Deadly Russian Plane Crash Blamed on Pilots

Had not been paid in a month


The crew of a Russian airliner that crashed in the Tatarstan capital of Kazan, killing all 50 people aboard, failed to make a "standard approach" and tried to pull up for a second attempt, a regional air safety body said.

The Boeing Co. 737-500 lost speed and nosedived after reaching a height of 700 meters (2,300 feet), hitting the ground at a speed of more than 450 kilometers (280 miles) an hour, the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee, which oversees air safety in the Commonwealth of Independent States, said in a preliminary report released today.

The two pilots hadn't been paid for the past month because of financial difficulties of the plane's operator, Tatarstan Airlines, its chief executive officer Aksan Giniyatullin said in televised comments. Their plane had been in service since 1990, according to data published yesterday by Flightglobal's Ascend aviation consultancy.