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Russian hockey plane crash pilots not entitled to fly plane: investigators

Rescuers work at the crash site of a Russian Yak-42 jet near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011.

Misha Japaridze/AP

The pilots of a plane that crashed last year wiping out a professional Russian ice hockey team had no right to be flying it, investigators into the disaster have said.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesperson for the committee formed to investigate the disaster, told reporters that the two pilots were flying the Yak-42 plane "illegally", Russia's Ria Novosti news agency reported.

Markin said one of the pilots had "falsified documents", while the other had not received adequate training on the aircraft, Ria Novosti reported.

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He also said that Vadim Timofeyev, deputy head of airline Yak-Service which operated the flight, had been charged with breaching air safety rules.

Thirty-six players and officials from the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team lost their lives when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff almost a year ago. Eight crew members also perished in the disaster.

Among the dead were Swedish goalkeeper Stefan Liv, a former world and Olympic champion, and Canadian Brad McCrimmin, who played over 1200 NHL games and was head coach of Lokomotiv at the time of the crash.

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