Moscow: Russian authorities Wednesday said
pilot error could be the cause for the air crash in Karelia
region even as the death toll climbed to 45 after a 9-year-old
boy succumbed to injuries.
A Tu-134 plane belonging to the Rus-Air airlines,
flying from Moscow to the Karelian republic`s capital
Petrozavodsk, crash landed yesterday on a highway and burst
into flames in heavy fog as the pilot mistook it for the
Speaking at a cabinet meeting chaired by Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin, Transport Minister Igor Levitin said
the ill-fated aircraft with 52 passengers was landing at night
in "complex weather conditions".
"According to the preliminary probe the plane hit the
tree tops in the area of closer landing beacon about 1-km from
the runway and 200 meters left of the axis of runway," Levitin
was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS.
Local agency reports suggested there is growing belief
that poor weather and pilot error were the twin causes of the
accident, which saw a Tu-134 aircraft crash land.
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who oversees
transportation in the government, said preliminary data
suggested that fog confused the pilot as he attempted to land,
causing him to hit the power lines.
Ivanov said the flight crew could not get a visual
guide into the runway, similar to the cause of the April 10,
2010 disaster when a Tu-154 plane carrying Polish President
Lech Kaczynski crashed into trees on approach to Smolensk