Russia grounds Utair ATR 72s after crash

MOSCOW. April 9. KAZINFORM Russian transport watchdog Rostransnadzor grounded all UTair airline's ATR 72 turboprops on Monday, following a fatal crash near the Siberian city of Tyumen on April 2, Rostransnadzor said on Monday.

"Rostransnadzor has suspended flights by Utair's ATR 72 planes until the causes of the tragedy are established," Rostransnadzor said in a statement.

At least 31 people were killed after the ATR 72 passenger plane crashed whilst trying to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off near Tyumen last Monday. All the crew members were among the dead, but twelve survivors were taken to hospital, all in a serious condition.

The airline had already suspended flight operations by its remaining two ATR 72-200 aircraft last week, but said the move was not for technical reasons.

Investigators said soon after the incident that failure to deice the aircraft was most probably a factor in the disaster.

UTair, Russia's largest civil helicopter operator, has a fleet of over 200 aircraft, including two ATR72-200s and 15 ATR 72-500s turboprops.

The aviation safety watchdog also suspended the firm's subsidiary ground service company UTair-Techique, which carries out technical maintenance and repair work at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

Rostransnadzor also grounded Bell 407 helicopters operated by the Ak Bars company after one of its pilots died in a Bell 407 crash in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan on Friday.

Source: RIA Novosti

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