YEKATERINBURG, May 31 (RIA Novosti) – Siblings found in a crashed Antonov An-2 biplane, which came down in Russia’s Ural Mountains last June but was uncovered only weeks ago, were laid to rest on Friday, an acquaintance said.
Maxim Mayevsky, born in 1988, and his sister, Oksana Mayevskaya, born in 1989, residents of the Sverdlovsk region town of Serov, were among the first victims of the crash to be identified.
“The farewell ceremony began at 11:30 local time [5:30 a.m. GMT],” the source told RIA Novosti.
The plane, tasked with monitoring wildfires, went missing after being taken on an unauthorized flight from an airfield near Serov. The pilot did not inform air traffic control of his departure. The head of Serov’s traffic police division was one of the 13 people aboard, which included three women. There was no distress call from the aircraft when it disappeared.
Local hunters stumbled across the wreckage in remote terrain on May 5, after an extensive search operation by aircraft in previous months had failed to locate it. During the massive search operation, which covered thousands of square kilometers, rescue teams even came across the remnants of another An-2 and a Mi-8 helicopter that went missing in the 1980s.
Dubbed “the ghost plane” by the press, the fate of the missing An-2 quickly became one of modern Russia’s most talked-about mysteries. Investigators previously suggested that the plane might have been taken without permission by the pilot and his drinking buddies for a fishing trip or a visit to the sauna.