A preliminary investigation has found that Sunday's passenger airliner crash in the central Russian region of Tatarstan, which killed all 50 people aboard, happened after the crew, in a second attempt to land, lost control of the plane after putting it into a steep climb.
The Interstate Aviation Committee, the Moscow-based body that oversees civil aviation in most of the former Soviet states, said Tuesday that after failing to properly execute a "standard approach" to the airport in the city of Kazan, the plane's crew revved up the Boeing 737's engines to near takeoff speed and sharply raised its nose, after which the aircraft lost speed and went into a nosedive.
Video shown Monday by Russian television stations showed the plane plunging to the ground in a near-vertical descent and then exploding.
The committee said its preliminary conclusions were based on information retrieved from one of the plane's onboard data recorders.
Among the 50 people killed in the air crash were the elder son of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and the head of Tatarstan's branch of the Federal Security Service , Russia's principal security agency.