Temperature spike in Polish presidential plane before 2010 crash, investigators say
PR dla Zagranicy
A commission reinvestigating the fatal 2010 crash of the Polish presidential plane has said that a sudden increase in temperature was signalled by one of the jet's flight recorders seconds before the disaster.
Photo: The crashed Polish presidential plane in Smolensk. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Bartosz Staszewski, PRS Team.net. (CC BY-SA 2.5)
The recorder registered “a series of abrupt events, including a momentary slump in vertical and lateral acceleration and a sudden increase in temperature,” according to a panel of investigators known as the Smolensk subcommission, in reference to the city in western Russia near which the plane crashed in April 2010.
The subcommission’s statement confirmed a recent report by the Gazeta Polska magazine claiming that one of the plane’s flight recorders registered a sudden increase in temperature signalled by a temperature sensor on the jet followed by a "disastrous series of failures."
Earlier, the investigators confirmed Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz's claims of an apparent explosion registered by one of the plane’s flight recorders.
In mid-October, Macierewicz said that one of the flight recorders from the presidential Tu-154M registered an explosion and that work was under way to rule out any other interpretation of that recording.
On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential plane crashed at a military airport in Smolensk, western Russia, killing all 96 on board, including then-President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and other top brass.
A new commission to reinvestigate the crash in April said that the plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.
The new commission was set up by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in 2015.
The party is headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of Poland’s late President Lech Kaczyński.
PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.
A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.