14 Feb 2018 11:41

Black boxes of crashed Mi-8 found in Tomsk region, investigators probing helicopter malfunction, pilot error theories

NOVOSIBIRSK. Feb 14 (Interfax) - The Mil Mi-8 helicopter, which crash-landed in the Tomsk region on Monday, has been practically destroyed by fire, yet the investigators and officers of the Interstate Aviation Committee have managed to find black boxes, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement.

"Flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been found on the crash scene, collected by detectives, and handed over to members of the Interstate Aviation Committee's commission for analyzing the data," the statement said.

There are two main theories of the Mi-8 crash, i.e. a technical malfunction and a pilot error, it said.

Two crewmembers were killed and four people were hurt on Monday afternoon when Yeltsovka Airline's Mi-8 crash-landed in the Tomsk region. The helicopter was carrying a female patient from Prokhorkino to Strezhevoi. She was accompanied by a doctor and a police officer.

A criminal case was opened on counts of a breach of air safety regulations causing death of two people or more by negligence.

Autopsy will be performed on the crash victims on the detectives' orders. Fuel samples were collected from the airfield for being tested for proper quality, and two passengers were interviewed.

Technicians who examined the helicopter before the flight are being interviewed, and the helicopter's forms and records and the crew's flight documents are being seized.