Ukraine is experiencing tragic consequences of a fatal aviation show in Lvov; information TV and radio channels report different versions, evidences of those who witnessed the tragedy. The people are shocked with the fact that organizers of the show sent a 30-ton plane toward the crowd.
Journalists from 1+1 television found out that the fatal maneuver had been performed not in a plane originally designed for the show, but in a reserve one. Some technical failure was discovered in the main plane right before the aviation show.
Although Su-27 UB pilots were highly professional, amount of their flight hours was insignificant: less than 20 hours for each of them this year. By the way, some sources inform, the pilots were unaware of their main objective when they arrived to the show, they were simply said to perform aerobatics. At that, no exact information was provided concerning buildings on land and their relief location. It is terrible but no run-through was held under required conditions because of insufficient financing. So, the show was planned to be a success only due to skills and luck of those pilots who would perform aerobatics. But the luck turned its back on the two pilots at a very crucial moment.
The two colonels who piloted the Su-27 UB testified at the very first examination that engines broke down when the plane was diving. However, chairman of a governmental commission for investigation of the tragedy, Ukraine’s national security and defense council secretary Yeugeny Marchuk said yesterday evening, the investigation estimated that the engines had been running perfectly well till the moment the Su-27 crashed. He also says, the tragedy occurred because of a deviation off the flying path. Experts will estimate the guilty of the deviation.
It has also come to light that another plane, a MiG, was planned to take part in the aviation show together with the Su-27. But the MiG couldn’t be raised from its base because of poor weather conditions. Can you imagine how the two planes were supposed to perform aerobatics at the aviation show without any run-through at all?
Today Lvov’s newspaper Postup publishes statements given by witnesses of the tragedy. Deputy of the Lvov city council Andrian Bilyk, businessman Mikhail Kuk, cameraman Andrey Kharkalis and other people say what they saw on that tragic day at the aerodrome.
Andrian Bilyk says, the generals were drunk as cobblers since very morning, they were the first to escape the accident site.
In Kuk’s words, when the show began, many priests came to the aerodrome, but when the tragedy occurred, they vanished.
Other witnesses say, the priests were jumping over dead bodies with their frocks up; all commanders began hiding. Ordinary soldiers, on the contrary, helped people to establish order at the aerodrome, deliver wounded to hospitals and bandaged people. Ambulance cars came to the accident site with a delay, that is why soldiers tried to relieve pain of the wounded themselves.
Cameraman Andrey Kharkalis says, officers tried to snatch out cameras which people brought to the aviation show. The cameraman himself was beaten for an attempt to photograph events on the aerodrome.
As it was reported this morning, eighteen people are on the brink of life and death in Lvov hospitals now. Several dead bodies are still unidentified.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/30/44865.html