- Title: RUSSIA/FILE: Non-crew members in cockpit before Smolensk crash
- Date: 20th May 2010
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (MAY 19, 2010) (REUTERS) WIDE OF BRIEFING, PANEL MEMBERS TAKING SEATS ON PODIUM INTERFAX AGENCY SIGN ON WALL WIDE OF BRIEFING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN CRASH INVESTIGATION OFFICIAL HEAD OF INTERSTATE AVIATION COMMITTEE, TATYANA ANODINA, SAYING: "There was not a terrorist act, an explosion, a fire on board, there was no failure of flight equipment, the motors were running until the plane hit the ground." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN CRASH INVESTIGATION OFFICIAL, HEAD OF INTERSTATE AVIATION COMMITTEE, TATYANA ANODINA, SAYING: "It is clear that in the cockpit there were people who were not members of the crew - one voice has been definitely identified, the other or others are awaiting further identification from the Polish side." JOURNALISTS AT BRIEFING (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) EDMUND KLICH, POLISH CRASH INVESTIGATION OFFICIAL, SAYING: "These voices were in the background but the bit of the recording on the card that I received - it was one card and there were only a few sentences from the person but to determine if it had any influence on the accident i would have to know the whole transcript of the conversation with that person. On the other hand, as far as I remember it took place 16-20 minutes before hitting the ground and that's why I do not think and it is my personal opinion, only after detailed examination, it would have a decisive effect on the cause of the accident." SLIDES SHOWN DURING BRIEFING WIDE OF BRIEFING IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF 'INTERSTATE AVIATION COMMITTEE ' BUILDING INTERIOR OF LABORATORY, VARIOUS OF FLIGHT RECORDER BOXES ON DISPLAY WOMAN WORKING IN INVESTIGATION LABORATORY, LISTENING TO FLIGHT AUDIO RECORDINGS RECORDER TAPE PLAYING VOICE RECORDINGS DISPLAYED ON COMPUTER SCREEN WOMAN LISTENING TO RECORDING
- Reuters ID: LVABTZ3WNTYG7CO1RCYEND8J6VD1
- Duration: 00:02:48
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Story Text: Non-crew members were present in the cockpit before Smolensk crash that killed the Polish president and his wife but investigators rule out the possibility of a terror attack.
Russian aviation officials said on Wednesday that at least two non-crew members were in the cockpit of a Polish plane before the crash that killed all 96 on board, including President Lech Kaczynski and his wife.
Tatiana Anodina, head of Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), said the voice of one of the passengers had been identified, while the other, or potentially others, were still being analysed. She declined to identify the voice, citing moral reservations and international rules.
Edmund Klich, head of a Polish committee that analyses airplane crashes, who has also been participating in the IAC examination, said recordings showed the voices of non-crew members were heard in the background 16-20 minutes before the crash.
He added that the presence of non-crew members in the cockpit did not break any rules as government and military planes are governed by different standards. Passengers are not allowed in the cockpits of civilian aircraft.
Russia's IAC added that its analysis had ruled out an attack, an on-board fire or mechanical failure as reasons for the Polish Tu-154 military plane to crash, leaving the potential reasons of bad weather and human error still open.
IAC's Anodina said that the engines worked up to the moment of hitting the ground.
The IAC's preliminary report did not provide its conclusion on the cause of the plane's crash, which took place in thick fog near Russia's Smolensk airport on April 10. But the preliminary findings confirmed earlier reports that weather conditions limited visibility to dangerous levels and that the Polish plane should not have landed in the dense fog.
Based on information analysed by the IAC, the visibility was limited to around 200 meters 11 minutes before the crash.
Alexei Morozov, an IAC official, said that the crew, which had been put together only a few days before the flight, had no regular training -- especially no training on handling special flight situations.
However, Morozov said that the preliminary findings are not to "serve to establish a partial fault of whom ever or their responsibilities and should not be taken as such."
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