Accused of French Falcon-50 EX crash to stand trial

The Head Office of the Russia’s Investigative Committee has finished the investigation in the crash of a France’s Falcon-50EX jet at Vnukovo airport killing three crew members and a passenger - Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.

Charges of a crime under Part 3 of Article 263 of the RF Penal Code (violation of safety standards for operation and traffic of an aircraft involving considerable damage and death of two or more people by negligence) were pressed against Vnukovo control tower operator Roman Dunayev, flight controller Alexander Kruglov, taxiing controller Nadezhda Arkhipova, chief of shift of airdrome operation department Vladimir Ledenyov and driver of a snow plow Vladimir Martynenko.

The investigators have revealed that the cause of the Falcon-50EX F-GLSA crash was collision of the taking-off jet with the snow plow operated by Martynenko, which came out to the runway not controlled by chief engineer Ledenyov.

Additional factors that contributed to the crash were breach of flight rules by Dunayev, Arkhipov and Kruglov. They had the information of the airfield radars mounted on each of their work places, but they were negligent and violated flight rules when they did not tell the pilots that there was the snow plow coming their way. This is why the pilots were unable to take any measures to prevent the collision, while the flight controllers were able to do that, but did nothing.

Following the results of an additional investigation against trainee flight controller Svetlana Krivsun, it has been decided to stop the probe as no signs of crime under Part 3 of Article 263 of the RF Penal Code were found in her actions.

The investigators revealed that the snow plow had not technical failures or devises mounted on it.

The investigators have enough evidence, so the criminal case with the approved indictment has been referred to court.