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    Presence of Air Force chief in cockpit of Polish presidential plane affected crew (Update 1)

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    The presence of the Polish Air Force Chief in the cockpit of the Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in April made the crew take "unjustified risk," the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) said on Wednesday.

    The presence of the Polish Air Force Chief in the cockpit of the Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in April made the crew take "unjustified risk," the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) said on Wednesday.

    President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other dignitaries were killed when their plane came down in poor weather near the western Russian city of Smolensk on April 10.

    MAK head Tatyana Anodina said the final report had been handed over to Polish investigators.

    She said the crew had feared a "negative reaction" from Kaczynski if they switched to a reserve airfield.

    "The presence in the cockpit of the Polish Air Force Chief... and the expected negative reaction of the main passenger... placed psychological pressure on the crewmembers and influenced their decision to continue landing at any cost," Anodina said.

    Traces of alcohol were found in General Andrzej Blasik's blood, according to the report.

    Blasik broke the "sterile cockpit rule," MAK's technical committee chairman Alexei Morozov added, meaning that no one other than the crew is allowed on the flight deck.

    Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk criticized a draft version of the report in December.

    MOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti)

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