Three hypotheses in Smolensk disaster

Gazeta Prawna (English Translation)

… Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio reported that experts take into account the three hypotheses disaster: bad weather, pilot error and equipment failure…

…In one of the recorders is a record of the flight, including information on changes in height and thrust. This data is crucial to determine how the aircraft approached for landing.

From the account of witnesses that when the final attempted touchdown, the airplane first accosted the left wing of the measuring 50 meters antenna seeker of the runway, then a tree, and fell to the ground.

The second black box calls are recorded conversations of the crew and flight controllers. Yesterday Russian Ministry of Transport announced that one of the black boxes is slightly damaged.

Tape recording flight data has moved most likely due to shock – an intergovernmental committee gave the Moscow airport. Not clearly stated whether the audio recorder was damaged.

We have our own investigative hypotheses on the causes of the disaster. But I do not want to share them now. We work together with the Russians – he told us yesterday morning prosecutor Christopher Parulski. And he added that prosecutors and technicians begin mining was “very valid”…]

Pilots of Poland’s Tu-154 Had All Chances to Avoid Crash

The experts investigating the crash of the Tu-154 jetliner of the Polish president came to conclusion that the pilots of the plane could avoid the tragedy before the very last moment, RIA Novosti reports with reference to a source close to investigation.

The pilots had a chance to avoid the crash, but they made a fateful error. The commander of the airplane decided to land the Tu-154 despite the warning about poor visibility in the area of the Severny airdrome. The pilots neared the landing strip, but the crew decided that the plane would not touch down the landing site, experts said.

“The commander made the fateful error at this moment. He turned on the afterburner, made the plane swing to the right and tried to gain altitude turning the plane. As a result, the liner brushed against tree tops, the aircraft went out of control and crashed,” the expert said.

“If the pilot had not turned the plane when gaining altitude, the tragedy would not have happened,” the expert added.

Source: Pravda.Ru


The pilots knew the ending

Gazeta Prawna (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Captain presidential Tupolev Tu-154 has only one landing attempt at Katyn. Preliminary analysis of recordings from the black boxes indicate that the pilots were aware that they would perish.

It was the wrong approach, which ended in disaster – says, “DGP” Krzysztof Parulski, the chief military prosecutor, who coordinates the work of Polish prosecutors in Russia. He adds that the records have already read black boxes indicate that the pilots just before the disaster to understand that the pitch.

The crew was aware of this – he says Parulski.  Were the pilots talking before the crash with someone from the passengers? We have no evidence that such a conversation took place. But the recordings of the cockpit we have carefully analyzed – told us the head of the military prosecutor’s office.

Russian experts explain how the crash. In their view, Arkadiusz Protasiuk captain paid no heed to warnings of bad weather and decided to land. Only Approach for landing the pilots noticed that the plane fails to reach the landing point. This moment led to a fatal error. Pilot increased string and do not know for what reason, upheld the right plane. At the same time tried to soar to the top.

As a result, the aircraft caught on the tops of the trees, and the pilot lost control of the machine – he told Russian agency RIA Novosti one of the experts investigating the cause of the disaster. Did the pilot was able to avoid the breakdown to the ground? The expert says that if he simply gaining height in a straight line, there would be a chance.

The Russians have argued from the beginning that it was the fault of the pilot. But it also said that he did not know Russian. And he knew it very well. He did not know the airport – and yet he was the second pilot, who flew three days earlier with Prime Minister Tusk to Smolensk. Well knew the airport Siewiernoje.

The Russian side gave the Poles a third black box found at the crash site. Today we reached the Polish. In Russia, are continuing work on deciphering the record of the other two. Polish and Russian specialists synchronized recording conversations with the pilots’ conduct of the flight data. Identify the sounds and noises in the cockpit – said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. He added that until the crash Tu-154M engines worked smoothly.

Polish military prosecutors will deal with one more fact. Examine the authenticity of amateur video recorded shortly after the disaster the government plane. At the end of the film can hear noises like gun shots and shouting “flee away”.

Prosecutors will try to see if someone actually shot immediately after crashing plane. It is not unlikely that it gave the Russian militiamen fired into the air to disperse onlookers. Under the influence of fire could also fire a cartridge of seven guns of the BOR, who flew with the president. In Smolensk still extracted fragments of the aircraft, which are stuck deep in the earth.

Experts have identified the last 20 pieces of bodies. In total, identified remains of 64 victims of the disaster.

Original Link (Polish)



“The final decision belongs to the pilot”

GRZEGORZ Pietruczuk to land in fog without ILS – Control Tower can not advise. Specify the specific meteorological conditions and whether the pilot is allowed to land or not. If these conditions are below the minimum standards for the airport, it is closed. If not, the pilot decides: to land or fly to the aerodrome.

