Non-crew members present in Polish President`s aircraft
Unauthorised persons were in the cockpit of Polish President Lech Kaczynsky`s aircraft before it crashed in Russia`s Smolensk region last month, a top probe official said today.
Moscow: Unauthorised persons were in the
cockpit of Polish President Lech Kaczynsky`s aircraft before
it crashed in Russia`s Smolensk region last month, a top probe
official said today, ruling out terrorism or technical failure
as the cause for the fatal accident.
"It has been established that non-crew members were in
the cockpit," Chairperson of CIS Interstate Aviation Committee
Tatyana Anodina today announced.
A Soviet-made Tu-154 aircraft crashed on April 10 when
it attempted to land in thick fog, killing all 96 people on
board, including President Lech Kaczynski and other top state
She said the voice of one person was identified while
the others are being identified by Polish officials.
Anodina did not specify the number of people in the
cockpit or their identities.
The Interstate Aviation Committee said Russian
controllers had repeatedly warned the crew of Polish president
plane of bad weather conditions and landing should be avoided.
"The lead controller warned the crew twice about fog
at the airport, visibility of 400 meters, and that landing is
impossible," a probe expert said.
Poland is carrying out its own parallel probe into the
crash in which the country`s top military and political elite
Investigators still did not offer concrete
conclusions about the cause of the crash more than five weeks
after the tragedy, however they said an act of terror,
technical failure or an explosion have all been ruled out.
"The air traffic controller at Smolensk Severny
airport... twice warned the crew that there was fog at the
airport, visibility was 400 metres (440 yards) and the
conditions were not present to receive the plane," said Alexei
Morozov, head of the committee`s technical commission.
The crew of the Tu-154 also received information, 16
minutes before the crash, from a crew of a Polish air force
Yak-40 which landed successfully earlier in the day that
visibility was 400 metres.
Then, "Four minutes before the crash, the crew of the
Yak-40 informed the crew of the Tu-154 that they evaluated the
visibility at 200 metres," Morozov said.
Anodina said the technical commission had established
that the crash was not the result of an act of terror or
"There was not an act of terror, an explosion, a fire
on board or a failure of aviation equipment. The engines
worked until the collision with the earth," she said.