Russia’s federal Investigative Committee is putting pressure on the country’s aviation regulator Rosaviatsia over its licensing of flight training centres.
The Investigative Committee says it has “doubts over the legitimacy” of some training centres, and has conducted searches at Rosaviatsia for documents relating to the centres’ activities. It says the centres have since been "liquidated".
Its action continues the fall-out from the fatal Tatarstan Airlines Boeing 737-500 crash at Kazan.
While the inquiry is yet to reach conclusions about the 17 November accident, the Investigative Committee is focusing on the pilot training received by the aircraft’s captain.
He had originally been a navigator before being retrained as a commercial pilot at a Russian training centre in 2010. Although he had accumulated some 2,500h on the 737, this accounted for almost his entire logged flight time.
The Investigative Committee says that there were no traces of alcohol or drugs in the blood of the two pilots crewing the ill-fated Tatarstan jet.
Rosaviatsia says it is prepared to co-operate fully with the Investigative Committee, but insists that it has “never concealed” any documentation.
It states that it will hand over any documents required to establish the cause of the Kazan accident.
Rosaviatsia adds that certification of training centres is carried out in accordance with federal aviation regulations, and that it has always advocated strict standards.