Gazeta Prawna (English Translation)

TALK – JĘDRZEJ BIELECKI:

Is the weather conditions at the airport in Smolensk Presidential permit to land the aircraft?

KPT. GRZEGORZ Pietruczuk *:

Fog means visibility is less than 1000 meters. The airport, in contrast to most Western, there is no ILS guidance systems. Therefore, weather permitting standards for landing aircraft are tightened. While planes can land normally when visibility exceeds 800 m and cloud ceiling is higher than 60 m, in this case approaches according to two NDB beacons have visibility of at least 1800 m and cloud ceiling had to be greater than 120 m.

What the pilot sees in the fog, which is not available to the ILS?

It has a glass milk. NDB-type devices are not very precise. Deviation from the axis of the belt can reach 100 – 200 m. The facts can only evaluate when going down below the ceiling and see the lights and airport approaches. It is possible that misjudged the flight altitude. It may happen that the pilot or control tower, badly interpret the pressure under which it is set.

Boeing and Airbus is much better in such situations?

No, in principle, the measuring devices operate on the same principle.

Mr. flies airplanes for over 20 years. Is it so happened that you did not obey the commands of the control tower?

There I happened to land without permission.

The Russians, however, contend that the pilots repeatedly advised that the machine sent to another airport.

But the control tower could not handle. Specify the specific meteorological conditions and whether the pilot is allowed to land or not. If these conditions are below the minimum standards for the airport, it is closed. If not, the pilot decides: to land or fly to the aerodrome.

Maybe Capt. Protasiak was under considerable pressure to land at any price to make it in time for the ceremony? “

These are not mere flights of course. We are under pressure to fit in a timely manner. We know what level we are passengers on board. However, our pilots are trained so as to not yield to such pressure.

But when you refused landing in Tbilisi and flew to Azerbaijan, President Lech Kaczynski called Mr. fearful. Protasiuk did not have enough courage to face such pressures?

When we flew to Tbilisi, I was captain of the flight, my Arek II pilot. Time was of the same opinion as me. This was an excellent pilot with extensive experience.

Is a second government Tupolev should now be grounded?

I repeat: I think these are good machines. If we buy new, for example because of the range. So that no one had to land after flying fuel across the Atlantic. Would also be important to replace Yak-40 aircraft. They are very interconnect technology.

*Grzegorz Pietruczuk , pilot 36., remote 36th special regiment, who in August 2009 refused to inlet the airspace of Georgia

Original Link (Polish)



Plane crash in Smolensk: around the airport “North” long not cut down trees

(English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

From early morning in Smolensk taxi drivers wondered why tightly closed motorway Moscow – Minsk? That was a terrible crash with the plane, which flew the Polish delegation and Polish President Lech Kaczynski, was not yet known.

The accident happened near the village of Pechersk. The latest data on board the plane were 96 people, all of them died. On board was the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski and his wife.

The plane crashed on landing. It says a source from the MOE, the plane hit a tree and broke into pieces. Начался пожар. The fire started. As a result of a terrible accident, everyone in the plane were killed.

The key question: Could the “North” to take the plane, because last year the regiment was disbanded and the aircraft transferred to military airfields Orenburg-2 and Taganrog. Battle flag and the honorable name of the regiment transferred to the air base formed by the 1 st level, which is located at the airfield Orenburg-2.

According to people living in close proximity to the airfield for several years now there are not clipped trees that grow along the runway and prevent review. Earlier, when the airfield was stationed Aviation Regiment, pruning performed regularly. Dispatching booth is empty, position lamps are broken.

But officials argue that the “North” could take any aircraft. Smolensky rescue, consisting of the rescue of Civil Aviation said: “North” – a military airfield, he was landing and taking off Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft.

Of course, the Tu-154 – could land on this airport, as for military aircraft requirements to cover the runway is higher than for passenger aircraft. Prevented the pilot, apparently, still weather conditions.

Source of Airborne Veterans Club, the officer commented on the situation: “Aerodrome” North “- is one of the best airports in Russia. This airfield – dual purpose and can be used as a military and as a civilian. If it could easily land, for example, heavy, about 80 tonnes of IL-76, a light aircraft TU-154 also could do it all without any problems.

