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Former Ukrainian champion dies in plane crash

Novodran was piloting small aircraft when it went down outside Pittsburgh
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A photo of Igor Novodran taken in 2008 with Russian skater Andrei Lutai at a training camp in Germany. -courtesy of picasaweb.google.com/ProfessorMishin

Igor Novodran, a former Ukrainian figure skating champion who had worked as a coach for more than three decades, died Tuesday when the plane he was flying crashed in western Pennsylvania.

The craft, a "single-seat, experimental airplane," went down just after 2 p.m. at the Washington County Airport, about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Novodran was rushed to the emergency room at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) Presbyterian, where he was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m.

According to a bio posted on the website of The Pond Figure Skating Club in Newark, Del., where Novodran was a guest coach in the summer of 2013, he had "more than 33 years of coaching experience." The bio also notes his students included national and international competitors who participated in the European and world championships. One of his notable clients was four-time British junior champion Harry Mattick. Most recently, Novodran worked as a coach at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center.

Novodran, 52, served as an assistant under Alexei Mishin and even published a book in 2011 about the famed Russian coach, titled From Torino to Vancouver: Four Years with Alexey Mishin - A Man Shorter In Height, But Larger Than Life.

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