On 10 April 2010, an airplane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and dozens of the country's political and military leaders crashed during its approach to Smolensk 'North' aerodrome in western Russia. All ninety-six people on board the aircraft were killed.
An air accident of that magnitude came as a stunning blow to Poland and a shock to the international community. Swift determination of its cause has become an absolute priority not only for the competent investigating authorities in Poland and Russia but also for political leaders who were put under considerable pressure from the media and the general public.
The article looks into the legal and organizational aspects of the technical and judicial investigations initiated following that accident, with particular emphasis on the application of the international rules on air accident and incident investigations.Air and Space Law