Of course, the call will be the final cause of experts. And they still have a long run. In my outsider view – it is only the human factor. If he was in a hurry and ordered him not to wait until Minsk or Moscow, and sit in Smolensk, the pilot was obliged to fulfill the order. But this is only speculation. “

At the scene of an accident left Shoigu and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. According to an anonymous source from the MOE, in place of the tragedy brought a stretcher and black bags. But before the arrival of Shoigu and Putin they not removed all of the corpses. When an accident damaged the road surface, asphalt reversal. Brigades of workers to sweep the sand and urgent repairs of the road to go there somehow could get through. Around cut down trees.

In fact the collapse of the Investigative Committee of the Smolensk region instituted criminal proceedings under Part 3. 263  “Violation of safety rules negligently caused the death of two or more persons”, – told reporters. At the scene working task force.

Recall that the TU 154, en route flight Warsaw – Smolensk, with the Polish president and other top officials of this country on board, crashed today on April 10, at 10 hours 50 minutes Moscow time. Just crash died, according to various estimates, from 96 to 132 people (the death toll to be confirmed). Survival was unable to none.

A senior delegation flew to the memorial event – to honor the memory of 20 thousand Polish officers were shot by the NKVD in 1940. Including thousands of Poles were executed in the Katyn forest near Smolensk.

Original Link (Russian)



For 3-5 seconds the crew knew that the disaster occurs

Three to five seconds. That could take a long while, through which the presidential aircraft, the crew was already aware that it comes to disaster – said the Chief Military Prosecutor Christopher Parulski, who is in Smolensk. The colonel pointed out that the body has already identified three victims of the disaster on April 10. In sum, it is known the identity of 61 bodies.

Radio Muzyka (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Military prosecutor Colonel Zbigniew Turnip told Gazeta Wyborcza that the black boxes of records that just before the crash the pilots understood that the pitch. He admitted that the tip of the footage “was dramatic,” but would not say whether the passengers knew that the machine was going to hit the ground.

Parulski estimated that moment when I understood now that the crash occurs, it could be three to five seconds on the assumption that the speed of an airplane landing is 150-180 meters per second.

Chief Military Prosecutor announced that the remains were found nearly all of the presidential delegation. In Moscow, the body has identified 61 people – the identification is confirmed DNA tests. The crash site has already removed half of large parts of the aircraft and the terrain is still meticulously searched.



6.9. Radio Altimeter RV-5

6.9.1. General Information

RV-5 radio altimeter is used for absolute altitude measurement in a range of 0-750 m and for alerting about reaching the preset altitude.

Altitude indicator is UV-5 device mounted on the instrument panel. On a flange of the device there is (altitude preset) knob with a yellow alarm light built in it and the (control) button with the red alarm light built in it.

Rotation of the knob tunes preset altitude reaching alert system, the value of presetting altitude is counted by the yellow triangular index moving on a scale.

When the aircraft reaches the preset altitude the yellow light illuminates and 400 Hz sound signal is simultaneously heard in pilot’s headphones during 3-9 seconds

If the button is pressed on the operational radio altimeter, control height 15 +/-1,5 m is set up on the indicator. After releasing the button the device will show absolute flight altitude (or H=0 if on the ground).

RV-5 radio altimeter is switched on and its supply circuit is protected by the radio altimeter circuit breaker located on the switchboard.

6.9.2. Radio Altimeter Pre-Flight Check

Switch on RV-5 power supply by circuit breaker. The red alarm light should illuminate, and the altimeter needle should move aside 750 m figure and overrun the scale black sector. After radio altimeter warms up the red light should extinguish, and the needle establish on 0 +/-0,8 m indication.

Set the yellow triangular index to 10 m indication by knob.

Press and hold the button. This should establish the needle on the control altitude value of 15 +/-1,5 m.

Release the button. The arrow will move to zero. When the needle passes through 10 m indication, the

altitude alerting system will turn on – the yellow alarm light on altimeter’s face will illuminate and the sound signal will be heard in pilot’s phones.

6.9.3. Radio Altimeter Operation in Flight

Before take-off, it is necessary to:

– Switch on the circuit breaker. RV-5 will be ready to use in 2 – 3 minutes;

– Rotate the knob to preset the value of decision height to be signalled. Radio altimeter will work in flight the following way:

– When the aircraft reaches altitude of more than 750 m the needle on the UV-5 face will go to the black sector of the scale and will stay there all the time of flight until the aircraft will descend below 750 m; at the moment when the arrow passes the yellow preset decision height index, the yellow alarm light on RV-5 will illuminate and then extinguish, the sound will be heard in pilot’s phones;

– When the aircraft reaches altitude of 1200 m and above, the red alarm light which is built into the

button will illuminate, the light will extinguish when the aircraft descends below 1200 m;

– At altitudes 750 m and lower the needle will show absolute flight altitude, and at the further descent radio altimeter will signal reaching of the decision height.

