The Herald Bulletin

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November 18, 2013

Video shows near-vertical crash of Russian plane

(Continued)

KAZAN, Russia —

In 2001, it was damaged in a landing accident in Brazil that injured no one. The aircraft has been in service with Tatarstan Airlines since 2008.

The company insisted that the aircraft was in good condition for the flight.

The carrier has had a good safety record, but appears to have run into financial problems recently. Its personnel went on strike in September over back wages, and the Kazan airport authority has gone to arbitration to claim what it said was Tatarstan Airlines' debt for servicing its planes.

Industry experts have blamed some recent plane crashes in Russia on a cost-cutting mentality at some of its carriers, with safety sometimes neglected in the chase for profits. Insufficient pilot training and lax government controls over industry also have been cited as factors affecting flight safety.

Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the government should tighten its oversight of carriers and subsidize the upgrading of their fleets to improve flight safety, according to remarks Monday on the Prime news agency.

The son of the provincial governor and the chief of the local branch of Russia's main security agency were among the victims, as was a British national, Donna Bull.

Russia's last deadly airliner crash was in December, when a Russian-made Tupolev belonging to Red Wings airline careered off the runway at Moscow's Vnukovo airport. It rolled across a snowy field and slammed into the slope of a highway, killing five of its eight crew onboard.

A 2011 crash in Yaroslavl killed 44 people including a professional hockey team and was blamed on pilot error.

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