Russia investigates state aviation agency, fear some pilots may have fake licenses
In this photo provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, firefighters and rescuers work at the crash site of a Russian passenger airliner near Kazan, the capital of the Tatarstan republic, about 720 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. (AP / Russian Emergency Situations Ministry)
Published Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:55PM EST
MOSCOW -- Russian investigators are searching the state aviation agency to see if some pilots may have fake licenses -- part of an investigation into a plane crash last month that killed all 50 people on board.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement Friday that investigators believe some pilots working for Russian airlines have received fake licenses in centres certified by the aviation agency.
Markin said there were reasons to believe that the pilot who sent the Boeing 737 into a near-vertical dive after an aborted first landing attempt had received his license illegally in a small training centre that was no longer functioning.
No criminal charges have been filed yet in the crash, which took place in the city of Kazan, 720 kilometres (450 miles) east of Moscow.