A Russian jet carrying members of a hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday killing 43 people including several former NHL players. (the Lokomotiv Yaroslav Hockey Team)
A Yak Service Yakovlev Yak-42 reg RA-42434 performing a flight from Yaroslavl (Russia) to Minsk (Belarus) with 37 passengers and 8 crew could not vertically climb out after takeoff from Yaroslavl’s Tunoshna Airport.
The airplane crashed into an antenna outside the airport perimeter, impacted ground and came to rest about 3000 feet from the airport broken up in two major parts, the tail section at the bank of Volga River and the fuselage in the river.
Rosaviatsia reported 34 occupants were killed, 3 occupants survived. The aircraft failed to climb to safe altitude, impacted an antenna outside the airport perimeter and fell to ground breaking up.
The Yak-42 crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles northeast of Moscow. The weather was good visibility conditions and was sunny and clear. The local weather station reported visibility above 50km (27nm), partly cloudy, winds from the north at 14kph (7.5 knots), temperature 17 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, humidity 40%.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season with the Kontinental Hockey League.
All the players from the team’s main roster were aboard the plane. The roster includes former NHL stars Pavol Demitra, Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Salei.
President Medvedev has said he plans to take aging Soviet-built planes out of service starting next year.
The short- and medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and dozens are still in service with Russian and other airlines.
The crash is one of the worst aviation disasters in sports history.
In past plane crashes involving sports teams, 75 Marshall University football players, coaches, fans and airplane crew died in West Virginia on Nov. 14, 1970, while returning from a game. Thirty-six of the dead were players.
Thirty members of a Uruguayan rugby club were killed in a crash in the Andes in 1972.
The entire 18-member U.S. figure skating team died in a crash on their way to the 1961 world championships in Brussels.
18 members of the Torino soccer team died near Turin, Italy, in a 1949 crash.
In 1980, 14 members of the U.S. amateur boxing team were killed in a crash in Warsaw, Poland.
A plane crash in 1950 near the Russian city of Sverdlovsk killed 13 players and officials in the Soviet air force’s ice hockey squad.
A Munich air crash in 1958 cost 8 Manchester United players their lives.
More Info On The Yakovlev YAK-42…
The Aircraft, Registration # RA-42434, left the Smolensk assembly line on October 1st, 1993 and was put into business by Aeroflot shortly after.
Until the accident it had produced 3026 cycles and 6310 flying hours.
The used life span of this aircraft, in the condition it was in is approximately 42% of lifespan.
The aircraft underwent a C-check in July 2011, which included installation of new avionics, a new engine and finally re-painting.
This aircraft was configured as a single VIP cabin with a total of 73 seats.
The only surviving crew member is a DHC (dead heading crew), a flight engineer.
The crew was compiled with 1 commander, 1 first officer, 3 flight attendants, 1 flight mechanic and 2 flight engineers.
All in all 8 crew members and 37 passengers, of which only two are still alive, one in critical condition with 2nd degree burnings covering 90 % of his body area.
Statistics say that as of September 7th 2011, nine Yak-42 accidents are responsible for 569 deaths.
The aircraft had been banned from making flights to the European Community in 2009, following airworthiness and air safety concerns.