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article imageBlack box from crashed Polish jet contains 'dramatic' recordings

By Lynn Herrmann     Apr 16, 2010 in World
A black box recording of the Polish jet crash in Russia that killed all 96 on board, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, reveals pilots knew the “inevitability” of the crash after the plane’s wings clipped fog-shrouded tree tops.
According to BBC, Russian investigators stated the pilots ignored repeated warnings from air traffic controllers to land at an alternate airport. The Tu-154 jet crashed last Saturday, killing the Polish president, his wife, and many high-ranking Polish government officials.
Andrzej Seremet, Polish chief prosecutor, stated on Polish radio: "The crew was aware of the inevitability of the coming catastrophe, if only due to the plane shaking after the wings hit the trees - which we are certain happened."
No evidence has been found that “any of the high-ranking passengers forced the pilots to land near Smolensk,” an unnamed source, close to the investigation, has stated in Moscow on Thursday.
The source added: "The panel's analysis, namely data from the black boxes, shows that it was the pilot's mistake that caused the crash."
Chief military prosecutor Krzysztof Parulski has rejected the Russian report, calling it “speculation” and no conclusions should be drawn in an ongoing investigation.
However, Col. Zbigniew Rzepa, a military prosecutor with the Polish government, said pilots were aware of the impending crash as the final seconds of the voice recording “were dramatic.” There was no further elaboration.
One of three black boxes recovered from the crash has been returned to Polish officials. The other two continue to be examined by officials in Moscow, according to Jerzy Artymiak, spokesman for the Polish prosecutors’ office.
Poland is in national mourning this week. President Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, will be given a state funeral in Krakow on Sunday, with many of the world’s leaders set to attend.
A state funeral for other victims of the crash will be held on Saturday.
Although investigators had hoped to disclose information from the black boxes on Thursday, an official release will occur after the week-end’s funerals, Mr. Artymiak added.
More about Plane crash, Polish president, Black box, Kaczynski
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