Charges brought against former airline executive in Lokomotiv crash

Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic Russian plane crash that killed 44 people, including the entire Lokomotiv hockey team. On Thursday came news that Vadim Timofeev, the former vice president of Yak Service Airlines, the airline that supplied the downed plane, was charged in connection with the crash. Timofeev is charged with allowing the crew to operate the Yak-42 illegally.

From Russia Today:

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According to the investigators, the official was in charge of flight operations at Yak Service, with control of the pilots' qualification being his direct responsibility.

"By putting the crew in the air Timofeev broke the rules of air transport operations. At the moment of the disaster, that crew wasn't entitled to fly," [Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir] Markin stressed. "Timofeev had allowed the captain to fly based on falsified documents, and the co-pilot hadn't finished his training on the Yak-42 plane and had no right to be in air."

From Sov Sport:

Investigators are certain that the catastrophe could have been avoided if it wasn't for a number of violations committed by Timofeev, who was responsible for company's flight organization work. According to an Markin [Prosecutor's Office representative], on the day of the crash the flight crew was supposed to attend re-education sessions for the permit to fly Yak-42 [aircraft], and not to fly.

The official report on the crash deemed it was a result of "pilot error," stating that the plane's break was applied during takeoff and also a banned medication was found in the blood of one of the pilots. Yak Service went out of business soon after the crash after the company had its license revoked.


On Thursday, the re-built team was back on the ice for its opener in the 2012-13 KHL season, defeating Sibir 5-2.

With additional reporting by Dmitry Chesnokov

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy