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  • Huge Blow To Polish Air Force As President Dies in Tu-154M Crash
    Posted by Robert Wall 11:17 AM on Apr 10, 2010

    In another blow to the safety record for Soviet-era commercial aircraft but even moreso for the Polish air force, the country's president died today in a crash of a Polish air force Tu-154M. Lech Kacynski was among the 89 passengers and seven crew that died when the aircraft went down on approach to Smolensk in Russia. The delegation headed by Kacynski was on its way to a commemorative ceremony marking the killing of Polish officers who were prisoners of war in the Katyn forest in 1940 at the hands of Russian forces.
    blog post photo

    (Credit: Polish air force file photo.)


    The Tu-154 went down at 8:56 a.m. (Warsaw time), after departing from Warsaw-Okecie airports at 7:29 a.m., the Polish defense ministry says. Other high ranking Polish government officials were also on the aircraft, including the chief of the general staff. Local reports cite dense fog at the airport.

    According to the Aviation Safety Network, the crash marks the 66th loss of a Tu-154.

    The incident also is big blow to the Polish air force, which, in January 2008, suffered the loss of an EADS Casa C-295M killing the air force chief and other high-ranking officers. All 20 on that aircraft died.

    Tags: ar99, tw99, crash, Poland

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