Report Spreads Blame For Polish Jet Crash

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WARSAW, Poland, July 29 (UPI) — Both the Polish crew and Russian air traffic controllers were to blame for the 2010 crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, Poland said Friday.

The government’s final report on the crash near Smolensk, Russia, cited mistaken commands by a Russian traffic controller and the pilot’s delay in aborting the first attempt to land, RIA Novosti reported. Poor visibility caused by fog was another factor.

The Terrain Warning Approach System on the Polish air force Tu-154 “was not properly configured for a flight to Smolensk. It should have been set up and activated by the co-pilot,” experts presenting the report in Warsaw said.

Polish investigators conducted three test flights of another presidential Tu-154 to simulate the conditions of the crash.

A Russian report issued June 8, however, said the plane’s warning systems were working.

Kaczynski, his wife and 94 prominent Polish officials were flying to Smolensk April 10, 2010, to observe the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest massacre of 20,000 Polish officers by Soviet secret police. All aboard were killed.

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