Decision not to go to alternative airport causes Polish presidential jet crash

MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) —— The decision of the Polish presidential plane crew to land instead of flying to an alternative airport was the direct cause of the crash of April 10, 2010, head of the technical commission of the Interstate Aviation Committee Alexei Morozov said on Tuesday.

“The direct cause of the air crash was the crew’s decision not to go to an alternative airport despite the repeated warnings of poor visibility in the landing zone,” he noted.

The absence of appropriate reaction to terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) warnings was another cause of the crash, he said.

The crew was under psychological pressure and had the sole purpose of landing at any cost until the very moment the jet hit the ground, Morozov said.

The presence of Polish Air Force Commander Andrzej Blasik in the cockpit of the presidential plane put psychological pressure on the crew, he said.

He said Blasik came to the cockpit after the pilots and the head of the presidential protocol department had discussed the impossibility of landing in Smolensk under existent weather patterns.

Amid the lack of coordination, the crew “was controlling the flight and supplying information about the flight altitude,” he said.

“In the opinion of experts, the situation should be described as psychological pressure on the crew,” Morozov added.


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