Doomed Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Plane Was Banned In Europe Due To Safety Concerns

The charter plane carrying almost the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team took off in perfect weather this morning, had trouble gaining altitude, clipped a radar tower and crashed 1.5 miles from the airport. It's the exact same plane that had been banned two years ago by aviation authorities from flying to Europe because it did not meet any of the international standards for safety.

The Yakovlev Yak-42 was developed in the late 70s, the first Soviet aircraft to use modern turbofan engines. This specific jet, tail number RA-42433, first flew in 1993 and saw heavy service as a commercial airliner.

In 2009, the European Commission published a report on foreign carriers that did not meet standards. Included was RA-42433, previously operated by Tatarstan airlines.

On the basis of verified evidence of major safety deficiencies affecting flight operations detected on the part of the air carrier YAK Service certified by the competent authorities of the Russian Federation, the Commission launched a formal investigation of that air carrier on 15 July 2009...These aircraft were not equipped to perform international flights as per ICAO standards (not equipped with TAWS/E-GPWS) and their certificate of airworthiness had expired and had not been renewed.

The Russian Federation initially promised they would bring the aircraft up to date, but later decided against it. All planes owned by charter company YAK Service have been prohibited from flying to countries within the European community, which does not include Belarus, today's destination.

Preliminary legislation is currently making its way through labyrinthine Russian law that would bring the country's aviation standards up to the rest of the world's, in a "gradual reform." Currently Russia and the former Soviet States have the world's worst air safety record, with 13 times more incidents than the international average.