Search for cause of Smolensk disaster continues

The location of beacons at the military airfield in Smolensk is not standard, informs RZECZPOSPOLITA.

The paper speculates this might have led to the pilot’s misinterpretation of the actual flight level, which caused the tragic accident of the Polish presidential plane on April 10th.

Typically, such beacons are placed 1 and 4 kilometers from the start of the landing strip. This is only partially true at Smolensk, because their location on one side of the airport is 1 and 6 kilometers, respectively.

This could certainly explain why on the fatal day the plane had descended to barely a few meters above ground level almost one and a half kilometers short of the runway.

Three days earlier the same pilot, flying the same machine, with the Polish PM on board approached from the other side where the beacons are at standard distance.

His personal experience coupled with lack of information on the difference between the two approach routes and extreme conditions of dense fog could have brought the tragic effects, is the attempted conclusion…

Source:  Polskie Radio


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced the first results of investigation of the crash near Smolensk

MAPKEP (RU) среда, 28 апреля 2010 года / / Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (English Translation)

Donald Tusk, the first senior officials read out the information on the interim results of investigation into the crash of Tu-154 near Smolensk, in which the death Lech Kaczynski. The current government is essential to prove that the reasons for the tragedy are clarified in detail and quickly as possible. Openness will deprive the election trumps the opposition, which has already seized on the story of the involvement in the crash of the Russian secret services. Tusk began his speech with praise of interaction of Russian and Polish authorities in investigating the causes of the disaster. He highlighted the work of the Russian side in the first minutes and hours after the tragedy.

What Tusk said

Donald Tusk praised the work of the Russian side in the first minutes and hours after the disaster.

He said that Poland stood the test of a tragedy.

Tusk believes that the rush to the investigation will not give reliable results. He advocates a thorough analysis of all aspects of the disaster.

Prime Minister of Poland said on the composition and powers of the civil commission, which investigates accident. Tusk said that the Polish side has access to the same material as the Interstate Aviation Committee. He then outlined the work of prosecutors.

Answering the question of guilt of specific individuals, namely the Minister of Defence Bogdan Klich, Tusk said that the punishment can be discussed only after receiving a final answer on the causes of the disaster, and called guided by facts, not speculation.

Interaction with the Russian side is in full compliance with the Chicago Convention and in any additional documents or agreements required.

Responding to a question about the negotiations pilots, the recording of which have been given a listen to Tusk, Polish Prime Minister refused. He said that this could be interpreted as pressure on the people involved the investigation. Tusk stressed that the transcripts “black boxes” is not complete.

Several questions were asked about why the investigation failed to attract international experts and military experts of NATO. Tusk said that the need for this was not.

Polish prime minister also dismissed any speculation about the possible loss of secret papers and electronic media with government documents.

In conclusion, Tusk was asked to explain how to solve the issue of identification of the body Lech KaczynskiAccording to the Polish prime minister, Vladimir Putin assured him that Moscow is easier to identify the body and to commend the deceased President of the necessary military honors. But Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the need for this is not found. Tusk stressed that the relationships above agreements between heads of states.

The main stages of the investigation is not completed

At the same time, no specific information shedding light on the causes of the disaster, there is still no. And there can not be: an investigation no less resonant crash Boeing 737 Aeroflot-Nord “in Perm, which occurred a half years ago, took eight months.

The investigation of the disaster is the Interstate Aviation Committee, together with Polish experts. Last Saturday in Moscow flew Polish delegation headed by Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, who was briefed on the investigation, the minister could listen to the recording flight data recorders.

From official reports it is clear that the main stages of the investigation is not completed. Just today, ending work on the identification and recording the voices of the crew on board the negotiationsContinues processing the information received during an overflight of ground radio equipment to ensure safety and control approach to the airfield aircraft laboratory. In addition, the Russian side for further investigation requested by the Polish specialists on the preparation of the crew and aircraft for the flight.

Polish prosecutors do not exclude the guilt of the Russian air traffic controller

Yesterday issued a joint statement of civilian and military prosecutors in Poland, which work regardless of the aeronautical authorities of the investigation. It says that we are considering all possible versions of the causes of the disaster, including the actions of those responsible for air traffic control. While none of the versions did not receive the status of labor. However, the public prosecutor in an interview with the Polish media did not rule out the probability of fatal errors managers airfield North.

Airplane Polish president was fueled high-quality fuel

Prosecutors had questioned 60 witnesses involved in the preparation and organization of the flight, as well as the study of flight documentation. In conclusion, experts say that fuel samples meet the requirements of the standard aviation fuel JET A-1, which is used in military aviation. Translated from the Russian language documentation for technical inspection and repair of aircraft prosecutors have not yet been completed.

Confirmed a sharp deterioration in weather conditions

Were analyzed and video from the crash site, which was published on the Internet. She could hear short conversations between men and women in Russian and Polish languages. Some words are difficult to read due to interference and noise, which is not allowed, and draw conclusions about the presence of sounds similar to gunshots. This issue will be the subject of further proceedings.

According to prosecutors, the video shows the changes in meteorological conditions in the northern airfield during a routine approach the Tu-154. The video footage shows that the weather is getting worse by the minute and the fog thickened. Prosecutors questioned the author of this record as a witness.

Original Link (RU)

End Update

Hours can not be given the Presidential plane crash

Wiadomosci onet – (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

Currently you can not yet officially given hour presidential plane crash to the ground, continues to read as registrars aircraft – a joint communique says the Attorney General and the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the message, the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw by activities – examination of witnesses and analysis of documents related to the flight – in order to determine the exact time of the disaster. Media write that the plane crashed a little earlier than previously given – for the moment taken at the disaster. 8.56 Polish time.

