The last fatal airliner crash was in December, when a Russian-made Tupolev belonging to Red Wings airline careered off the runway at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, rolled across a snowy field and slammed into the slope of a nearby highway, breaking into pieces and catching fire. Investigators say equipment failure caused the crash, which killed five people.
A 2011 crash in Yaroslavl that killed 44 people including a professional hockey team was laid to pilot error. And Russian investigators found that the pilots in two crashes that killed 10 and 47 people in recent years were intoxicated.
Associated Press writer Lynn Berry contributed to this report.