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Alcohol Blamed in Petrozavodsk Crash

Medical examiners found that Atayev had a blood alcohol content of 0.081 percent.

Published: September 21, 2011 (Issue # 1675)


MOSCOW Adrunken flight navigator contributed toa June plane crash inPetrozavodsk that killed 47 people, with his authoritative instructions leading aless-experienced pilot toattempt afatal landing inheavy fog, investigators said Monday.

Thenavigator, Aman Atayev, would seem theleast likely culprit inthe incident, having logged more than 13,000 hours 541 full days onTu-134 jets. But theInterstate Aviation Committee said his intoxication was one ofthe factors that caused thecrash ofthe RusAir jet onJune 20 inKarelias capital.

Medical examiners found that Atayev, 50, had ablood alcohol content of0.081 percent slightly above thelegal limit inBritain andthe United States but aviolation ofRussian piloting rules.

Atayevs recent divorce had driven him todrink, though he never drank before flights, his former mother-in-law, Assya Shumakova, told Rossia-1 television onMonday.

Thebooze therough equivalent toa glass ofvodka caused Atayev, who had worked incivil aviation formore than 30 years, tobecome more distracted, talkative andassertive, investigators said.

Normally ona Tu-134, thenavigator doesnt do anything during landing, Roman Gusarov, editor-in-chief ofAvia.ru, anaviation news web site, said bytelephone Monday.

But Atayevs heightened activity inthe cockpit is clear fromthe cockpit voice recorder, cited bythe aviation agency, which wrapped up its investigation intothe incident Monday.

Sasha, come on, turn it faster! Atayev told thepilot five minutes before thecrash. Ill lead you right in, he then reassured him. Trusting his navigator, thepilot refused asuggestion fromair traffic controllers toabort his first approach.

Atayev also failed toinstruct him tosearch forground markers atan altitude of140 meters, andat 110 meters he failed towarn thepilot that he was losing his last chance topull up, according tothe crash report, which is posted onthe Interstate Aviation Committees web site.

Theco-pilot was effectively absent fromthe cockpit during thelanding, thereport said, without elaborating. It also said thecrews decision not touse certain navigational instruments was among thefactors that contributed tothe pilots decision toland.

Thepilot was also misled byweather reports that said theclouds would break at130 meters to140 meters, when inreality land-based beacons were only visible at70 meters or less below theairports minimum forincoming aircraft, thereport said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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