Investigation into Polish air crash reveals passengers in cockpit

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Part of the wreckage of the aircraft

The investigation into the plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczyński has revealed that passengers were in the cockpit of the crashed plane. According to the head of the technical commission involved with investigating the crash, Alexei Morozov, the crew of the aircraft had been warned of limited visibility, although it has not been determined whether or not the crew's decision to land had been influenced by the passengers on board. The cause of the crash has not been identified, although the possibility of an explosion or terrorist attack on board the aircraft has been ruled out.

Morozov also said that the crew on board the plane had not been properly trained for the flight, and had been assembled only a few days before the flight. He said that the crew "did not undergo regular simulated training, including the practice of co-ordination and emergency situations during flights."

The overall leader of the investigation, Tatyana Anodina, confirmed that unauthorized people had been in the cockpit near the end of the flight, saying that "in the cockpit there were individuals who were not members of the crew." One person had been identified, although their name has not been released. Anodina said that "[t]he voice of one of them has been identified exactly, the voice of the other, or the others, will require additional information from the Polish side."

The investigation also found that the aircraft involved had been in normal operating condition; Anodina said that "[t]he engines were working up till the moment the plane collided with the ground."

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