Sentence handed down in 2011 Petrozavodsk Tu-134A plane crash

A court has recognized the evidence collected by the Investigative Committee’s Head Office as sufficient to convict employees of the Petrozavodsk airport Vladimir Shkarupa, Vladimir Pronin and head of flight radio support and aviation telecommunications office of the Federal Air Transport Agency Eduard Voitovsky. Shkarupa and Pronin were found guilty of violating safety standards for traffic and operation of an aircraft which has entailed death of two or more people under Part 3 of Article 263, Voitovsky of negligence that has entailed death of two or more people under Part 3 of Article 293 of the RF Penal Code.

The court and investigators have established that actions of ground services led to the crash of a Tupolev Tu-134A plane that happened on 20 June 2011 near the town of Petrozavodsk and killed 47 people, including 5 children. Namely, Shkarupa and Pronin provided meteorological support to the plane with breaches of flight safety and aircraft operation. Voitovsky violated requirements of legal acts when certified the Petrozavodsk airport which made the breaches by the meteorological support service possible. A year after the certificate had been issued, Voitovsky should have sent a commission to check the meteorological support, but postponed the inspection. As a result of Voitovsky’s wrongdoings and omission the meteorological support at the airport was provided using instruments banned for use and without a full set of equipment necessary to monitor visibility during a take-off and landing.

Investigators’ conclusions are based on the sum of the evidence, including results of examinations. Two forensic technical examinations found all reasons for the crash, including violations by the ground services and in certification of the flights meteorological support at the Petrozavodsk (Besovets) airfield. It was difficult to probe Pronin’s guilty because he and the airport had signed civil contractor’s and service agreements. But a forensic legal examination proved that Pronin basically was a chief of the meteorological support service of the airport and thus was obliged to organized its operation in accordance with current air laws.

Experts who ran the examinations concluded that the plane crew had had an opportunity to prevent the situation and subsequent crash by finishing the flight if the crew had been properly prepared for the flight by means of providing them with accurate information on actual weather at the runway and if each of them had made necessary actions by the book.

The experts also established that the meteorological instruments used on the day of the crash to determine the height of the lower cloud border gave information with errors and had been banned for usage.

The court has found Shkarupa, Pronin and Voitovsky guilty of the crimes, but applied an amnesty, so they don’t have to serve time in prison. However, this does not reduce their guilt proven by the investigators and court in any way. These people will always have the deaths of 47 people on their conscious and relatives of the killed should know that. 

Acting Head of Media Relations                                                                                                              S.L. Petrenko