Russia plane crash Brit named

The British person who was killed when a plane crashed in western Russia has been named as Donna Bull. The Boeing 737 airliner, flying from Moscow, exploded when it hit the runway in Kazan killing all 50 people in board.

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Investigators: 'Pilot error' caused Russia plane crash

The Russian passenger plane crash that killed 50 people, including Briton Donna Bull, was caused by pilot error, investigators said.

Russia's aviation safety watchdog said the pilots of the Boeing 737 somehow let the plane become too slow at a low altitude, resulting in a diving crash that killed all on board.

The crash site at Kazan airport in Russia. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Interstate Aviation Committee said the plane's engines and other systems were working fine until the moment it hit the ground.

The crew put the plane's engines on maximum power, raising the nose up at a sharp angle, causing a quick loss of speed - they then tried to gain speed by taking the plane into a dive, but hit the ground at a near-vertical angle.

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'Wonderful mother' killed in Russia plane crash

The widower of a British woman killed in a Russian plane crash said it was a "very difficult and emotional time" as her family tries to come to terms with the shock and loss.

Robert Crome said Donna Bull was "a wonderful mother" to her children George and Kate, and "kind, thoughtful and caring" to her friends and family".

Flowers and stuffed toys, part of a makeshift memorial, are seen left near a fence of Kazan airport. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

He said in a statement today: "She was also a dedicated and hard-working professional, as a teacher and educationalist, so her students will all miss her greatly. Words are inadequate to express our grief and loss.

"We hope that the UK and Russian authorities can help to ease any administrative difficulties. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to all those families in Russia who too have lost their loved ones in this tragedy."

Probe assesses why plane did not land on first attempt

Russian investigators are trying to determine why the crew of a plane that crashed at an airport were unable to land on the first attempt.

Alexander Poltinin, the head of the local branch of Russia's Investigative Committee, said they are looking at the possibility of pilot error or equipment failure.

Debris still litters the crash site at Kazan airport in western Russia. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The traffic controller at Kazan airport said the crew told him they were not ready for landing as it was approaching, but did not specify the problem.

One of the plane's two black boxes has been found, Mr Poltinin said, adding it could take weeks to identify some of the victims.

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Flags fly at half mast at Russia plane crash site

Flags are flying at half mast outside Russia's Kazan airport today, as Russians mourned 50 people killed in a plane crash.

The wreckage of a Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737 crash at Kazan airport in Russia. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A Boeing 737 airliner crashed on Sunday as it attempted to land at the airport, located 500 miles (800 kilometres) east of Moscow, killing all 44 passengers and six crew members on board.

Flowers and a teddy bear are left near a fence of Kazan airport, where the plane crashed on Sunday. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The charred wreckage was still on the runway as emergency teams and rescue services continue to work on the airfield.

Investigators and Russian Emergencies Ministry members work at the site of the crash. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A memorial area with flowers has been set up outside one of the airport gates where people are paying their respects.

Tatarstan President's son among plane crash victims

A son of the president of Russia's Tatarstan region was named among 50 people thought to have been killed in a plane crash in the region's capital.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov talks to the media in July 2011. Credit: REUTERS/Yegor Aleev

Rustam Minnikhanov's son, Irek, was on the flight from Moscow to Kazan, according to a passenger list posted by news websites whose authenticity was confirmed by the regional government.

Aircraft 'lost altitude quickly and exploded on impact'

The plane that crashed in the Russian city of Kazan lost altitude quickly and its fuel tank exploded on impact with the runway, eyewitnesses said.

There were high winds and cloudy skies over the airport in central Russia but temperatures were above zero, according to local reports.

This is the latest disaster involving a plane from Russia's regional airlines, which have a poor safety record.

  • In April 2012, at least 31 people were killed when a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off in Siberia.
  • In September 2011, a Yak-42 passenger jet carrying members of a major league ice hockey team came down shortly after takeoff and burst into flames near the Russian city of Yaroslavl, killing 44 people.
  • Russia and the former Soviet republics combined had one of the world's worst air-traffic safety records in 2010, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average, according to the International Air Transport Association.
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