Russian Air Roulette

Service on Aeroflot was once considered just riotously bad. These days, it's getting downright dangerous.

What could have caused Aeroflot Flight 593 to drop headlong out of the sky on March 22? For nearly a fortnight, international aviation officials asked themselves that question. Was it a technical failure? A terrorist bomb? A stray bird? All they knew was that the Hong Kong-bound Airbus A-310 disappeared from radar and exploded deep in the Siberian taiga . . . until last week, when the plane's flight recorder finally yielded a haunting clue: the voice of a child.

Somewhere over the Altai Mountains, experts at Montreal's International Air Transport Association now believe, Captain Yaroslav Kudrinski's 15-year-old son -- who,...

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