Bad Weather, Crew Mistake Blamed for Poland Air Force 1 Crash

World | April 10, 2010, Saturday // 12:32| Views: | Comments: 0
Bad Weather, Crew Mistake Blamed for Poland Air Force 1 Crash: Bad Weather, Crew Mistake Blamed for Poland Air Force 1 Crash A Tupolev TU-154, designed on the 1960s, carrying the Polish President Lech Kaczynski crashed as it approached Smolensk airport in Russia. Photo by BGNES

The most likely causes for the Tupolev 154 plane crash, reportedly, killing Poland’s President, Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and a number of top officials are bad weather and crew mistake.

The information was reported Saturday by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.

The Smolensk Regional Governor, Sergey Antufiev, told Russian TV that no one had survived the crash.

"As it was preparing for landing, the Polish President's aircraft did not make it to the landing strip," Antufiev is quoted as saying.

According to preliminary reports, the plane, heading to the Smolensk airport, caught up in the tops of trees, fell to the ground and broke up into pieces.

BNR further informs the crew made 4 attempts to land in heavy fog and is most likely to blame for the tragedy.

The dispatch at the Smolensk airport had recommended to the pilot of the Presidential aircraft to not land, the Polish “newspaper “Gazetta Wyborcza” writes, citing high-ranking Polish military.

15 minutes earlier, the control tower banned a Russian IL-76 military plane from landing and redirected it to another airport. The Polish pilot, however, had failed to follow the advice and made the decision to land. Russian authorities were not allowed to mandate the official foreign aircraft to not use the Smolensk runway, only to extend recommendations.

Kaczynski was due to visit Smolensk to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, when Soviet troops killed thousands of Poles.

Russian investigators said there were a total of 132 people on the plane, contradicting the first reports of 87 people.

The Tupolev 154 plane was designed in the 1960s and is capable of carrying more than 100 passengers. BBC reports that there had been calls for Polish leaders to upgrade their aging planes.

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Tags: Lech Kaczynski, airplane crash, Smolensk, Katyn, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Law and Justice party
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