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Timeline Of Smolensk Plane Crash

Five years after the crash of a Polish government jetliner near the Russian city of Smolensk that killed 96 people, including then-Polish President President Lech Kaczynski, key facts remain unknown or disputed. The high-level delegation, carrying not just the president but also his wife as well as the head of the central bank and commander of the armed forces, was flying the Russian-made Tupolev-154M jet to a memorial ceremony at Katyń to commemorate the thousands of Polish army officers killed by Soviet secret police in 1940.

The crash shocked Polish society, strained already poor relations with Russia, and prompted a long-running Polish investigation, hampered by the fact that Russia never handed over the remains of the aircraft. Preliminary findings suggest there may have been negligence on both sides. Poland has charged two Russian air-traffic controllers with improperly carrying out their duties, while recently released transcripts of the cockpit conversations show the pilots may have come under undue pressure from high-ranking passengers to land the aircraft in bad weather.


Some key events during the April 10, 2010, flight and lead-up to the crash (local Smolensk time):


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