Attention! At bank and pitch angles more then 30°, RV-5 indications should not be trusted!

– After landing, switch off the radio altimeter;

– If the radio altimeter fails in flight at heights below 750 m AGL, the red alarm light – a signal of the altimeter malfunction – will illuminate. In this case it is necessary to switch off the radio altimeter.

Source: FLIGHT MANUAL – AIRCRAFT YAK-18T ENGINE – M-14P (PDF)



Radio Chatter – International Aviation Forums

Comment: But no one would expect the flight crew to divert from an open airport without at least shooting one approach. It is not compromising safety to shoot an approach in poor visibility if the crew follows the approach plate, observes the minimums and executes a missed approach is they cannot see the runway.

Response: Actually, the days of the “look see” are long gone : Nowadays,either you are above the minima, and you can start an approach , or you ain’t and there is no legal justification for you to be on that approach.

From the videos of the crash site, in particular one minutes after the crash, one could estimate the visibility at just around a thousand meters.

That doesn’t seem enough for a non-precision approach. Moreover, reading some of the comments on AvHerald, there is one from an “ex-soviet pilot”, apparently with some TU-154 experience and he writes that : “If (they) had no ILS app, (they) used GCA (minima 100m x 1500 m) or 2 NDBs (120 m x 1800 m) ; if it was no meteo observer on inner marker (1 km from RW), minima was going up to 200 m x 2500 m. “

Unless there were rolling fog patches (after all, the wind was some 5 to 10 kt), I really don’t see how they could have had those required visibility values.

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These latest reports (Russians ATC’s break protocol at last moment, giving out vectoring instructions), sound like the Russian ATC’s started yelling “YOU’RE TOO LOW. YOU’RE TOO LOW”, and the Pilots had no time to correct.

Another factor COULD be that if the pilot had dumped fuel [i.e. burn off], he could have altered the CG of the plane and not had time to balance out the tanks. This could add to problems controlling the aircraft at lower speeds, or attempting quick recoveries.

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Smolensk is equipped with landing system allows the machine to enter the 60h800.

Поляки зацепили деревья в 2,5 км от ВПП.

Poles hooked trees in 2,5 km from the runway.

On board are two sets of radio altimeters, and there is a concept (the erection within the law) as the CDF (the height of decision)

According to Interfax the police department of the Smolensk region, the airport “Northern” had been closed due to fog,

Airport North – military airfield, and, according to experts, his condition is far from ideal.

Там нет ни пассажирского терминала, ни специальных диспетчерских служб, которые способны заводить на посадку гражданские авиалайнеры.

There is not a passenger terminal, or special dispatching services, which can start on the landing of a civilian airliner.

7 апреля, когда на аэродром прибывали премьер-министры РФ Владимир Путин и Польши Дональд Туск, на аэродром были привезены специальные мобильные радиолокационные станции, которые помогали завести на посадку их лайнер.

April 7, when the airfield came Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Poland’s Donald Tusk, the airfield had been brought special mobile radar stations, which helped make the landing of their ship.

Кроме того, 7 апреля стояла хорошая солнечная погода, в отличие от сегодняшнего густого тумана.

In addition, on April 7 was a good sunny weather, in contrast to today’s dense fog.

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Belarusian air traffic controllers warned the plane of the President of Poland of the bad weather conditions in Smolensk

Белорусские диспетчеры информировали пилотов польского самолета Ту-154 о неблагоприятных условиях посадки в Смоленске, однако экипаж принял решение следовать до места назначения, сообщил агентству “Интерфакс-Запад” представитель белорусских авиационных властей.

Belarusian dispatchers informed the pilots of the Polish Tupolev Tu-154 landing on the adverse conditions in Smolensk, but the crew decided to follow to the destination, told Interfax-West “, the representative of the Belarusian aviation authorities.

“Незадолго до выхода из зоны ответственности белорусских авиадиспетчеров к ним обратились российские коллеги с просьбой передать на борт информацию о плохих метеоусловиях посадки в Смоленске.

“Shortly before leaving the zone of responsibility of the Belarusian air traffic controllers asked him to Russian colleagues to transmit to the board about the bad weather, landing in Smolensk.

Белорусские диспетчеры передали на борт Ту-154 информацию о том, что видимость в порту прибытия составляет 400 метров, но польские пилоты приняли решение следовать в Смоленск”, – отметил собеседник агентства

Belarusian dispatchers sent on board the Tu-154 information that the visibility at the port of arrival is 400 meters, but the Polish pilots had decided to follow in Smolensk, “- noted.

