Experiment points to pilot error in Russian crash

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MOSCOW (AP) -- A pilot helping to investigate the crash of a Russian jet that killed 44, including an entire professional ice hockey team, says that a simulation points to pilot error as the cause.

The Yak-42 jet crashed into the banks of the Volga River moments after takeoff from Yaroslavl in western Russia on Sept. 7, wiping out the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, which included former NHL players and members of European national teams.

Test pilot Vasily Sevastyanov said Thursday on state Channel One television that the plane went into a spin because a pilot pulled it up too sharply following an abnormally slow run.

Officials have not yet announced the crash reason, but they already have said that all the plane's systems were functioning normally until impact.