One of Russia’s richest women — co-founder of airline — dies in plane crash

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One of Russia’s richest women — who amassed a $600 million fortune as co-owner of the country’s largest private airline — died in a plane crash Sunday.

Natalia Fileva, 55, was aboard a single-engine Epic LT that spiraled into a field while on approach to an air strip in the southwestern German town of Egelsbach around 3:30 p.m., authorities said.

Also killed were the plane’s pilot and a second passenger, whose identity wasn’t immediately released but was said to be, like Fileva, a Russian citizen.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the flight, which originated in Cannes, France, to crash.

All seemed well just moments before impact, when the pilot signed off with air-traffic control and began his descent to the airfield, reported Bloomberg, citing the German-language news outlet Frankfurter Rundschau.The death of Fileva, a co-owner of the S7 Group, was confirmed in a statement by the company, Russia’s largest privately held airline and the country’s second-largest overall.

“S7 Group team extends sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Fileva’s family and loved ones,” the company said. “The memory of her as an inspiring and sympathetic leader and a wonderful person will forever stay in the hearts of all S7 Group employees. It is an irreparable loss.”

The Russian edition of Forbes estimated Fileva’s personal fortune at $600 million.

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