Yemen announced on Wednesday the outcomes of the investigations into the crashes of a Sukhoi plane and an Antonov transport plane in the capital Sanaa in recent months, the official news agency Saba reported.
The Sukhoi plane crashed on February 19 killing at least 14 and injuring others and the transport plane crashed in November killing the ten-member crew; the crashes occurred in the capital Sanaa.
Chief of the Air Force, Abdul Malik Al-Zuhairy, said the preliminary investigations into the two crashes revealed that a factory technical problem was behind the downfall of the Sukhoi plane.
“The malfunction affected the plane’s wings; the plane started to tend quickly to the right, deviated from its assigned course and crashed while the pilot was communicating with the Airport authorities,” he said.
A technical committee was formed after the crash to investigate that included Russian experts, he said.
Yemen is a key buyer of Russian military equipment including warplanes. After the Antonov crash in November, Russia offered to help investigate the accident.
Al-Zuhairy’s statement was made at a press conference at the HQ of the Airforce in Sanaa.
At the conference, deputy director of training department at the Airforce and head of the team investigating the Antonov crash, Ibrahim Al-Shami, said the crash was blamed on a fire that caught the right wing of the Antonov.
“The fire broke out because of a leak of fuel; the results of the preliminary investigation revealed that,” he said, pointing out the investigation is ongoing in Russia.
The committees on the investigations have demanded to reconsider the contract with the Russian firm which sells warplanes to Yemen unless all safety conditions are met according to formal certificates from the design office. Furthermore, they urged to reconsider the contract between the firm and the construction factory to know about all construction terms.