Yugoslav Pilots Blamed in Crash of Quake Relief Plane

Associated Press

A Yugoslav relief flight to the earthquake zone in Soviet Armenia crashed Dec. 12 because the pilots set the Soviet-built plane's altitude instruments improperly, a Soviet investigator said Friday.

The crash at Yerevan, the Armenian capital, killed all seven people on the Antonov-12 transport. It was the second plane crash in the international relief airlift that followed the Dec. 7 earthquake that killed at least 55,000 people.

A plane carrying Soviet soldiers crashed the day before while approaching to land at the quake-ravaged city of Leninakan, killing the 78 people aboard.

Izvestia, the government newspaper, quoted the head of a commission investigating the Yugoslav crash as saying that ground controllers gave the pilots correct information but they did not confirm receiving it and the controllers did not request confirmation.

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