Он уточнил, что самолет Ту-154 вышел из зоны ответственности белорусских диспетчеров в 09:22 местного (в 10:22 мск), а катастрофа произошла спустя 36 минут после того, как борт покинул белорусскую зону ответственности.

He clarified that the Tu-154 went out of the zone of responsibility of the Belarusian dispatchers At 09:22 local (at 10:22 Moscow time), and the accident occurred after 36 minutes after the board left the Belarusian area of responsibility.

Source: Interfax

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Why the FAC did not respond to warnings that the manager has fallen below the glide path?

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crew total flight time in hours :

– (captain) kpt. pil. Arkadiusz PROTASIUK – total time: 3528h (on Tu-154M – 2937h)
– (first officer) mjr pil. Robert GRZYWNA total time: 1939h (on Tu-154M – 506h)
– (navigator) por. pil. Artur ZIĘTEK – total time: 1069h (on Tu-154M – 59h, as navigator)
– (flight engineer) chor. Andrzej MICHALAK – total time 330h

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Air Force: the crew of the Tu-154 did not follow the instructions given flight controller terminal

Первый замначальника главного штаба ВВС генерал-лейтенант Александр Алешин заявил, что экипаж самолета Ту-154, на котором в Смоленскую область летела польская делегация во главе с президентом Лехом Качиньским, несколько раз не выполнил указаний руководителя полетов аэродрома Смоленск.

The first deputy chief of the Air Staff Lieutenant-General Alexander Aleshin said that the crew of the Tu-154, which in the Smolensk region was flying the Polish delegation headed by President Lech Kaczynski, on several occasions failed to comply with guidance head operations airfield Smolensk.

«На удалении 1,5 км группа руководства полетов обнаружила, что экипаж увеличил вертикальную скорость снижения и начал снижаться ниже глиссада.

“At 1,5 km distance flight management team discovered that the crew increased vertical rate of descent and began to descend below the glide slope. Руководитель полетов дал команду экипажу о переводе самолета в горизонтальный полет, и, когда экипаж не выполнил указаний, несколько раз отдал команду на уход на запасной аэродром.

The head flight crew gave the command to move the aircraft in level flight, and when the crew failed to comply with instructions, several times he gave the command to the alternate.

Тем не менее, экипаж продолжал снижаться», – сказал Алешин.

Nevertheless, the crew continued to decline “, – said Aleshin.

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В свою очередь глава МЧС Серей Шойгу сообщил, что траектория полета польского самолета свидетельствует, что отклонение от взлетной полосы было не только по высоте, но и по ширине.

The head of the MOE Serey Shoigu said that the trajectory of the Polish aircraft shows that the deviation from the runway was not only in height but in width.

По курсу – это понятно, а по ширине – как-то странно звучит.

At the rate – this is understandable, but the width – a strange sound.

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Still safer to fly in Russia with Russian pilots …

Prior to December 2009, a Russian navigator always flew aboard with the Polish Air Force when entering Russian airspace?  Can anyone confirm this was standard procedure?

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В Аэрофлоте была очень похожая в 1981 году катастрофа Ту-154Б-2 а/п Норильск (Алыкель)

In Aeroflot was very similar in 1981, Tu-154B-2 a / n Norilsk (Alykel)

Там проблема с расчетом посадочного веса и с центровкой самолета.

There, the problem with the calculation of landing weight, and centering the aircraft.

Перед заходом на посадку экипаж рассчитал посадочный вес и центровку с ошибкой.

Before calling on the landing, the crew calculated landing weight and alignment with the error.

Фактическая центровка составляла 16-17% САХ (расчетная – 20,5% САХ) и была предельно передней, а посадочный вес – 80 280 кг (рассчитанный – 78 000 кг).

The actual alignment was 16-17% MAC (estimated – 20,5% MAC) and was extremely forward and landing weight – 80 280 kg (calculated – 78 000 kg).

Из-за этой ошибки скорость снижения по глиссаде была выбрана неверно, на 5 км/ч меньше требуемой (265 км/ч вместо 270 км/ч).

Because of this error rate reduction on the glide path was chosen incorrectly, at 5 km / h less than the required (265 km / h instead of 270 km / h).

Заход на посадку выполнялся в директорном режиме с использованием автомата тяги.

The approach procedure being performed in-director mode, using automatic traction.

При входе в глиссаду вертикальная скорость увеличилась до 6-7 м/с.

When you enter the glide path vertical speed increased to 6.7 m / sec.

Отклонением штурвала скорость была уменьшена до 4 м/с.

The deviation of the wheel speed was reduced to 4 m / sec.

Самолет прошел ДПРМ на 18 м выше глиссады с вертикальной скоростью 3 м/с.

