What is the safest airline in Russia

Airplane crash: Russia's flight safety is "just criminal"

Aircraft debris in the snow, burning wreckage and dozens of corpses: Less than seven months after the most recent disaster, another passenger plane with 43 people on board crashes in Russia. Only about four minutes after take-off, the ATR 72-200 propeller aircraft with voyage number 120 hit the ground near Tyumen in western Siberia.

Initial investigations have shown that the aircraft was apparently not properly de-iced before take-off. However, it is not yet clear whether that was the cause of the crash. What is certain is that in the frequent flyer country, death in air traffic is a frequent companion.

Many people in the largest country on earth in terms of area are already used to the images on Russian television of the crashed plane operated by the Utair airline. It was not until the beginning of September that the Lokomotive Yaroslavl ice hockey team was killed when a Yak plane crashed.

The journey ends in a nightmare

Airports in this huge country repeatedly report emergency landings because engines fail, there are fires or other technical problems. Reports of alcohol problems in the crew are also not uncommon.

This is probably one of the reasons why, after a happy landing in Russia, the tradition of passengers applauding with relief continues to this day. But for the Utair guests, the trip to Surgut in Siberia ends with a nightmare shortly after the start. Twelve passengers survived the crash in the snow with concussions, broken bones and burns. 31 people die, including the crew members.

The fear lingers until the landing

As usual with flights in Russia, many of the passengers on board are likely to have listened for suspicious noises on the plane. The interior fittings of the often completely outdated machines are often frightening because the backrests are not secure, the belts are torn or armrests are broken. Anyone who travels a lot in Russia also knows the inner tension caused by repeatedly postponing starts.

It is no different at Utair either: the travelers are finally seated, but then it is said that the machine cannot start. No explanation. It goes back to the waiting room. Hours later the plane takes off after all. And if you don't prefer to stay on the ground, a fearful restlessness will linger until you land.

"That's just criminal"

The Russian leadership around Kremlin chief Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have repeatedly promised to do more for air traffic safety. But many Russians have long since given up hope.

"Where are the actual controls in air traffic," asks the Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky angrily. "You shouldn't ignore this situation or make empty speeches. It's just criminal," complains the MP.

The shortcomings lie in the Russian system. "There is a terrible law," says Zhirinovsky. According to a balance sheet by the Hamburg aviation accident investigation office JACDEC, the former problem region of Africa made progress in terms of flight safety last year. On the other hand, the experts identified Russia as a new "headache region". 112 people were killed in six crashes there last year.

If you have time, you can take the train

The reason is often a mixture of causes: outdated machines, lack of money for maintenance, insufficient training of crews and air traffic controllers as well as poor infrastructure - especially at the smaller airports in the province. Those who have a lot of time in Russia prefer to cover long distances by train.

On TV you can see how a wide grinding track is drawn across the frozen ground at the scene of the accident in Western Siberia. The aviation industry actually wanted to present the "Wing of Russia" award for the best airline in a luxury hotel in Moscow on Monday. The organizers canceled the celebration out of mourning for the new victims.