were members of Russia's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, many of them international hockey stars. Several coaches and club officials also perished.

One player, Alexander Galimov, and a crew member, Alexander Sizov, survived but are hospitalized in critical condition.

The team was headed to Minsk, Belarus for its opening game of the season at the time.

Saturday, a memorial service in honor of the players will be held at the team's stadium in Yaroslavl. Fans have been paying their respects to the players by bringing flowers to the arena.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a thorough probe into the cause of the crash, which is the latest in a series of fatal plane disasters in the country.

Last month, 11 people died when an Antonov-12 cargo plane crashed after trying to make an emergency landing in Russia's far northeastern region of Siberia. In June, a Soviet-built Tupolev passenger plane crashed in northwest Russia, killing 45 people.