Russian investigators have disclosed that the Epic LT aircraft which crashed killing S7 Group chief Nataliya Fileva was an 11-year old airframe operated by a company identified as Globus.
The 31 March accident occurred at 16:40 local time at Egelsbach airport, which lies some 10km south-east of Frankfurt Main.
Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee says the aircraft crashed into a field and caught fire while attempting to land.
“The aircraft is completely destroyed and burned,” it adds. None of the three occupants survived.
It states that the Epic LT – a six-seat aircraft, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine – was registered RA-2151G.
This airframe bore serial number 19 and was built in 2008, according to Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer.
Fleets Analyzer also reveals that the same aircraft sustained major damage almost exactly four years ago, when it was involved in a landing accident at Moscow Domodedovo in March 2015 – reportedly with Fileva’s husband, S7 Group executive Vladislav Filev, on board.
The Interstate Aviation Committee points out that RA-2151G has a “single copy aircraft” certification – the Epic LT is a kit-built airframe.
Manufacturer Epic Aircraft, based in Oregon, was sold in 2012 to Russian maintenance holding company Engineering – which is linked to S7 Group and recently rebranded under the S7 Technics name.
S7 Group has a division called Globus which operates holiday charter services. It is unclear whether this company is directly linked to the operator of the Epic LT.
German investigation authority BFU is to take charge of the inquiry while the Interstate Aviation Committee will offer support.