Polish Pilots Knew They Were Doomed

Black boxes yield no evidence they were pressured to land
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2010 6:02 PM CDT
Polish Pilots Knew They Were Doomed
Soldiers the scene of the crash in Smolensk, Russia.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

As investigators pore over evidence from the Polish plane crash, it appears the pilots knew they were going down, if only briefly. “One could say that the crew was aware of the inevitability of the coming catastrophe, if only due to the plane shaking after the wings hit the trees, which we are certain happened,” says Poland's chief prosecutor.

A Russian official, meanwhile, says the flight recorder "did not register any pressure on crew members" to land in thick fog, reports the New York Times. That weakens the theory that President Lech Kaczynski ordered them to land despite air traffic controllers' warnings. One of those controllers gave an interview to a Russian paper in which he attributed the crash to “weather conditions, maybe crew error, uncontrolled loss of altitude and the pilot’s desire to land the plane at any costs.” (More Lech Kaczynski stories.)

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