Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010
A compelling blog post on Flightglobal's Flight blog discusses the political history of piloting the President Kaczynski, and the role it may have played in the crash. Two years ago the President wanted to make a last-minute change to his flight plans and fly to Georgia, which had just entered hostilities with Russia. The flight captain refused the President's request/order citing safety concerns and was later decorated for his sense of responsibility. This is where things get interesting:
Archives from Poland's parliament, the Sejm, show that Law & Justice party member Przemyslaw Gosiewski subsequently asked the defence minister whether a pilot had the right to refuse an order from a superior in the armed forces. He also demanded to know whether, by awarding the medal, the minister intended to show that "insubordination, cowardice and disobedience" would be rewarded in future. ... Investigators probing the loss of the Tu-154 at Smolensk have yet to determine why the pilots opted to pursue an apparently hazardous approach rather than accept a safer alternative. None of the conclusions will matter to parliamentarian Gosiewski who - having questioned the courage and discipline of crews that take such decisions - was among the 96 victims of the crash.I encourage you to read the original article and the linked sources. The Polish government has indicated that information from the flight recorders, which will hopefully make the cause of the tragedy much clearer, will be released tomorrow.
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