Aviation News

December 20, 2010

Poland Rejects Russian Account of President Kaczynski Plane Crash

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Friday rejected Russia’s report on the causes of the plane crash which killed late President Lech Kaczynski and other high-ranking officials in April.

Wreckage of Polish Air Force Tu-154M 101 in Smolensk, Russia

Wreckage of Polish Air Force Tu-154M 101 in Smolensk, Russia

According to the RIA Novosti news agency, the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) envoy Edmund Klich said that the crash of President Kaczynski’s plane was caused by twelve factors, not one. In addition, mistakes and violations made during the preparations and during the flight contributed to the fatal crash.

However, Tusk said that the IAC draft report cannot be accepted in the form in which it was provided by Russia, saying his government has multiple problems with the document.

In September, Poland first expressed its concerns with the progress of the Russian investigation and informed Russian authorities about them. Poland felt that some information was not transmitted and many doubts the Polish government had remain unanswered.

A major concern was also that the Polish government had not received detailed information from Smolensk airport and the procedures followed by its personnel, which could be useful in determining the cause of the crash.

Poland further urged a satisfactory explanation over the allegations against the Smolensk airport, served by the Russian military, which apparently does not meet the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards of a civilian airport as it is a military airport.

Last April, President Lech Kaczynski, 60, was killed when the Polish Presidential plane crashed near Smolensk airport in western Russia. A total of 132 people, including former Polish President Ryszard Kaczorowski and Chief of Staff of the Polish Armed Forces Franciszek Gągor, were killed.