Thanks guys, it all helps :)
Not exactly a situation I'm used to.
As for the awful Russian crash, pitot tube freeze ups are not exactly unusual I've had it happen to me once in a light aircraft whose pitot heat had gone U/S but nobody told me that. As a general rule it's one of the first things you switch on, I did, but of course it wasn't doing anything. fortunately it was just a Cessa, I was able to roughly gauge my speed and call a mayday for a long strip of concrete.
Having flown a little in Russia I would not trust their maintenance much although their pilots are pretty good, it sounds to me like a harried air crew flying for a fast turn around airline forgot to flip the switch.
I found a picture of the cockpit for the aircraft type, the switch is in a bit of an odd position, it looks as though it would be the co-pilot's job and I doubt the Captain could actually see it very well - strange design but we will have to wait for the accident report.
I am due a smallish Military pension from the U.K, but not yet, I only officially served a short term commission so it wont be much. I'm also due some U.K pension but that is not very easy to organise so I haven't worried yet.
In other news i'm a bit annoyed with my doctor, my brother called him yesterday and in my opinion he told my brother more than he should have, basically said I was drinking too much. He also wanted to blame that on my balance problem but this is the same doctor who told me it was a cerebellum issue after glandular fever and the same doctor who told me not to just stop drinking so my faith in him is a bit shaken. Regardless if the family are worried then I will just stop and see how it goes but my brother is over-reacting and talking detox - the hell with that, I can look after my habits myself.
My wife and I are sorting things ,out, going to take a while but we talk most every day and no acrimony, we both just need a bit of space, in my case in S.A.