Pilots Blamed for Russian Plane Crash

Russians: Pilots ignored fog warnings
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2010 1:22 AM CDT
Pilots Blamed for Russian Plane Crash
Artist Kiki Garber works on completing a portrait of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, in her apartment in Brooklyn yesterday.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

Error by Polish pilots likely caused the Russian plane crash that killed Poland's president, his wife, and 94 others, according to Russian officials. Investigators have ruled out any technical flaws in the Russian-made plane and blamed pilots for ignoring control tower warnings not to land in heavy fog. "The recordings that we have confirm that there were no technical problems with the plane," said the chief Russian investigator. The pilots, members of the Polish air force, were "informed about complex weather conditions but nevertheless made a decision to land."

Probers are continuing to sift through wreckage of the plane as the investigation continues into the crash that also claimed the lives of Poland's army and navy chief and the head of the Polish central bank. Observers were questioning why so many highly ranked officials were allowed to travel on the Tu-154 plane, a type of aircraft involved in 66 crashes in the last decade, reports the Telegraph. Poland had not retired the presidential plane because of cost, and instead recently overhauled the aircraft. Mounting conspiracy theories in the blogosphere are linking the crash to the Russians.
(More Lech Kaczynski stories.)

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