KRASNOYARSK, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian court sentenced a former airline pilot to 4 ½ years in prison Wednesday over the crash of a regional airliner that killed 12 people in 2010.
The court in the city of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, ruled that captain Nikolai Kozlov, who was in command of the Antonov An-24 turboprop, could have averted the accident by waiting for better weather conditions, but instead continued his landing approach in poor visibility.
As a result, the aircraft veered off course and collided with the ground some 700 meters (2,300 feet) from the runway near the northern town of Igarka. Three crew members survived the crash, while 12 people were killed.
“I will appeal [the verdict] … because it is unjust,” Kozlov told reporters on Wednesday, insisting he was not responsible for the crash.
During the trial, Kozlov blamed the air traffic control service and the airport’s meteorologists, saying that they had misled the flight crew, but the judge rejected his arguments.