Russian Airline Owner Dies In Epic LT Crash

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The co-owner of Russian Airline S7 (Siberian Airlines) and one of Russia’s wealthiest women, Natalia Fileva, 55, died in the crash of an Oregon-produced Epic LT turboprop single outside of Frankfurt on Sunday. Two other people on the plane were also killed. Epic, based in the resort town of Bend, Oregon, is owned by Russian MRO company Engineering LLC but it’s not immediately clear what, if any, relationship there is between the airline and the MRO. Social media reports connect the three companies. The crash airplane had Russian registration and Epic promotional text on its exterior. The aircraft is an experimental in the U.S. It is the owner-built version of the Epic Dynasty, which has been undergoing a lengthy FAA certification after the company changed hands several times. The Russian owners are reported to have fully funded the certification effort.

Fileva was flying from France to Frankfurt when the aircraft went down in field near Egelsbach. There were no details immediately available on the crash. It happened about 2:30 p.m. local time. The weather was reported as sunny and warm. The LT is the forerunner of Epic’s Dynasty certified model that will be built in Bend. It’s a high-performance single that was built as a factory assist experimental in Bend until recently. The provenance of the crash airplane wasn’t immediately known.

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