July 29 - A new report blames a Polish flight crew as well as Russian airport staff, for a deadly crash that killed 96, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife last year. Jessica Gray reports.
The aftermath of a deadly crash that killed 96 passengers, including Poland's president, in Russia last year. On Friday, Polish officials released a 328-page report which said the Polish flight crew had been poorly trained and ignored crucial safety regulations. (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) MEMBER OF SMOLENSK REPORT'S COMMISSION, MACIEJ LASEK "In order to carry out its duties, the unit broke rules applying to pilots' rest time, the flight training was hurried and did not allow for training in all types of weather conditions. This was because experienced pilots had left the unit and were replaced by inexperienced pilots, freshly out of aviation academy." President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, several armed forces officers and Polish government workers died when the pilots misjudged the distance from the ground during a tril landing in foggy weather on April 10, 2010. The report says faulty airport lighting and poor communication from the Russian ground crew also contributed, but denied politicians aboard were pressuring the crew to land. The Polish delegation was travelling to Smolensk to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the murder of Polish officers by the Soviet Union during WWII. Russian officials produced a similar report in January that held the Polish crew solely responsible, heightening tensions between Warsaw and Moscow. Jessica Gray, Reuters