Flights of eight planes were suspended after a deadly air crash that virtually wiped out one of Russia’s most successful hockey teams, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the Russian transport watchdog said on Friday.
Russian transport safety regulator Rostransnadzor ordered to inspect all airlines that operate Yak-42s over the next three days. Sixteen Russian airlines currently operate 57 planes.
Yak Service, the owner of the crashed plane, has a fleet of 10 aircraft and five of them were grounded after the inspection.
The company was instructed “to carry out a set of measures to decrease safety risks in Yak-42 operations,” Rostransnadzor said in a statement.
Inspectors also suspended flights of aircraft owned by Grozny Avia, Gazprom Avia and KrasAvia.
A Yak-42 plane fell to earth shortly after take-off from an airport near Yaroslavl, some 250km north of Moscow, killing 43 people, most of them players and coaches of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team. Two survivors remain in critical condition.
A technical breakdown or a pilot error are seen as the most likely causes of the tragedy.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who visited the crash site on Thursday morning, said on Friday he would discuss the club’s future with officials from the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the Sports Ministry, the Lokomotiv club and Yaroslavl Region governor Sergei Vakhrukov on Monday.