A newly educated Colorado college traveling to northwestern Russia to act as a fishing guide was one of 41 people killed on Sunday when a Russian airline made a severe emergency at a Moscow airport and ignited unburned fuel that used the aircraft.
Jeremy Brooks, 22, is believed to be the only American to die in the crash of the SSJ100 jet bound to the northwestern city of Murmansk.
Brooks, Santa Fe, NM, graduated from the Colorado Springs School in 2018 with a degree in Environmental Sciences, reported Fox 31. Ivan Valdez, the holder of the Reel Life fishing shop in Santa Fe, told reporters that Brooks had worked for him since he was 16.
"He just recently graduated … and was looking to expand his horizons a little," Valdez told KOB.
In a post on The Reel Life's Facebook page, Valdez Brooks celebrated as "mature beyond his year and the ultimate man".
"With a world filled with so much anger and hatred, Jeremy would take you away from it," Valdez wrote. "I can remember all our trips we have fished and guided together! You were like my son to me Jeremy!"
The aeroflot plane was airborne for just 28 minutes after starting from Sheremetyevo airport before returning to make landing loaded with unburned fuel, investigators said.
Pilot Denis Evdokimov told Russian media that he followed obesity landing procedures. However, the crew did not draw any fuel, which is common to flights that must land shortly after takeoff to prevent them from being too heavy.
Evdokimov said the plane had lost radio communication due to a lightning strike, but it was not clear if it dropped the emergency landing.
He added that he was not sure why the plane landed hard. Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesman for Russia's foremost investigating agency, told Russian news agencies that investigators were looking for three main opportunities behind the cause of the disaster: inexperienced pilots, equipment failures, and bad weather.
Video showed that flames burst from the underside of the jet as it moved down, then shook over the back of the Sukhoi SSJ1
When the plane ceased, some of the people aboard downhill inflatable slides deployed from the front part
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Some of those who fled were with luggage, which caused Concerns about catching their bags may have delayed an evacuation where every two seconds was critical.
"I don't know what to say about people who ran out of bags," survived Mikhail Savchenko on Facebook. "God is their judge."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.