New details of Lokomotiv hockey team death emerge

One year ago, on 7 September 2011, the Yak-42 jetliner with Lokomotiv hockey team aboard crashed during takeoff near Yaroslavl. The crash killed 44. Russian media published new data of the investigation and unveiled interesting details about the life of the victims' relatives. As it turns out, the relatives of the pilots of the crashed plane do not believe in the guilt of the crew. What is more, the wives of the killed men are in legal disputes with their parents over financial compensations for the deaths of the hockey players.

Russia's Investigative Committee has recently brought first charges on the case against former deputy director for flight organization of Yak Service airline, Vadim Timofeyev. According to investigators, the improper performance of his duties became one of the causes of the tragedy.

It was established that on the day of the crash, the crew had to study the rules of interaction during flights to exclude the negative influence of human factor on piloting aircraft. However, the management called the crew for a flight to Minsk.

It was also revealed that the aircraft commander Alexander Solomentsev was not allowed to fly due to falsified documents. His co-pilot, Igor Zhevelov, had not finished the retraining courses to pilot Yak-42 aircraft by the time of the disaster.

According to Kommersant, after the charges, Vadim Timofeyev was temporarily suspended from piloting activities. It was said that after the tragedy, he left Yak Service and became the commander of the Yak-42 passenger jet at Rus Jet airline. The suspect does not recognize his guilt.

Investigators believe that Timofeyev, who was responsible for flight operations, had the powers to admit crewmembers to flights or dismiss them. Allegedly, Timofeyev did not conduct the adequate monitoring of the professional training of pilots. He would regularly withdraw them from studies and unlawfully allowed them to fly, although he was fairly aware of the crew's lack of professional skills.

Anton Nikitin, the head of the investigation group, told Kommersant that three members of the Yak-42 crew had never completed their training for interaction on flight simulator. The transcript of the conversation in the cockpit during the last flight of the crew shows that the lack of those skills became fatal for all on board.

The first mistake on September 7, 2011 was made when the commander cut the distance by almost 500 meters during the run. The engines were set on the optimal rather than the maximum mode for reasons of fuel economy and passengers' comfort.

However, it was other, more egregious errors of the crew that caused the tragedy. When the Yak-42 took the run and scored the required speed, the pilots discovered that they could not pull the nose landing gear off the strip. A commission of the International Aviation Committee had previously established that one of the pilots accidentally pressed the brake.

Having failed to understand the cause of the problem, the commander shouted, "Take-off, take-off!" and ordered the mechanic to increase the engine thrust. However, the co-pilot who had doubts about the correct setting of the stabilizer, simultaneously shouted, "Stabilizer!" In the end, both orders were executed. When that did not work, and the aircraft found itself on the ground outside the strip, the mechanic prematurely set the engines for idle power.

"What are you doing?" asked Solomentsev. "Add more...", told Zhevelo, As a result, the aircraft took off the ground, but because of the supercritical angle of the stabilizer and the loss of the braking torque on the wheels, the plane flew vertically upwards, not forward. The Yak-42 fell into a tailspin and crashed on the ground. The last word that the co-pilot said to the commander was: "Andrei". "It's over. We are f***** up!" shouted Solomentsev.

Yaroslavl will remember the victims of the terrible air crash on Friday, September 7. Common people and hockey fans will walk from the city center to the stadium, and then turn to the Tunoshonka River, where the plane crashed, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper wrote. A memorial complex was erected on the site of the tragedy - a granite cross.  Another memorial will be unveiled today at the Leontievskoye Cemetery, where the victims were buried.

MK found out that the tragedy delivered a hard blow to the families of the victims, and even made some of them each other's enemies. Relatives say they still do not believe that the crew was guilty of the crash. Meanwhile, the wives of hockey players sue their parents for damages.

Leonid Tkachenko, the father of Ivan Tkachenko - one of the players who died in the crash - admitted that his son's wife, Marina, did not support their idea to create a school for young hockey players. The woman wanted to have the full amount of compensation to be paid to her. The relatives refused. "We do not communicate with our daughter-in-law. She doesn't want to see us," the man said. According to him, Marina and Ivan were not officially married, and the family made her an heiress at court. "After that, she and her parents terminated all relations with us," he added. As it turned out, the grandfather had not seen his grandson - the son of Ivan Tkachenko, who born in January, four months after his death.

The wife of hockey player Alexander Galimov, Marina, also admitted that she was having very bad relations with her husband's parents. Alexander Galimov survived the crash along with flight engineer Alexander Sizov, but died five days later from severe injuries. When asked how Alexander's parents took the tragedy, the woman said: "You know, I do not want to talk about them. We communicate only at court. But don't ask what happened. I will not talk about it."

MK contacted the relatives of the killed crewmembers. The mother of aircraft commander Andrei Solomentsev and the widow of second pilot Igor Zhevelov do not believe the conclusions of the International Aviation Committee, the newspaper said.

Earlier, the relatives of the killed pilots attempted to appeal the conclusions of the IAC, but a Moscow court refused to accept their claim, having said that the actions of the committee, an international organization, were not under the Russian court jurisdiction.

"I will never agree with the investigation of the IAC. And judging by the fact that the investigation was extended before January 7, 2013, experts do not have the final verdict. I was hoping that everything would be clear for the anniversary," Igor's widow Lyudmila Zhevelova, told MK.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov