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Tu-134s to Be Discarded

President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that Soviet-built planes similar to the one that crashed this week in Petrozavodsk should be taken out of service.

Medvedev said pilot error appears to be the cause of Monday's crash of a Tu-134 jet that killed 45, but also said the time has come for the aging planes to be mothballed.

He said they should be removed from regular flights starting next year and later from charter flights as well.

The twin-engined Tu-134, along with its larger sibling the Tu-154, has been the workhorse of Soviet and Russian civil aviation since the 1960s with more than 800 planes built.

(AP)

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