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Probe shows that Russian jet had excessive landing speed

MOSCOW (AP) — A preliminary probe into last month’s crash of a Russian passenger jet that left 41 dead says the plane had excessive landing speed.

The report released Friday by the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee that investigates crashes in Russia and other ex-Soviet nations says that the Sukhoi SSJ100 had a speed of 315 kph (196 mph) just before touchdown instead of the required 287 kph (178 mph).

The plane was struck by lightning shortly after it had taken off from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on May 5 and was landing heavy with unburned fuel when it made a rough touchdown, igniting a fire that killed 41 of the 78 people aboard.

The committee stopped short of directly blaming the crew for the crash, saying additional investigation is needed to judge the pilots’ action.

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