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Wanderer

President of Poland is dead

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People are shellshocked here. There's no other way to describe it, but for so many important figures to be wiped out in Katyn has...probably the only way to explain it is that everyone seems absolutely bewildered.

I've just been out for a walk round the city centre, and people of all ages are out, lighting candles, especially at the Katyn monument here. The churches are packed in the centre - I looked into one service and people just seem...not here? There's no other way to explain it - so many people have been killed - one shocking statistic is that 6 out of the 7 highest military commanders have been killed!

It's impossible to explain it in words, but this goes beyond politics.

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People are shellshocked here. There's no other way to describe it, but for so many important figures to be wiped out in Katyn has...probably the only way to explain it is that everyone seems absolutely bewildered.

I've just been out for a walk round the city centre, and people of all ages are out, lighting candles, especially at the Katyn monument here. The churches are packed in the centre - I looked into one service and people just seem...not here? There's no other way to explain it - so many people have been killed - one shocking statistic is that 6 out of the 7 highest military commanders have been killed!

It's impossible to explain it in words, but this goes beyond politics.

But.. how did they take you canvassing about being the new president??

(it is a sad loss)

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This is crazy. I was never a fan of him or his administration but this is still an absolute disaster. Was speaking to a friend from Poland, she says people she hasn't seen in years are coming home from University to be with their families. It's surreal.

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People are shellshocked here. There's no other way to describe it, but for so many important figures to be wiped out in Katyn has...probably the only way to explain it is that everyone seems absolutely bewildered.

I've just been out for a walk round the city centre, and people of all ages are out, lighting candles, especially at the Katyn monument here. The churches are packed in the centre - I looked into one service and people just seem...not here? There's no other way to explain it - so many people have been killed - one shocking statistic is that 6 out of the 7 highest military commanders have been killed!

It's impossible to explain it in words, but this goes beyond politics.

It's the same back here for Kenneth McKellar.

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First of the questions has got to be why putting so many of the Polish head sheds on a rather rickety looking Tupolev was considered a good idea?

The thing with the Tupolev is that it received a full overhaul in December, and was structurally sound. So far, the reports are saying that it didn't crash for technical reasons - after all, the minimum visibility for landing at Smolensk was 1000m, and the plane attempted to land in visibility of 500m or less.

Quite a few experts have pointed out that the Tupolev was actually quite a decent plane - they were only banned from the EU for noise reasons, and many of the crashes were nothing to do with the plane itself. It was also built for difficult conditions - and the accident record is comparable to a similar workhorse, the Boeing 727.

But as you say - what were so many top brass doing on the same plane?

This is crazy. I was never a fan of him or his administration but this is still an absolute disaster.

That's pretty much the sentiment of most people here. Most people see it as the Polish President has died, not Lech Kaczynski the person. Likewise with the others - it's beyond politics.

I saw an old man yesterday, at least in his 80's. He was absolutely destroyed, his face told a picture that I never thought I'd see - he looked completely and utterly emotionally crushed. It's impossible to overstate what this means to Poland - imagine the Scottish Government being wiped out at Culloden, and then you might start to grasp it. Someone told me today that the Catholic cathedral in Aberdeen had the front doors open for the first time in eternity - which says it all.

The only problem? Jaroslaw has a real chance of getting elected on a wave of emotion, especially as the Acting President (and the government's chosen man in the upcoming election) is even more of a robot than Putin or Brown!

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The thing with the Tupolev is that it received a full overhaul in December, and was structurally sound. So far, the reports are saying that it didn't crash for technical reasons - after all, the minimum visibility for landing at Smolensk was 1000m, and the plane attempted to land in visibility of 500m or less.

Quite a few experts have pointed out that the Tupolev was actually quite a decent plane - they were only banned from the EU for noise reasons, and many of the crashes were nothing to do with the plane itself. It was also built for difficult conditions - and the accident record is comparable to a similar workhorse, the Boeing 727.

But as you say - what were so many top brass doing on the same plane?

My bad - perhaps I'm overly coloured by negative reports on Soviet -era passenger aircraft.

So, pilot error then (or insert conspiracy theory here)? For a plane that looks a lot like the old BEA 1-11 (such a spotter) it sounds like it was retired for the same reason - fuck all wrong with the plane itself but too noisy for some.

As for the top brass thing, totally; when I think about it I haven't a scooby whether most other nations separate their VIP's - I haven't a clue what UK PLC do for instance. But common sense would surely dictate that they should.

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People are shellshocked here. There's no other way to describe it, but for so many important figures to be wiped out in Katyn has...probably the only way to explain it is that everyone seems absolutely bewildered.

I've just been out for a walk round the city centre, and people of all ages are out, lighting candles, especially at the Katyn monument here. The churches are packed in the centre - I looked into one service and people just seem...not here? There's no other way to explain it - so many people have been killed - one shocking statistic is that 6 out of the 7 highest military commanders have been killed!

It's impossible to explain it in words, but this goes beyond politics.

Hud on...You live in Poland?

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My bad - perhaps I'm overly coloured by negative reports on Soviet -era passenger aircraft.

The problem nowadays with Soviet era aircraft is that while planes maintained to a Western standard are fine (like the ill fated TU-154 here) - a lot of them are still being flown by people who are really cutting back on maintainence. There's at least two crashes of the same TU-154 type that seem to be a direct cause of lack of maintainence - but the planes, with modern avionics and so on are no more dangerous than your average Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.

The same plane, incidentally, had brand new Rolls Royce engines fitted just last December.

So, pilot error then (or insert conspiracy theory here)? For a plane that looks a lot like the old BEA 1-11 (such a spotter) it sounds like it was retired for the same reason - fuck all wrong with the plane itself but too noisy for some.

Yup - that's basically it, it was too noisy for the EU for passenger flights. The EU also bans the use of "hush kits" which would bring the craft within noise limits - but the plane itself, when equipped with Western technology, is really not a bad craft at all.

As for the top brass thing, totally; when I think about it I haven't a scooby whether most other nations separate their VIP's - I haven't a clue what UK PLC do for instance. But common sense would surely dictate that they should.

Apparently it's quite normal to separate them - in this case, it's just a monumental fuck up. But Kaczynski did have the stubbornness of a mule - who would really want to refuse the President?

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It's the same back here for Kenneth McKellar.

As soon as I heard about Kenneth I was westering home with a song in the air!

Still, at least he died peacefully, not blown out of the sky by a foreign plane!!!!

(like Glenn Miller).

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