Decision not to land at reserve airfield caused Polish plane crash

Decision not to land at reserve airfield caused Polish plane crash

"During the flight, the Tu-154 jet's crew members repeatedly received information about the poor weather conditions at the destination airfield," said Tatyana Anodina, the head of the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK).

Anodina said the jet was in good working order, but they did not land at the reserve airfield.

"Before departing from Warsaw, the plane was in a good working condition. There was no fire, explosion or damage during the flight," she said.

Kaczynski and 95 senior Polish officials were heading for a ceremony to honour Polish officers killed by Soviet secret police in 1940 near the western Russian city of Smolensk.

"The presence in the cockpit of the Polish Air Force Chief (General Andrzej Blasik) and the (foreign ministry's) chief protocol officer, and the expected negative reaction of the main passenger... had a psychological impact on the crew members and influenced their decision to land in any condition," Anodina said.

The crew of the presidential jet were also not informed of the weather conditions before take-off.

"There were serious flaws where the preparation of the crew, control over the flight and a choice of alternative airports were concerned," Anodina said, adding the crew did not have "factual and actual" information about the weather conditions near Smolensk.