Airplane passed LOM at 18 m above the glide path with a vertical speed of 3 m / sec.

Для сохранения расчетной траектории снижения Vв была увеличена до 5 м/с, что вызвало уменьшение тангажа и увеличение поступательной скорости до 275 км/ч.

To save the calculated trajectory to reduce ve been increased to 5 m / s, which caused a decrease in pitch and increase in forward speed to 275 km / h.

Автомат тяги отреагировал уменьшением режима работы двигателей почти до малого газа.

Autopower reacted decrease engine operating regime nearly idle.

Это привело к возникновению пикирующего момента и быстрому увеличению вертикальной скорости до 8 м/с.

This resulted in a diving moment and the rapid increase in the vertical velocity to 8 m / sec. В 2

км от торца ВПП самолет находился на 10 м выше глиссады (Vпр=273 км/ч, Vв=5,5 м/с, H=120м).

At 2 km from the end of runway the aircraft was 10 m above the glide path (Vpr = 273 km / h, ve = 5,5 m / s, H = 120m).

КВС попытался вернуться на глиссаду отклонением на кабрирование руля высоты (21º).

FAC tried to return to the glide path deviation in pitch up the elevator (21 º).

Однако из-за уменьшения эффективности руля высоты при отклонении на угол более 20º самолет практически не изменил траекторию.

However, due to decreasing efficiency of the elevator deflection at an angle of more than 20 º plane almost did not change the trajectory.

На высоте 90 м вертикальная скорость возросла до 7 м/с и самолет просел под глиссаду.

At a height of 90 m vertical speed increased to 7 m / s and the plane sank under the glide path.

КВС отклонил руль высоты в положение максимального кабрирования (29º).

FAC rejected the elevator to the position of maximum pitching (29 º).

Траектория движения практически не изменилась.

Trajectory was virtually unchanged.

На высоте 55 м КВС перевел двигатели на взлетный режим, дав команду об уходе на второй круг.

At a height of 55 m FAC translated engines on take-off mode, allowing the team to withdraw in the second round.

Самолет продолжил снижение (по более пологой траектоии) и жестко приземлился с вертикальной скоростью 4-5 м/с на скорости 275 км/ч в 470 м от ВПП на заснеженное поле, проскользил, разрушаясь, по мерзлому грунту около 300 м и затем столкнулся с насыпью.

The aircraft continued to decline (by more than a shallow traektoii) and landed hard with a vertical velocity of 4-5 m / s at a speed of 275 km / h at 470 m from the runway at the snow-covered field, skidded, destroy, on the frozen ground about 300 meters and then collided with bulk.

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I’m not aviation expert, but it looks that some ‘well known facts’ do not fit to strict logical path.

1. Pictures in Picasa album have coordinates.

2. First birch tree top was cut approx at 2.5 km distance from runway.

3. Tower operator states, that he noticed deviation from glide slope when a/c was at 1.5 km distance from runway.

4. Is that logical ? At 2.5 km. plane had to be about 130 metres high on 3 deg. glide slope. What is expected descent rate – 5 m/s ? It translates to 26 sec. to descend and forces me to expect that warning must have been issued at least 10-15 sec. earlier.

Also to cover distance 2.5-1.5 km= 1km with 300 km/h approach speed there is another 11 sec required.

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Comment: Russia’s ATC system is really weird and highly illogical in the way it works. Per Russian operations, when an aircraft lands at an airport, its altimeter is to read “0” (meters, feet, etc) regardless of the actual airfield elevation. Why they stupidly decided on this system, I’ll never know.

Response: I would not call it stupid at all. Actualy it has quite some logic. When you touch down, you are at 0 feet, unlike landing at an airport and your altimeter still reads 1,543ft. Heights are measure based on field elevation, instead of sea level.

In reality some US carriers also have operated this way, AA matter of fact being the biggest for many decades operated using QFE instead of QNH.

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Comment: In any case, the RA would have given the correct height readout, and if the bug was set correctly for the MDH, also give an aural and visual warning of descending below MDH.

Response: Wrong. The radio-altimeter is not used in a non-precision approach, mainly because the height reference at a distance of 2 Nm from the threshold – which the average 600 ft MDA amounts to – is unlikely to be equal to the reference point of the runway. So your statement is wrong.

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A bit more precise data and calculation. I have used Goggle Earth distance and elevation information. Goggle data errors should not be significant because I am using only the difference of that data for nearby points. Reference points were established according to Picasa composite and other available pictures.

