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Moscow says Kaczynski presence a factor in fatal crash

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Moscow says Kaczynski presence a factor in fatal crash


Pilot error was to blame, but high-level pressure may have been placed on the crew.

That is the verdict of a report released in Moscow on a plane crash in Russia last year that killed the Polish president and scores of other senior officials.

Officials say errors on the part of the crew led to the crash on April 10.

But they also say the Polish President Lech Kacyznski may have exerted what they call psychological pressure on the crew prior to the crash.

Crew members feared Kaczynski would be angry if they aborted plans to land, flight recorder audio played on Wednesday showed.

“He’ll get mad,” one of the plane’s crew members said, according to a flight recording excerpt played at a media conference by Russia’s International Aviation Committee.

Reports at the time of the tragedy suggested the president may have insisted on landing in Smolensk in bad weather.

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