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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, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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