Aviation Authority In Russia Under Fire From Lawyer After Crashes
A Russian aviation authority may have its powers challenged after a Russian lawyer called it to task for recent, deadly air disasters in the country.
"This monopoly on power and on investigations has prevented the IAC from naming officials responsible and led it to blame everything on the dead," The Associated Press quoted Igor Trunov as saying at a news conference. "It leads to impunity."
Trunov will ask the Russian Supreme Court to curtail authority of the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which employs mostly Russian staff, having been formed in 1992 to oversee aviation in 12 nations of the former Soviet Union. It oversees both Russia's civil aviation and investigates crashes, but Trunov claims a conflict of interest keeps it from remaining objective. IAC officials did not comment to the AP.
Trunov's court appeal was filed on behalf of victims of crashes, including one Sept. 7 of the Yak-42 plane over Yaroslavl, which killed 44 people, including 36 members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. Veteran pilots have disagreed with the findings of the IAC concerning the crash, which blamed the pilot's improper braking combined with lack of oversight and poor crew training.
Trunov wants to see a new investigation opened. "The oversight and investigative functions must be separated. They mustn't be done by one body," he said.