It’s been almost eight years since the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash took the lives of the entire team, its coach, Brad McCrimmon, and his two former NHL player assistants.
On Sept. 7, 2011, a charter aircraft was flying the team to a KHL game in Minsk, Belarus, in the late afternoon of a clear day when it crashed less than 90 seconds after being given the green light for take-off.
There were 26 players, 11 coaches and management staff and eight crew. All but a flight engineer perished.
The Yak-42 aircraft overran the runway at Tunoshna Airport, struck an antenna mast, caught fire and crashed in a ball of flames onto the bank of the Volga river.
An investigation found the flight crew had made several errors. The two pilots had incorrectly calculated the take-off speed and one of the pilots had improperly placed his feet on the wheel braking pedals.
A former NHL defenceman, McCrimmon was in his first season as head coach of the legendary Russian team with Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpovtsev as his Russian-speaking assistants. Ex-NHL forwards Pavol Demitra and Josef Vasicek, and defencemen Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins and Karel Rachunek also died.
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