Among the Russians on Board crashed in Congo An-72 was involved in high-profile ‘cases of pilots’ (PHOTO)

Среди россиян на борту разбившегося в Конго Ан-72 был фигурант громкого 'дела пилотов' (ФОТО)

The defendant in a sensational 2011 “business of pilots”, 61-year-old military pilot Vladimir Sadovnichy was on Board of the aircraft An-72 that crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on October 10. The second Russian in the crew was the pilot, Vitaly Shumkov 1955. This was reported in Twitter of the Russian Embassy in the Congo.

Search and rescue work continues. By words a press-attache of the Embassy of Russia in Congo Natalia Kononova, “no one found”. “The difficulty of the search work is related to the fact that the plane crashed in the jungle, in a remote area” – leads her words TASS.

An-72, provide the transportation of the presidential administration of the Congo Felix tshisekedi, following his, took off from the airport in Goma at 13:32 local time (14:32 GMT) on 10 October and was supposed to land in Kinshasa at 16:43 (18:43 MSK). Contact with the plane was lost after 59 minutes after departure. The wreckage was found on the East of the country in the province of Maniema. The main cause of the crash of An-72 is called weather conditions.

According to Congolese journalists, the plane was carrying tshisekedi, following his car. Congolese radio, citing the civil aviation authority of the DRC reported that on Board were four crew members, plus civilians and the military, including members of the administration of President tshisekedi, following his and his personal chauffeur.

After a plane crash in the capital of the Congo were of excitement because of rumors about the assassination attempt on the President of the country undertaken by the former head of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, who left his post in January 2019 after 18 years of rule.

Honored pilot of Russia, former flight Director “Vnukovo airlines” Yury Sytnik told Ura.Ru that Russian pilots working in the “friendly” DRC contract.

“Congo is a friendly country for us and there are military advisers that operate on the planes on the territory of the Republic. Most likely, this plane with members of the Russian crew have been purchased or leased of the Congo,” explained he, adding that Russian pilots were able to train the crew.

According to Sytnik, the causes of the disaster may be “thousand”: “knocked him Down, stood up engines, the fuel is not refueled, motors or control denied, the pilots in the mountain crashed… Africa is Africa. There are a lot of our planes lies a lot of our pilots”.

“Business pilots”

In March 2011, two planes An-72 companies Rolkan Investments Ltd., commanders of the crews of which were Russian Vladimir Sadovnichy and Estonian citizen Alexei Rudenko, completing a contract for the carriage of goods and humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, took off from the Kabul airport of the Tajik city of Kurgan-Tyube (now Bokhtar), having obtained permission to cross the border with Tajikistan.

However, the Manager of “Tajikairnavigation” said permission to land had not, so the planes must return to Kabul. Since fuel for the return journey the aircraft was not, the pilots landed at Kurgan-Tyube and was arrested. The main argument of the prosecution in court was a skeleton aircraft engine, which crews used as spare parts, its considered smuggling.

November 8, 2011, the court of Kurgan-tube sentenced Sadovnichy and Rudenko to 8.5 years of imprisonment, finding them guilty of smuggling, illegal border crossing and violation of flight rules. Both aircraft An-72 was confiscated in favor of the state.

“Business pilots” became the reason of deterioration of relations between Russia and Tajikistan. The Russian foreign Ministry called the sentence extremely harsh and politically biased. From Russia then began to deport Tajik migrant workers. In the result, the Tajik authorities have made concessions. The prosecution asked the court to commute the sentence to pilots based on their personalities and the fact that they are citizens of the countries strategic partners of Tajikistan.

As a result of Sadovnichy and Rudenko were released. The appeal Board reduced the sentence to 2.5 years each, and the Amnesty period have reduced by another two calendar years. Because by the time the pilots had already spent six months in pre-trial detention, the court decided that they had served the sentence and can be free.