Polish aviation official calls for acceptance of presidential crash report

Flight recorder of the Tu-154M, which crashed on Aptil 10 near Smolensk. (RIA Novosti / Georgiy Kurolesin)
Colonel Edmund Klich, Poland’s envoy to the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), backed its report on the reasons for the Polish president’s plane crash. Earlier, some Polish politicians called the report one-sided and incomplete.

“I am convinced that the majority of reasons for the crash near Smolenk lay with our side. We can’t even start talking about any misdoing on the Russian side,” he assured in an interview to Polish TV channel TVN24.

Klich said the way Polish pilots acted during the failed landing was wrong and any commands from the ground would not have altered that.

Polish officials accept the reasoning of the IAC report in general, but believe that part of the blame should be attributed to Russian air traffic controllers.

“There was a lack of understanding of the situation and it indicates errors in pilot training,” Klich said.

The IAC report, published on January 12, detailed the immediate reasons for the April 2010 crash which killed 96 people – most of them senior Polish officials, including President Lech Kaczynski. It said the accident was the result of a lack of experience on the part of the pilots and pressure to land from their superiors.

The IAC is an international body tasked with investigating civil aviation accidents in a number of Eastern European and Central Asian countries.