The pilots of the Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia killing all on board ignored repeated warnings to pull up, the transcript recovered from the black box has revealed, according to

In the last few dramatic seconds of the flight the aircraft’s terrain awareness and warning system repeatedly tells the crew to “pull up, pull up”.

The recording ends with one of the crew swearing as the plane rolled over and smashed roof-first into trees close to Smolensk airport in western Russia.

Earlier an automated voice had warned the crew of “terrain ahead”.

In addition to claiming the lives of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, the April 10 disaster killed dozens of Poland’s political, military and civic elite.

Released by the Polish government, the 41-page transcript of conversations between Smolensk air-traffic control and the Tupolev Tu-154 of the Polish presidential flight added to mounting speculation that pilot error caused the crash.

Russian investigators have said that the crew’s failure to heed warnings from the ground that heavy fog at Smolensk, which had reduced visibility to little more than 200 metres, made landing an impossibility.

Just why the pilots ignored both air traffic control and the clear and repeated warning from the Tu-154’s systems have become a source of intense debate in Poland. Many Poles believe that President Kaczynski, eager to attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, may have pressured the crew into making an attempt to land.

But the president fails to appear on the transcript with the only non-crew voice being that of General Andrzej Blasik, the head of the Polish air force, who makes a technical comment two minutes before the crash.

Some of the conversations, however, are marked as unintelligible in the transcript.