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Six dead as An-148 plane crashes in southern Russia (Update 4)

Six dead as An-148 plane crashes in southern Russia
16:24 05/03/2011

All six people on board were killed when an Antonov An-148 airplane on a test flight crashed Saturday in the village of Garbuzovo in southern Russia's Belgorod region, an Emergencies Ministry spokesman said.

Two Russian pilots (Yu. P. Zubritsky and V. I. Yasko) and two flight engineers (A. S. Samoshkin and A. A. Korolyov), as well as two Myanmar nationals (Htein Lin Aung and Zaw Htun Aung) were on board the aircraft.

No one on the ground was killed, according to the Emergencies Ministry.

The aircraft, which belonged to the Voronezh Aircraft Plant, went off the radar screens at 10:40 Moscow time [07:40 GMT] and crashed shortly afterwards.

The plane was being tested prior to delivery to Myanmar, which ordered two last year for government use.

Russia's Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on charges of violation of flight safety regulations resulting in the negligent homicide of two or more people, RIC representative Vladimir Markin said.

The Prosecutor General's Office said it had launched its own probe.

Transport prosecutors from the Belgorod and neighboring Lipetsk regions are headed for the crash site.

The An-148 is a twin-turbofan powered regional airliner, seating up to 100 passengers.

The An-148 made its maiden flight in December 2004 and tests continued through December 2006.

There have been five serious technical incidents involving the aircraft, including landing gear and control system malfunctions.

On June 4, 2010, there was an autopilot failure on board an An-148-100 flying at 10,600 meters en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg. It landed safely at the destination airport.

In March 2010, an An-148 originating from St. Petersburg crash landed in Samara after its landing gear became stuck. There were no injuries in the incident.

Last year, Russian state airline GTK Rossiya strongly criticized the reliability of its An-148 aircraft, which are produced by the Voronezh plane maker and Ukraine's Kiev Aviation Plant AVIANT, citing problems with door locks, as well as engine and APU failures.

MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) 

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RIA NovostiSix dead as An-148 plane crashes in southern RussiaSix dead as An-148 plane crashes in southern Russia (Update 4)

16:24 05/03/2011 All six people on board were killed when an Antonov An-148 airplane on a test flight crashed Saturday in the village of Garbuzovo in southern Russia's Belgorod region, an Emergencies Ministry spokesman said.>>

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