10 Years ago today: On 7 September 2011 a YAK Service Yak-42 crashed on takeoff from Yaroslavl, Russia, carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team; killing 44 out of 45 occupants.

Date:Wednesday 7 September 2011
Time:16:05 MSK
Type:Silhouette image of generic YK42 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Yakovlev Yak-42D
Operator:YAK Service
First flight:1993
Total airframe hrs:6482
Engines:Lotarev D-36
Crew:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 37
Total:Fatalities: 44 / Occupants: 45
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) W of Yaroslavl-Tunoshna Airport (IAR) (   Russia)
Phase:Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Int’l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Yaroslavl-Tunoshna Airport (IAR/UUDL), Russia
Destination airport:Minsk-1 International Airport (MHP/UMMM), Belarus

A Yakovlev 42 passenger plane, RA-42434, was destroyed when it crashed about 1 km from the runway of Yaroslavl Airport (IAR), Russia. Forty-three people were killed and two survived. The surviving passenger died on September 12 of his injuries.
The airplane carried members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team for a match in Minsk.
The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) reported that the flight was cleared for takeoff from runway 23. Before takeoff the crew selected flaps at 20 degrees (takeoff position) and the stabilizer at -8.7 degrees (nose up). A control check was performed. The runway length available for takeoff was 3000 metres and V1 speed was calculated to be 190 km/h. However, the correct V1 speed should have been 210 km/h.
Weather was fine with wind from 360 degrees at 3 m/sec., a visibility of 10 km, with significant stratocumulus clouds at a lower limit of 990 m. The temperature was +17.8 degrees C.
Takeoff was initiated at nominal engine thrust. At a speed of 185 km/h the nose wheel lifted off the runway but the pitch angle did not increase. After six seconds takeoff mode power was selected. However, the speed momentarily decreased. The crew used additional elevator and trimmed the stabilizer to 9.5 degrees nose up. The airplane still did not become airborne. It travelled past the end of the runway onto the grass, finally lifting off about 400 metres past the threshold.
The aircraft struck a localizer antenna and rapidly attained a 20 degrees nose-up attitude, reaching a height of 5-6 metres. The airplane then rolled left, struck the ground and broke up on the side of the Volga River.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: It was determined that:
– the crew calculated the V1 speed to be 190 km/h; however this was incorrect as it should have been 220 km/h;
– the copilot had medical issues, he had leg coordination disturbances and the deep sensibility disorders of lower extremities. The medicine Phenobarbital, which has a negative impact on the nervous system, was found in his blood which degraded his performance;
– while the captain had over 1300 hours of experience flying Yak-42 aircraft, he flew the smaller Yak-40 aircraft before that and had more experience in those aircraft. The same applied to the copilot. Both aircraft have a different method of braking and the captain or copilot (it could not be concluded who pushed the brakes) probably held his feet on the pedals during takeoff in a similar manner that he had used on the Yak-40. In the accident he inadvertently activated the brakes while pulling on the controls to lift the nose for takeoff.
The investigators established that there were at least four contributing factors, including a lack of pilot training, the absence of control over the crew’s preparation for flight, the pilots’ failure to follow standard takeoff procedures and poor coordination between the crew during the takeoff.