Kazakh carrier blames wake turbulence for deadly crash | CBC News

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Kazakh carrier blames wake turbulence for deadly crash | CBC News

Kazakh carrier Bek Air said Monday the deadly crash of a jet near Almaty last week may have been caused by wake turbulence, an explanation immediately disputed by the Central Asian nation’s air navigation company.

The Fokker 100 lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence before hitting a two-storey building. Authorities are looking into the possible causes, including pilot error and technical issues.

Indirectly blaming air traffic controllers, Bek Air chief executive Nurlan Zhumasultanov said the jet may have been cleared for takeoff too soon.

“In calm weather, wake turbulence persists for two-three minutes,” he told a briefing, adding the crashed Fokker took off about a minute or two after the previous jet.

Bek Air CEO Nurlan Zhumasultanov indirectly blamed air traffic controllers for the crash, saying the aircraft may have been cleared for takeoff too soon. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)

However, state-owned company Kazaeronavigatsia, which is in charge of air traffic control, said the 1-minute, 52-second interval between the takeoffs was in line with regulations.

“We have submitted all the documents and we should wait until the commission finishes its work,” Kazaeronavigatsia deputy chief executive Faat Bogdashkin said, referring to the commission set up to investigate the accident.

Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, who heads the commission, has ordered it to present preliminary findings by Jan. 10.

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