Drunken navigator shares blame in Russian jet crash

September 19, 2011 14:10

MOSCOW - The carelessness of a "lightly" drunken navigator contributed to a plane crash that killed 47 people in Russia in June, investigators said in a report released on Monday.

The Tu-134 jet ploughed into treetops, overturned and slammed into the ground while trying to land in fog at the airport in the northern city of Petrozavodsk, the first in a string of Russian air accidents in recent months.

In its report, the Interstate Aviation Committee said the plane crashed because the crew had failed to abort the landing even though the pilot could not see lights and other markers on the ground as the jet descended. That error followed others made by crew members including the 50-year-old navigator, who "conducted the flight in a state of light alcoholic intoxication", the report said.

He had a blood alcohol content of 0.081 percent, it said -- just over the legal limit for driving in Britain and many US states, although Russia has a zero tolerance policy for drivers.

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