We are comparing what Picasa composite has called point 1 and point 7. In point 1, if we assume reasonable height for that fence (1.2 m), then the height of that tree is now 4.2 meters. According to Goggle, terrain elevation at that point is 238m. So, the first tree cutting point is at 238+4=242m elevation. Dirt road in picture 7 is at elevation 250m. If the man in red 1.8m tall, then all trees in that picture were cut at 7.2m height above the level of the road.

Which means that trees were cut at 250+7=257m. That means that in, approximately, 295m of horizontal distance we have increase in elevation of 257-242=15m, or 5% climb.

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Comment:  In articles and based on what ATC reported (so far) the plane was much lower on approach then it should be – 8m vs 60m. During the approach the crew stopped reading back, the aircraft subsequently impacted ground. Polish officials confirmed, that the airplane was on its first approach to the Air Base, when it impacted the trees

Response: From the two excerpts above, as it is not really usual for ATCOs to monitor approaching airplanes paths – and have the equipment to do so – it looks as if the airplane was on some sort of GCA (ancestor to the PAR) let down. That’s in all probability the meaning of the reported ATC’s insistence on “read-backs”, first difficult as the crew had poor command of Russian, and which ceased prior to the final descent.

If I go further into that possibility, one has to know that particular problems are posed by GCA / PAR approaches : Total instrument flying with very little situational awareness (however good the ground operator is) as one only relies on instructions from the operator, and most importantly, the transition from instrument to visual flying is certainly not a given and requires from the pilot quite some discipline and a good anticipation of the final approach “picture”. In that respect, two dangers should be well considered and prepared for :

1/- Concentrating on heading and sink rate and forgetting the speed…impending entry to stall with an increasing vertical speed as a result

2/- Seeing the runway / threshold, but due to the positive attitude of 3 to 5 °, try to keep the picture in the middle of the windshield, therefore plunging short of the runway.

The problem is that civilians pilots rarely see that sort of approach (here in France, we have a few mil/civ airports where we can practice that skill, Brest being the fav. (When I say “civilians”, I also refer to pilots that stay, through their functions, mostly inside the civilian aviation realm)

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Comment: Contrary to what several people here have said, this was a low speed impact

Response: I quite agree, with the photos I’ve seen so far.



On board Presidential plane were not secret documents

Military Counter-Intelligence Service shall ensure that no senior military commanders at the time of accident did not have the documents covered by state secrecy or official. On board the TU-154M saamolotu were not been any material kryptograficzne.SKW issued a special statement on the matter.

Military counterintelligence stresses that military procedure excludes the uncontrolled disposal of confidential information. Service after the disaster, which is in the morning on April 10 addressed the protection of the media that could contain other information, not a duty of professional secrecy or nationality. The crash of the plane TU-154M Government lost all command of the Polish armed forces: Chief of Staff and commander of all types of weapons. (IAR)

TU-154M – interior and cockpit photos – TU5 – Universal – FMS UNS-1k and GPS.



Related Links:

The Economists: In Memoriam: Lech Kaczynski

Faces of the crew and security officers, who died on the plane with Polish President

NYT: Reaping Profits From Poland’s Tragedy

USA Today: Device spurs questions in Polish crash

Time: Poland: A Nation Mourns a Martyred Priest


end

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The pilots knew that the pitch

Gazeta Prawna (English Translation)

Captain presidential Tupolev Tu-154 has only one landing attempt at Katyn. Wstępna analiza nagrań z czarnych skrzynek wskazuje na to, że piloci zdawali sobie sprawę, że zginą. Preliminary analysis of recordings from the black boxes indicate that the pilots were aware that it will perish.

– It was the wrong approach, which ended in disaster – says, “DGP” Krzysztof Parulski, the chief military prosecutor, who coordinates the work of Polish prosecutors in Russia. Dodaje, że z już odczytanych zapisów czarnych skrzynek wynika, że piloci przed samą katastrofą rozumieli, że się rozbiją. He adds that the records have already read black boxes indicate that the pilots just before the disaster to understand that the pitch. – Załoga miała tę świadomość – mówi Parulski. – The crew was aware of this – he says Parulski. Czy piloci rozmawiali przed katastrofą z kimś z pasażerów? Are the pilots were talking before the crash with someone from the passengers? – Nie mamy dowodów, by takie rozmowy się toczyły. – We have no evidence that such a conversation took place. Ale nagrania z kokpitu samolotu będziemy jeszcze dokładnie analizować – powiedział nam szef wojskowej prokuratury. But the recordings of the cockpit we have carefully analyzed – told us the head of the military prosecutor’s office.

