Untrained crew caused Russia ice hockey crash

Air crash killed entire Yaroslavl ice hockey team in September

An air disaster in Russia that killed 44 people and wiped out a professional ice hockey team – including the 30-year-old Swedish goaltender Stefan Liv – was caused by pilot error, investigators concluded yesterday. A report says that the pilot of the doomed Yak-42 mistakenly activated the brakes during take-off. Then he tried to lift the plane off the ground too quickly. This was because the crew had not been properly trained with this type of aircraft, according to the investigators. The operator, Yak-Servis, had ignored safety rules and had not given the crew enough training. The report also noted that the co-pilot was taking medicine that was prohibited for pilots.
The September 7 crash happened soon after departing Yaroslavl airport. The plane was carrying the city’s ice hockey team to the Belarusian capital Minsk where it was due to play against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season of the Kontinental Hockey League. The crash killed everyone onboard. One player survived but died in hospital five days later.
President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia’s Soviet-built aircraft will be taken out of service starting next year.
[pictured: YAK-Servis Yak-42, pictured in 2005]