Closing the Circle on the Polish Airplane Crash

This news is now several days old, but for completeness' sake, given previous discussions here, it seemed worth mentioning. The cockpit transcripts from the heartbreaking crash that killed so much of Poland's leadership in April were released late last week, and they appear to confirm what seemed likely from the start. The plane crashed because the pilots attempted to land in impossibly bad weather conditions (meaning: they couldn't see the runway through the mist or fog), and the very importance and power of the political delegation on board may have increased pressure on the pilots to try.

The transcripts provide no indication that Poland's "aging aircraft fleet" contributed to the problem in any way, despite widespread initial Western press speculation to that effect -- nor that there was any kind of suspicious or conspiratorial element in the crash, despite ongoing (and understandable, given the darkly freighted history of the Katyn crash site) Polish speculation on that theme. It was a "normal" accident, born of a mistake -- rationally easier to accept as a probable cause, but probably emotionally harder for Poles than if there were some external "reason" for such a national tragedy. This is so sad.

Previously on this question here, here, here, and again here.