Russian operator Yak Service, the operator of the Yakovlev Yak-42 which crashed at Yaroslavl today, had previously come under safety scrutiny from European and domestic regulators.

In June last year Russian authorities informed the European air safety committee that Yak Service had been prohibited from operating into European Civil Aviation Conference airspace since 18 May.

The measures were among a series designed to improve oversight of certain carriers following an "increasing number of findings raised during ramp checks having an impact on safety", said the European Union's Official Journal in July 2010.

These operating restrictions on Yak Service were, however, removed on 11 August 2010 after Russian authorities cited "satisfactory results" from oversight activities.

But the European Commission said in November that it was not satisfied that Yak Service's fleet was entirely fitted with mandatory ICAO equipment necessary for international commercial air transport, despite re-certification of certain systems by Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee.

As a result the European air safety committee opted to ban two Yak-40 trijets - registered RA-87648 and RA-88308 - from operations in European Union airspace.

"Member states will continue to verify the effective compliance of Yak Service with the relevant safety standards through the prioritisation of ramp inspections to be carried out on aircraft of this carrier," the committee added.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news