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Animal-Chasing Game May Have Caused An-2 Crash, Investigators Say

Investigators seeking answers in the crash of the An-2 biplane that went missing last June say the crash may have been caused by pilots trying to chase wild animals with the plane.

The game, known as "fox air chase," involves pilots bringing the plane close to the ground and trying to touch the animals with the chassis, Interfax reported Monday, citing an official source from the Sverdlovsk region.

"Engine failure is being investigated [as the cause of the crash], so the engine will be sent to Moscow in the next few days for special testing. Yet, there is another possible cause [of the crash]: Some light aircraft pilots in the Urals find it amusing to chase wild animals and push them to the ground with the wheels of the chassis. It is not improbable that the people on this flight engaged in this activity, chasing foxes," the source said.

It has previously been reported that the remains of the crashed airplane were found in a wooded terrain among a dozen of flattened trees. It is not clear from the report how the plane could touch the animals with the wheels if the animals were running between the trees.

The Antonov An-2 biplane, which belonged to Avia-Zov, crashed on June 11 last year after an unauthorized takeoff from a Serov airstrip.

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