Russia blames Polish crew in Kaczynski crash

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 12, 2011 12:38




MOSCOW — Russian officials investigating the airplane crash that killed Polish  President Lech Kaczynski are placing the blame squarely on the Poles, saying the crew was under pressure to land in bad weather from an air force commander who had been drinking.

Kaczynski and 95 others, including his wife, died in April 2010 when their plane crashed while trying to land in Smolensk, Russia.

Officials of the Interstate Aviation Commission, which investigates crashes in much of the former Soviet Union, said Wednesday that the pilots were pressured to land by Poland's air force commander, who was in the cockpit. They said he had a high blood-alcohol level.

The comments were made at a news conference announcing the final results of the investigation. The report found no fault with Russian air traffic controllers.


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