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Pilot error caused Plock air show crash?

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 20.06.2011 12:49
Initial investigation into Saturday’s fatal crash during an aviation display in Plock, central Poland, appears to suggest that the light aircraft was in full working order.

Investigators search river for evidence; photo - PAP/Grzegorz Jakubowski

Captain Mark Szufa plunged to his death on Saturday while performing an airborne stunt, with his plane crashing into the River Vistula.

Experts from the National Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission have already begun examining the wreckage of the craft. One of the onboard cameras has been analysed by the team.

“The examination has not revealed any malfunctioning of the machine,” summarised Iwona Smigielska-Kowalska, a spokesperson for the Plock district prosecutor's office.

She added an autopsy will be carried on Captain Szufa today to determine the precise cause of death.

At present, it is unclear whether the pilot lost consciousness or was otherwise incapacitated whilst performing the stunt.

He was freed from the wreckage by divers, but by then he had already been underwater for several minutes. Medics were unable to revive him.

The 57-year-old pilot, a long-running employee of LOT airlines, was regarded as one of the most accomplished stunt performers.

It is the second such disaster to have struck Poland in recent times. Two summers ago, a similar crash occurred at Krakow's annual Aviation Picnic. Pilot error was found to be the cause of the 2009 crash. (nh/pg)

tags: air show, Plock
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