Poland to reopen investigation on presidential Tupolev 154 crash
Eight years after the Polish Air Force Tu-154M crash in Smolensk, Poland put forward another theory of the crash and initiated a new investigation.
On April 10, 2010, the presidential plane was performing a flight from Warsaw to Smolensk, carrying Polish government officials, including the President of Poland Lev Kachinsky, to attend the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. When attempting to land in Smolensk North Airport (LNX) in low visibility conditions, the aircraft struck trees and crashed, killing 8 crew members and 88 passengers, including the President.
After the first investigation, specialists of the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (МАK) came to conclusion that the crash occurred as a result of a pilot mistake, partly attributed to psychological pressure. Polish experts also confirmed the theory of a cockpit failure in their report, issued in 2011.
However, in April, 2018, the Polish Commission annulled the initial investigation results, local Polsat News reports, claiming that conclusions of the first report were false and repeated the ones provided by MAK. The new version gave points out to allegedly explosive way the Tu-154M demolished. The Polish Commission believes there were at least two explosions, one of them in the left wing of the aircraft, prompting another investigation.
On August 23, 2018, Investigative Committee of Russia complied with the new Polish request to review the Tu-154M airplane wrecks again. The Committee reported that investigators from both Russia and Poland will inspect the wreckage of Tu-154M in Smolensk, starting September 3, 2018. “From 3 to 7 of September, the additional investigation of the material evidence will be held, comprising units, subassemblies and structural elements of the Tu-154M aircraft in Smolensk, with witness of Polish representatives”, comments the representative of Russian Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko, according to an official statement.
The inspection will be carried out by the investigators of the central apparatus of the Russian Investigative Committee with the participation of the staff of the Polish Main Department of Criminalistics with the use of criminal investigation techniques to fix the results of the investigation. After that, the materials will be handed over to the Polish side in accordance with the procedure established by law, according to Petrenko.