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An-12 Crash Shows Huge Maintenance Failures

In connection with crash of the Аn-12 airplane in Egypt on 20 February 2009, the Antonov ASTC press service is authorized to inform as follows.

On the 20th of February, the Аn-12 transport aircraft, registration number S9-SVN, registered with the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, when performing takeoff from the airport of Luxor (Republic of Egypt), overran the runway, crashed and burned down. Five crewmembers that were aboard the aircraft were killed.

The aircraft operated by Aerolift airlines of RSA was flying to undergo maintenance checks from Entebbe (Uganda) to Nikolayev (Ukraine) with enroute stop at Luxor.

The crashed Аn-12 (serial number 6344310) was built at Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Association in August 1966. Until 1990 the aircraft was operated by the USSR Air Forces, later by Penza Joint Flight Formation of Aeroflot Airlines, and starting from 1999 by a Russian airline Avial-НВ. Throughout this period, up to January 2005, the aircraft was under the supervision of the Antonov ASTC Operations Service. It was periodically inspected by the company specialists, the detected defects were eliminated.

Based on the Antonov ASTC Decision dated 27.01.2005, the Аn-12 aircraft No. 6344310 was assigned a declared service time until 31 October 2005.

Thereafter, the aircraft was operated illegally, having no airworthiness. It was flown in Africa, and exchanged several owners and operators. These organizations did not pay proper attention to continued airworthiness of the aircraft, ignoring the need for the accomplishment of further maintenance actions for continued airworthiness, including service lives and time limits extension.

Nevertheless, Antonov ASTC repeatedly attempted to draw the attention of aviation authorities of the countries where the aircraft was operated to the necessity of close control over the aircraft operational status. Thus, in October 2007, a letter was sent through State Aviation Administration of Ukraine to the aviation administration of Uganda where the aircraft was stationed at the time to inform that service life of the Аn-12 No. 6344310 had expired, and its further operation was unsafe and unallowable.

The Antonov ASTC press service expresses deep regret on the occasion of the loss of life and aircraft.

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Antonov ASTC emphasizes again the inadmissibility of operating airplanes with elapsed service lives and time limits