Brakes applied on takeoff led to fatal Yaroslavl Yak-42 accident

Investigators of the Russian Interstate Aviation Commission (MAK) presented the findings of their investigation into the fatal Yak-42 accident at Yaroslavl in September 2011.

On September 7, 2011 a Yak Service Yak-42 passenger jet crashed on takeoff from Yaroslavl-Tunoshna Airport (IAR), Russia, killing 44. The airplane carried members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team for a match in Minsk.
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.

 

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