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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: Ice Got Borovik's Plane




The crash of a chartered jet that killed a prominent journalist and an oil executive was due to ice buildup and pilot errors, according to a top investigator, Interfax reported Monday.


The investigation results were preliminary, and a final report is not expected for two weeks, Interstate Aviation Committee Chairman Rudolf Teimurazov said, according to Interfax.


Nine people were killed when the Yak-40 veered sharply and crashed from a height of about 50 meters shortly after takeoff from Moscow's Sheremetyevo-1 airport on March 9.


The victims included noted investigative journalist Artyom Borovik and Ziya Bazhayev, president of the Oil Alliance company.


The prominence of Borovik and Bazhayev led to widespread initial speculation that the plane had been sabotaged.


Teimurazov said preliminary results from the aircraft's flight data recorder and other clues suggest the plane's flaps had failed because of ice, Interfax reported. The findings appear to rule out foul play.


Teimurazov said the Yak-40 and several other planes had been improperly de-iced the day of the accident. The Yak-40 is a medium-range Soviet-era aircraft that carries 20 to 30 people.


The Interfax report did not specify what errors the crew allegedly committed, but said earlier speculation that a passenger might have been at the controls was ruled out by forensic evidence that showed all passengers died in their seats.