Commander of Tu-154 charged with 2010 Domodedovo plane crash put on trial

Moscow Interregional Transport Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee has completed investigating a criminal case against aircraft commander Zakarzha Zakarzhayev, 63. He is charged with the crime under part 3 of article 263 of the RF Penal Code (violation of safety rules for traffic and use of air transport involving by negligence death of two people).

According to investigators, on 4 December 2010, at 02:07 PM, Zakarzhayev was flying a Tupolev Tu-154M plane in good order, whose operator was OAO Airlines of Dagestan (OJSC), from Moscow (Vnekovo) to Makhachkala. With 7 more crew members and 163 passengers aboard, he took off from the Vnekovo international airport for the Uytash (Makachkala) international airport. 29 minutes later, at 02:36 PM, he landed the plane at the Domodedovo airport, overshooting the runway, and landing it on the soil, where it hit the obstacle and fell apart. As the result of the crash, 2 passengers died, 6 passengers and 2 crew members suffered injuries involving grievous bodily harm, 13 passengers suffered injuries involving medium-range bodily harm, 34 passengers and 2 crew members suffered injuries involving slight bodily harm and 15 passengers suffered injuries that did not cause any bodily harm.

The immediate reason for the crash was that aircraft commander Zakarzhayev violated the requirements in the section “Approach and landing with two engines out of order” of Tu-154M flight manual. According to the conclusion of a comprehensive flight technical expert examination there is a direct cause-and-effect relation between the violations by Zakarzhayev and the crash.

During the investigation into the circumstances of the crash, the expert facility studied if there had been any violations in the actions of each of the crew that could have led to the crash. It was found that the actions of other crew members had not entailed any serious consequences.

Investigators have gathered enough evidence and the case with the approved indictment has been sent to a court to be tried on the merits.