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Pilot was advised to divert due to heavy fog, it's the captain's call and responsibility. Runway length 2,500 mtr (8,200 ft) isn't very long, came in too low trying to land not being aware of tall tree tops. Poor pilot judgement, safety record of the Tupolev TU-154M is poor and problems were pre-existent in recent past.

Crash: Polish Air Force T154 at Smolensk impacted trees

(Aviation Herald) - A Polish Air Force Tupolev TU-154M was on approach to Smolensk North Airport's (Air Base) unmarked runway (runway heading approximately 270 degrees) in developing dense fog, when the airplane impacted trees about 1500-2000 meters short of the runway and crashed onto the ground coming to rest about 700 meters short of the runway threshold.

The crew was advised by air traffic control in Belarus not to continue to Smolensk due to fog, but to divert to Minsk and later, after hand off to Russian ATC, Russian Air Traffic Controllers recommended to divert to Moscow, the crew however continued to Smolensk. [Notable passengers list]

VIDEO RussiaToday.com

Aviation Safety preliminary report

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 10th, 2010 at 04:23:27 PM EST

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