No Evidence Of Pilot Being Pressured To Attempt Landing
The commander of the Polish Air Force was in the cockpit of the
plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and other officials
before it went down short of the runway in heavy fog in western
Russia last month.
Polish envoy to the investigating committee Edmund Klich
confirmed that General Andrzej Blasik was in the cockpit of the
plane a few minutes before it crashed. Bloomberg News reports that
Klich made the statement Monday night on the Polish private
television channel TVN. He reportedly said that, while there was no
direct pressure to land placed on the pilot, "everyone would feel
pressure in such a situation."
Kaczynski, his wife, and many of his cabinet members and other
high government officials were traveling to Russia for the 70th
anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which 22,000 Polish POW's
were killed by Josif Stalin's secret police in 1940. Investigators
have determined that the left wing of the Tupolev TU-154 struck a
birch tree on final approach and disintegrated in just a few
seconds, killing all on board.