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Pilot Error Caused Uzbek Plane Crash, says Investigator - 2004-01-27

Authorities in Uzbekistan say the January 13 crash of a small passenger jet that killed 37 people was caused by poor judgment of the cockpit crew. A senior U.N. official was among those killed.

Uzbek officials say an investigation into thecrash of the Yak-40 jet has established the cockpit crew erred in trying to land in thick fog, instead of diverting the flight to another airport. They said the crew over-estimated its abilities and violated flight regulations.

The officials also faulted the crew for failing to communicate with ground controllers as the plane attempted to land. The Soviet-built plane crashed at the airport of Tashkent, Uzbekistan's capital when it missed the runway. All 37 people on board died, including the top U.N. representative in Uzbekistan, Richard Conroy.