Russian pilot convicted over deadly crash landing resulting in 41 deaths

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Russian pilot convicted over deadly crash landing resulting in 41 deaths ,A Moscow Region court has sentenced a Russian pilot to six years in prison over his role in a deadly fire on a plane that crash landed four years ago.

On Tuesday, the Khimki City Court found Denis Evdokimov guilty of violating flight safety rules when flying a Sukhoi Superjet 100 from Sheremetyevo Airport to the northern city of Murmansk in May 2019.

While in the air, the jet was hit by lightning and had to return to Moscow. The plane, which had 78 people on board, then made a crash landing at the airport and caught fire, killing 40 passengers and one crew member, and leaving another 22 people injured.

Aside from imposing a lengthy sentence, the court also ruled that Evdokimov should pay 2.5 million rubles ($30,000) to two victims of the crash, while barring him from flying any aircraft for three years.

The prosecution argued that the accident occurred because the crew failed to comply with the relevant landing procedures, resulting in the plane hitting the runway several times. The impact triggered a critical overload of the aircraft systems, resulting in the plane’s destruction and a deadly fire.

However, Evdokimov’s lawyer pointed out that after the plane had been hit by lightning, its systems underwent partial failure. The defense also claimed that the accident was triggered by design flaws, which resulted in the landing gear penetrating the fuel tank, as well as failure to conduct an adequate pre-flight check.

However, Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that data from onboard recorders indicated that the jet adequately responded to the pilot’s commands, and that the Sheremetyevo flight control center and emergency services could do nothing to prevent the accident.

Russian pilot convicted over deadly crash landing resulting in 41 deaths
Sukhoi Superjet 100 on fire at Moscow Sheremetyevo. © Sputnik

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