We've been reading much about last week's UTair crash in Siberia. Most of the recent headlines indicate investigators are blaming a failure to deice the plane before departure as the likely cause of the crash. The plane slammed into the ground shortly after taking off and killed 31 people.
That possible failure for a procedure we'd think routine is bad enough. But we also picked up a report last week from a Russian news agency, Russica Izvetia Information, that featured an anonymous "air navigation official" saying that the deicing fluid could have been stolen and sold as car windshield deicer. The agency is a bona-fide news service and publishes a long-running newspaper that dates back to the beginnings of the Soviet era. ("Izvetia" means "delivered messages.)
The report says the deicer fluid could have been diluted, bottled and sold on the side of the road. Such counters with blue bottles on highways are not an uncommon sight.
While the official cause of the crash remains to be determined, we've read enough about Russian aviation to not consider the windshield story as just tabloid stuff. Last year, Forbes magazine Russian contributor Julia Ioffe wrote a frightening article, "Why Russia Is The World's Deadliest Place To Fly" at a time when Russian aviation disasters seemed to be a weekly occurrence. You can read that here. And for more insight, here .