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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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Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of societys most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegations visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmChams Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finlands Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping malls Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldnt miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBAs Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Centers Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.