Experienced Tu-154 pilot commanded fatal Polish flight

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Poland's presidential air transport squadron has disclosed that the captain of the ill-fated Tupolev Tu-154M which crashed at Smolensk had accumulated nearly 3,000hr on the type.

Seven crew members were on board the aircraft when it came down during approach on 10 April.

The 35-year old captain had a total of 3,528hr of which 2,937hr were on Tu-154 aircraft. His co-pilot had 506hr on type from an overall 1,939hr.

Complementing them were a navigator, who had 59hr on the Tu-154 but had also flown as a Yakovlev Yak-40 pilot, and a senior technician.

Three cabin attendants were also part of the flight crew. Two of them had formerly been cabin crew for Polish flag-carrier LOT before joining the presidential squadron, 36 Specjalny Pulk Lotnictwa Transportowego.