Russian air control misguided doomed Polish plane: Poland

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Russian air traffic controllers misguided the Polish presidential jet which crashed April 10 in western Russia in thick fog killing president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, a Polish official said Tuesday.

Minutes before landing when the Polish plane was in fact "too high by 130 metres and 80 metres off course (...) Russian air traffic controllers said it was on course rather than warning them to adjust their course," a senior Polish investigator told reporters in Warsaw.

Polish investigators revealed a recording of Russian air traffic controllers' communication with the doomed flight, alleging they failed to notify the Polish plane's crew they were well off course while landing in a fog which should have seen the airport shut.

"It is difficult to accept that in the final Russian report this information was not included," Polish investigator Miroslaw Grochowski told reporters.

In their final report issued last Wednesday in Moscow, Russian investigators blamed the disaster on the incompetence of the plane's pilots and pressure from senior Polish officials to land despite dangerous weather warnings.

© 2011 AFP

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