The crew of a Russian airliner that crashed near Yaroslavl last year killing 44 people, including an entire ice hockey team, had no right to fly, investigators say.
Vadim Timofeyev, deputy head of the Yak-Service airline which operated the Yak-42 plane, allowed the two pilots to fly the aircraft "illegally," said Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee. One pilot had "falsified documents" and the other had received no adequate training to fly the plane, Markin told journalists.
Timofeyev has been charged with breaching air safety rules, Markin added.
Thirty-six players and officials from the Yaroslavl-based Lokomotiv hockey team were killed instantly in the September 2011 crash, along with several crew members. One player survived but died in hospital five days later.
An official report last year said the pilots inadvertently applied the brake during take-off.
It also said neither pilot was fit for flying, as one had traces of a sedative drug in his blood and the other had been diagnosed with a motor-skill debilitating disease.