aviation: Russia: Aeroflot SSJ-100 pilot sentenced to six years in prison

, aviation: Russia: Aeroflot SSJ-100 pilot sentenced to six years in prison


The captain of the Aeroflot Sukhoi SSJ-100 that crashed at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport in 2019 was sentenced by a Russian court to six years in prison, which he had to serve under stricter conditions. 41 people died in the accident.

The regional jet was supposed to fly to Murmansk on May 5, 2019 as SU1492. However, lightning struck, so captain Denis Evdokimov decided to return to Moscow-SVO. Some systems on board failed and, according to the pilot, the SSJ-100 behaved completely differently than in simulator training. The superjet hit the ground and burst into flames. 41 people died in the process.

In December 2019, the Russian aviation accident investigation authority published its report. In this, the captain was solely to blame because his actions had violated the prescribed regulations. This would be decisive for the accident, which according to the MAK could have been avoided. Shortly after publication, Evdokimov sharply criticized the agency’s work, accusing it of one-sided, incomplete and biased investigations.

This is exactly what his defense argued in court. This pleaded innocent. It was also argued that the captain had been put on trial on the basis of two investigations which, in the defendant’s view, were poorly conducted. The experts would not have answered the question of whether the aircraft could still be controlled at all after the lightning strike or how this affected the flight behavior.

According to the Interfax news agency, lawyer Natalia Mitusova, who is representing the accused captain, is said to have pointed out that the expert who carried out the investigation had no experience with the SSJ-100 model. It would not have flown commercially since 2009 and the superjet would not have been registered until 2011.

However, none of the arguments halves anything, because the court sentenced the pilot to damages and six years of increased imprisonment. The latter means that he has to spend it in a penal camp. The conditions there are said to be catastrophic and close to the Gulag system of the Soviet Union. In this form of imprisonment there are no cells in the actual sense, but the prisoners usually have to live in wooden barracks and sometimes have to do very heavy physical labor.

According to the Interfax agency, the court also ruled that the pilot’s behavior had caused damage to the property of the owner of the machine, state-owned VEB Leasing. This is converted to around 16.22 million euros. This damage should be replaced. The pilot also has to pay the survivors around 16,000 euros per person in compensation. How the man is supposed to raise this sum at all is not clear from the official reports and the Interfax report. In addition, the pilot has received a three-year professional ban, which, however, only takes effect after the prison sentence has been served.

The article Russia: Aeroflot SSJ-100 pilot sentenced to six years in prison appeared first on Aviation.Direct.

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