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Polish Pilot Lauded As A Hero

Safely Laded B767 After Landing Gear Failed To Deploy

The pilot of a LOT 767 who made a successful gear-up landing Tuesday is being hailed as a hero in his country, and along the way burnishing the reputation of polish pilots which had suffered following a 2010 accident in Russia which fatally injured Poland's President.

The pilot, 54-year-old Tadeusz Wrona, brought the aircraft down on its belly on the runway covered in flame retardant after the aircraft's hydraulics failed during a flight from Newark. There were no injuries among the 231 people on board the aircraft.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the plane was evacuated within 90 seconds after it came to a stop. Wrona said he had a difficult time sleeping Tuesday night, playing the landing over in his head. But he said he should not be hailed as a hero. "Each of us at LOT would have done it the same way," he said.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowske, who was elected after the accident last year, offered congratulations to Wrona, and said he intended to award the pilot a national decoration.

Wrona has logged some 15,000 hours flying for the Polish flag carrier. It's certainly a coincidence, but the translation of Wrona ... is "crow."

FMI: www.lot.com

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