Rosyjscy eksperci tłumaczą, w jaki sposób doszło do katastrofy. Russian experts explain how the crash. Ich zdaniem kapitan Arkadiusz Protasiuk nie zważał na ostrzeżenia o złej pogodzie i podjął decyzję o lądowaniu. In their view, Arkadiusz Protasiuk captain paid no heed to warnings of bad weather and decided to land. Dopiero przy podchodzeniu do lądowania piloci dostrzegli, że samolot nie zdoła trafić w punkt lądowania. Only Approach for landing the pilots noticed that the plane fails to reach the landing point. Ten moment doprowadził do śmiertelnego błędu. This moment led to a fatal error. Pilot zwiększył ciąg i nie wiadomo z jakiej przyczyny przychylił samolot w prawo. Pilot increased string and do not know for what reason, upheld the right plane. Jednocześnie próbował wzbić się do góry. At the same time tried to soar to the top. – W rezultacie samolot zaczepił się o wierzchołki drzew, po czym pilot stracił kontrolę nad maszyną – opowiadał rosyjskiej agencji RIA Nowosti jeden z ekspertów badających przyczyny katastrofy. – As a result, the aircraft caught on the tops of the trees, and the pilot lost control of the machine – he told Russian agency RIA Novosti one of the experts investigating the cause of the disaster. Czy pilot mógł uniknąć rozbicia się o ziemię? Did the pilot was able to avoid the breakdown to the ground? Ekspert twierdzi, że gdyby zaczął po prostu nabierać wysokości po prostej, istniałaby szansa. The expert says that if he simply gaining height in a straight line, there would be a chance.

Rosjanie od początku twierdzili, że była to wina pilota. The Russians have argued from the beginning that it was the fault of the pilot. Ale mówili też, że nie znał rosyjskiego. But it also said that he did not know Russian. A znał go znakomicie. And he knew it very well. Że nie znał lotniska – tymczasem to on był drugim pilotem, który leciał trzy dni wcześniej z premierem Tuskiem do Smoleńska. He did not know the airport – and yet he was the second pilot, who flew three days earlier with Prime Minister Tusk to Smolensk. Świetnie znał lotnisko Siewiernoje. Well knew the airport Siewiernoje.

The Russian side gave the Poles a third black box found at the crash site. Dzisiaj dotarła do Polski. Today we reached the Polish. W Rosji wciąż trwają prace nad rozszyfrowaniem nagrań z dwóch pozostałych. In Russia, are continuing work on deciphering the record of the other two. – Polscy i rosyjscy specjaliści synchronizują nagrania rozmów pilotów z danymi przebiegu lotu. – Polish and Russian specialists synchronized recording conversations with the pilots’ conduct of the flight data. Identyfikują dźwięki i szumy w kokpicie – powiedział rosyjski wicepremier Siergiej Iwanow. Identify the sounds and noises in the cockpit – said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. Dodał, że do momentu katastrofy silniki Tu-154M pracowały sprawnie. He added that until the crash Tu-154M engines worked smoothly.

Polscy prokuratorzy wojskowi zajmą się jeszcze jedną okolicznością. Polish military prosecutors will deal with one more fact. Zbadają autentyczność amatorskiego filmu nagranego tuż po katastrofie rządowego samolotu. Examine the authenticity of amateur video recorded shortly after the disaster the government plane. Pod koniec filmu słychać odgłosy przypominające strzały i okrzyk „uciekajcie stąd”. At the end of the film can hear noises like gun shots and shouting “flee away”.

Prokuratorzy będą próbowali sprawdzić, czy rzeczywiście ktoś strzelał zaraz po rozbiciu się samolotu. Prosecutors will try to see if someone actually shot immediately after crashing plane. Nie wykluczone, że to rosyjscy milicjanci oddali strzały w powietrze, by rozpędzić gapiów. It is not unlikely that it gave the Russian militiamen fired into the air to disperse onlookers. Pod wpływem pożaru wystrzelić mogły też naboje z siedmiu pistoletów funkcjonariuszy BOR, którzy lecieli wraz z prezydentem. Under the influence of fire could also fire a cartridge of seven guns of the BOR, who flew with the president. W Smoleńsku wciąż wydobywane są fragmenty samolotu, które utknęły głęboko w ziemi. In Smolensk still extracted fragments of the aircraft, which are stuck deep in the earth.

Biegli zidentyfikowali do wczoraj 20 fragmentów ciał. Experts have identified the last 20 pieces of bodies. W sumie zidentyfikowano szczątki 64 ofiar katastrofy. In total, identified remains of 64 victims of the disaster.

Original Link (Polish)

http://www.gazetaprawna.pl/wiadomosci/artykuly/413702,piloci_wiedzieli_ze_sie_rozbija.html

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