Friday, April 06, 2012

Russia: 3 Plane Crashes in One Day

It is a grim day for aviation in Russia.

First a helicopter crashed, killing the pilot. Then another helicopter had a rough landing, injuring 4 people.

And in the evening, a small plane went down, killing 4 people on board.

And that is just 2 days after a plane crash in Siberia that killed 31 people on Wednesday.

Media reports suggest the crash on Wednesday happened because the plane was not deiced properly, and temperatures in the region of Tumen are biting even in April.

Russia has a poor airline safety record, as many as 118 people died in plane accidents last year. They account for 20% of the world plane crash victims.

Experts suggest that some of the planes used in Russia were purchased abroad and are not suitable for use in the harsh climate of the country.

In order to protect passengers, there should be proper certification procedures, but they are hard to enforce when 4 different government agencies are involved, not one.

[Vladimir Gerasimov, pilot, Ph.D]:
"We need one government body to be in charge of our civil aviation. To accomplish this, as my colleagues have said, there should be political will of the authorities."

Pilots and experts have written a letter to the President of Russia with their suggestions on ensuring aviation safety.Meanwhile, the recent spate of air disasters leave ordinary Russians feeling increasingly anxious about flying.

[Unidentified Russian Man]
"It is not clear who is responsible for the aviation industry. There are a number of airlines".

[Unidentified Russian Woman]:

"I fly about 3-4 times a year, actually more, if you count return flights. Is it safe? Everything in our world is relatively unsafe. How can it be safe to fly if plane crashes happen all the time."

According to the authorities, the causes of Friday's crashes are under investigation.