Official: plane crash that killed 28 likely caused by pilot error, weather conditions

Russian officials investigating last week's crash of a Russian airliner that killed 28 people pointed Wednesday at a combination of pilot error and weather conditions as the likely cause.

The An-24 two-engine turboprop crashed on March 16 near the Varandei oil port in the Nenets autonomous region on the Arctic sea coast, some 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) northeast of Moscow. Twenty-four passengers and crew survived in subzero temperatures.

The plane slammed into the snowy tundra in clear weather after banking suddenly on a low-level final approach. The analysis of the plane's flight data recorders has shown that there had been no technical glitches.

On Wednesday, Alexander Neradko, head of the federal aviation oversight agency, blamed the crash on a lack of coordination among the crew and the blinding whiteness of the snowy tundra that disoriented the pilots, apparently causing them to perform a wrong maneuver.

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