The experts investigating the crash of the Tu-154 jetliner of the Polish president came to conclusion that the pilots of the plane could avoid the tragedy before the very last moment, RIA Novosti reports with reference to a source close to investigation.
The pilots had a chance to avoid the crash, but they made a fateful error. The commander of the airplane decided to land the Tu-154 despite the warning about poor visibility in the area of the Severny airdrome. The pilots neared the landing strip, but the crew decided that the plane would not touch down the landing site, experts said.
“The commander made the fateful error at this moment. He turned on the afterburner, made the plane swing to the right and tried to gain altitude turning the plane. As a result, the liner brushed against tree tops, the aircraft went out of control and crashed,” the expert said.
“If the pilot had not turned the plane when gaining altitude, the tragedy would not have happened,” the expert added.
Poland will conduct an independent investigation of the reasons of the Tu-154 crash near Smolensk. Russia has already delivered the third black box of the crashed jetliner to Poland. The flight data recorder will be deciphered in Poland with the participation of Russian experts. The deciphering of two other black boxes of the Tu-154 is to be over by the end of the week.
Vice Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Ivanov said that there was no fire and explosion on board the crashed aircraft. The engines were functioning normally too.
Investigation on the crash site continues and will last for three or four days. “Many fragments and other evidence that we need are embedded deep under the ground, so we have to uncover them,” chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin said.
Over 20 body fragments have been found on the site where the presidential jetliner crashed. Specialists also found seven pistols that belonged to security officers of the Polish president. The found items have been examined and handed over to the Polish side.
In the meantime, Artur Gorski, a deputy of the Polish Parliament, has officially apologized to the Russian administration for his previous statement, in which he claimed that Russia masterminded the crash of the presidential plane. The deputy stated later that he made the statement in a state of shock, the Noviye Izvestia newspaper wrote.
Gorski said that he gave the interview to Polish journalists in a train on his way to Smolensk, several hours after he learned about the crash.
“All that I said at that time was said under the influence of two emotions – terrible desperation and perplexity,” Gorski said.
Both Russian and Polish officials expressed their indignation about Gorski’s remarks. The Civil Platform Party chaired by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that those words were like a stab in the back.
“It’s a huge scandal. When the two nations became so close to each other, which unfortunately happened after the tragedy, Mr. Gorski’s words came like a stab in the back. They came from a Polish national, from our colleague,” a party official said. “I don’t know what made him say that, whether it was just silliness or something that was schemed before, but we were all very concerned about what he said,” he added.
“His words in no way reflected the position of the party. We are very grateful to Russians for all of their compassion, support and help that they gave Poland in these difficult times,” Martin Ploschak, the press secretary of Right and Justice Party said.