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MOSCOW, August 1 (Itar-Tass) — A press conference on Poland’s investigation into the Tu-154M plane crash near Smolensk will be held at the Interstate Aviation Committee on Tuesday, August 2, at 4 p.m. Moscow time, the IAC reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, after the presentation of the findings of the governmental ad hoc commission led by Interior Minister Jerzy Miller, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the Miller Commission’s report on the Tu-154M crash near Smolensk on April 10, 2010, will help avoid similar accidents in the future.
“A detailed description of the causes of this tragedy is of paramount importance. The commission excluded the theories of an attack, an influence from third persons and pressure on pilots. Thanks to this report we can avoid similar accidents in the future,” he said.
“The commission ended its deliberations after several months of hard work. It is now on standby. If new significant facts emerge, I will have a right and a duty to resume the operation of this commission,” Tusk said. He noted that the appearance of new facts was unlikely. “The commission is confident it has sufficient knowledge [of the air crash] to present its final conclusions,” he remarked.
Tusk also said that the report would promote the development of Poland-Russia relations.
“The truth is the best foundation for a good relationship of Poland and Russia,” he said. “The relations may improve further.”
“There are no political aspects in this report,” he noted.
The Polish theory of the April 10 air crash near Smolensk had a lot in common with the report of the Interstate Aviation Committee, but some conclusions are not quite clear, head of the Committee’s Technical Commission Alexei Morozov said.
“We have no objections to item 3.2,1 of the report, which says that the accident resulted from the excessive descent at the excessive speed under weather conditions, which prevented visual contact with the ground,” he said.
“The Technical Commission took into consideration all the technical data supplied by Poland in the drafting of its final report. Polish representative Edmund Klich and me drafted recommendations for the 36th special regiment after the preliminary analysis of the data in May 2010. The recommendations aimed to upgrade air traffic administration and training of Tu-154 crews,” he said.
“The final report of the Technical Commission also indicated the shortcomings in the equipment of the Smolensk Severny Airport and flight supervisors highlighted by the Polish governmental commission. However, the Technical Commission and international experts said that the shortcomings did not cause the crash,” Morozov said.
“Some conclusions are unclear to us, including the assuredness that the crew commander had no intention to land and that the unauthorized presence of certain individuals, among them the Polish Air Force commander, in the cockpit had no influence on the crew commander’s decision and the psycho-physiological condition of the crew,” he said.
“More detailed technical comment will be given later, after we study the materials of the Polish commission. I think we will do that very quickly,” Morozov said.
The Russian Investigation Committee will take into account the conclusion Poland has drawn from the Tu-154M crash, the Committee’s spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said.
“There is no doubt that the report of Polish authorities on the causes of the Tu-154 crash near Smolensk on April 10, 2010, will be taken into account in the investigation of the criminal case, together with all the other materials and documents related to it,” he said.
“However, the final conclusions about the Polish plane crash and the culpability of particular persons may be drawn only upon the end of the investigation. It is too early to say when the investigation may end,” he said.
“The Russian Investigation Committee will make a lawful and grounded decision and establish the causes and circumstances of the air crash and the culprits only on the basis of comparison and analysis of all the materials of this case and forensic results, as well as upon the completion of all investigative and other procedures,” Markin said.
The Polish commission said that the pilots of the presidential jetliner had insufficient skills to work under complex weather conditions.
“The pilots were not suicides. The crew attempted the landing being aware of the complex weather patterns, and that decision was not a mistake. However, the crew used a wrong altimeter. The crew commander thought that they were flying at the altitude of 100 metres, but the actual altitude was 50 metres. He wanted to take another circle in the automatic control mode,” Miller said.
“All the decisions were correct, but the pilots were not skilled enough to operate in such bad weather. They lacked training, including that in a trainer. Only a trainer can help acquire skills for rescuing passengers and oneself,” he said.
The main passenger of the Tu-154 was Polish President Lech Kaczynski who planned to attend the Katyn remembrance event. The head of the Polish Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic protocol department told the crew several minutes before the crash that the president had not decided what to do.
The commission admitted that the pilots made an independent decision to land and there was no pressure on the crew.
The Polish opposition criticized the report and said that it contained fake information and no evidence.