Faulty Brakes Suspected In Russia Crash

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Although early reports of a fatal Tupelov 204 crash in Russia cited pilot error as the likely cause, investigators now are saying the airplane's brakes or thrust reversers may have failed. "After landing, the pilot used all the available brake systems on the plane, but for some reason the machine did not stop," a member of the investigation team told the Interfax news Agency on Sunday. The Red Wings jet was landing at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Saturday with eight crew on board. Five of them -- the captain, first officer, a flight engineer and two flight attendants -- were killed when the aircraft failed to stop after landing, ran through a barrier onto a highway, and broke apart.

The other three crew members remain hospitalized but are improving, according to The Voice of Russia. The airplane had passed an inspection as recently as Dec. 14. A Euronews report on Monday said Russia's aviation authority had notified Tuopolev about suspected brake problems after the same make of airplane ran off a runway on Dec. 19. The Tu 204 is comparable to a Boeing 757 and began service in 1994. It is still in production and the crash airplane was built in 2008.