Unidentified Passengers Were in Cockpit at Polish President Plane Crash

May 19, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

A Russian expert from the inter-state air committee stands near the flight recorders from the plane of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in Moscow on May 19. Non-crew members were in the cockpit of the plane of Polish president Lech Kaczynski before its fat (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)
A Russian expert from the inter-state air committee stands near the flight recorders from the plane of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in Moscow on May 19. Non-crew members were in the cockpit of the plane of Polish president Lech Kaczynski before its fat (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)
KYIV, Ukraine—Russian investigators said in a statement on Wednesday that there had been non-crew passengers in the cockpit before the plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others last month. They did not specify the individuals’ names.

Some Ukrainian and Polish media reported that one of the strangers was Polish air force Gen. Andjei Blasik. The chairperson of Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee, Tatyana Andonina, did not confirm this information.

The investigators said that the voice of one of the strangers was identified and the other had to be cleaned up.

The final results of the tragic plane crash in Russia on April 10, which killed the Polish first couple and 94 others, have not yet been completed, but officials promised to make them public soon.

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee said the crew had been formed several days before to go to the Katyn memorial complex in Smolensk.

The investigation indicates that there were no terrorist acts, blasts, fire on board, or other problems with the aviation equipment. The engines had been working before the plane approached the ground.

The head of the technical commission investigating the crash, Aleksey Morozov, said that the Severniy airdrome in Russia’s Smolensk city, where the plane tried to set down, permitted planes to land.

Before Kaczynski’s Tu-154 plane was to land at Severniy, a Yak-40 airplane had already made a successful landing at the airport.

The crew of the Yak-40 informed the president’s aircraft crew about weather conditions. The navigation systems, including terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and flying management systems (FMS), were also in order, Morozov said.

Russian investigators reported that 30 minutes before the crash, the crew of the plane carrying the Polish president had been informed several times about the fog and visibility conditions.

The Polish delegation had been heading to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the mass execution of Polish elite during World War II at Katyn forest, 12 miles from the plane crash site.