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Pilot error caused Russian hockey team plane crash

The September 7 plane crash that killed members of a Russian hockey team was caused by pilot error.

Investigators released the findings of a probe into the crash on Wednesday and said a pilot inadvertently applied the wheel brakes during takeoff, causing the crash in Yaroslavl that killed 44 people, including members of the Lokomotiv hockey club.

According to the report from the Interstate Aviation Committee, the pilots were used to a different type of cockpit layout and mistakenly positioned their feet, slowing the plane during the takeoff.

The probe said the pilots tried to force a takeoff after realizing their mistake and should have instead aborted.

Among those killed in the crash were newly-appointed head coach Brad McCrimmon, a former NHL defenseman and assistant coach, as well as recent NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek, Karlis Skrastins and Alexander Vasyunov.