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Pilot Error Cited As Cause Of Lokomotiv Crash That Killed Former Blues

No cause for the tragic accident on September 7th could have made the pain any easier to bear for the families and friends of those that died, including 36 members and coaches of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL hockey team. The given cause of “pilot error,” though, must make this an even more bitter pill to swallow. From the AP report:

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The Interstate Aviation Committee said the Sept. 7 crash of the Yak-42 plane near Yaroslavl in central Russia occurred because one of the two pilots accidentally activated the brakes and then yanked a control wheel to his chest, pulling the plane up too sharply in a desperate attempt to take off.

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If this is in fact what happened (and from the looks of simulations, it is), it’s heartbreaking to know that so many people lost their lives over something completely preventable. It’s made even more frustrating to know that one of the pilots took phenobarbital before take-off.

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On the flight were former St. Louis Blues Igor Korolev and Pavol Demitra, both of whom will be honored Tuesday night at Scottrade Center.