The Communication stated that the prosecution has already resulted in the opinion of forensic research agency ABW film from the crash site, which was published on the Internet. “During the study no evidence was found to make interference with the continuity of the record, however, was the fact that modification of the format of recording and re-entry to the file” – informed. According to experts, it is possible that the records “were repeatedly subjected to compression, which could wipe out even the most visible signs of interference in their continuity.”

Regarding the possible sounds of gunshots, experts said that because of the presence of strong interference, including possibly originating from the gusts of air, a small signal to noise ratio, suspected of modifying the format of recording, it was not possible any measurement analysis of the sounds-like shot. This will be the subject of further steps “.

The film, which has a Polish prosecutor’s office that the weather conditions in Smolensk on April 10 were deteriorating by the minute, you can see it clearly deepening fog.

– Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw has a recording of a film illustrating the changes in meteorological conditions in the immediate vicinity of the airport “Siewiernyj” in the direction of Smolensk and during the planned approach to land the aircraft Tu-154M. With ponadgodzinnego recording film clearly shows that weather conditions worsen by the minute, you can see it clearly deepening fog. In these circumstances, a witness interviewed in the film developer – said in a statement.

In addition, it also, inter alia, that secured for the investigation of fuel samples, which fueled the plane at the airport in Warsaw and an expert was consulted to verify that the fuel met the required parameters. “With that opinion shows that the fuel is tested in the Air Force Institute of Technology met the requirements of the standard aviation fuel JET A-1 used in military aviation and the document AFQRJOS for fuel used in civil aviation.”

The Communication reiterates that “are tested all the possible versions of the causes and circumstances of the occurrence of disasters, including the correctness of the proceedings of the persons responsible for managing air traffic.”

So far, none of the established version of the inquiry has not been verified in a procedural negatively. No it has not gained the status of the parent version – underlined.

What you will discover the voices of the MARS-a?

Investigation of Smolensk. Presidential Tu-154 had four, not three so-called. black boxes. None of the data is not lost, though the fourth recorder was not protected from damage. Identification of votes of the crew is almost complete – Bogdan Wróblewski – (English Translation)(Emphasis mine)

About four and not three black boxes found in Saturday’s Communication Deputy Sergei Ivanov of Russia after his meeting with Defence Minister Bogdan Klich. Is the fourth through the black box, we can prove something more about the circumstances of the disaster near Smolensk?

MARS recorded pilots

– It’s a matter naming – explains the unexpected information about the fourth box flight data prok. Col. Zbigniew Turnip from the Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office. – A fourth recorder is here called KBN Russian unit – the old type, recording operating data Tupolev. He was not protected from damage – said Colonel. Turnip. – Poles ATM DVR it replaced – the latest generation, now under consideration in Poland in the Military Institute of Aviation Technology. Both collect the same data.

As reported by Colonel Turnip, analysis of pilots’ conversations in the cockpit is finished. They enrolled a black box – voice recorder, the device was tupolewie MARS BM -. In Moscow, the crew votes in the identification of the pilot part of the 36th Special Aviation Regiment, and from our public prosecutor – Col. Jaroslaw Ciepłowski.

The content of conversations the prosecution is silent, it is known only that was saved last 30 minutes of talks. Col. Turnips asked yesterday whether there are additional sources to verify the content of conversations of pilots, for example the recording of conversations in Smolensk Shuttle service from the plane – a recording of the tower. – From what I know is – is responsible prosecutor Turnip.

Will talks with cockpit also registered by Air Operations Center as proof of military aviation air traffic? This prosecutor has to check.

Uncertain minutes

According to our sources, voice recorder MARS stopped the chair. 8.41. Is it one hour emergencies? Previously reported was 8.56. The relationship of the journalist of “Gazeta” Marcin Wojciechowski, who was in Smolensk on April 10, shows that 8.56 of the official documents investigations have included ex post facto. Data are reliable electricity company (gave them before, “Journal Legal Newspaper), a line failure caused the crash in the chair. 8.39.

Colonel Turnip – The administration of the final hours emergencies must wait for the readings to rip all the black boxes, the final report. One device could be rozkalibrowane.

According to the prosecution of a problem with giving the hour of tragedy shows how difficult it is to provide clear information on the subject.

“The newspaper appealed yesterday to the prosecution of conspiracy denial of hypotheses about the causes of the disaster and reliable information about the basic facts. – The appeal of “Gazeta” has not remained unnoticed – we spokesman said Attorney General Andrew Seremeta prok. Matthew Martyniuk. And Colonel Turnip announced to issue a communication of facts can be disclosed without harming the investigation. – Communication will be on Tuesday – afternoon cut spokesman Martyniuk journalists’ questions…]

Radio Chatter – International Aviation Forums

“I have confirmed information that the pilots of Tu-154 and their colleagues from the 36th Special Transport Aviation Regiment routinely used the non-WGS-84/PZ-90.02-compliant coordinates (runway threshold) given on the Smolensk instrument approach charts. They should not if the FMS was set to WGS-84. Evidently their training was lacking in that area.”

“The error estimated was 180 m east-west and 30-40 m north-south. That explains why the aircraft was 40 m south of runway’s extended centerline – it was pefectly tracking runway’s extended centerline to the runway threshold. The crew had the distance from the threshold – the indicated distance ws 180 m shorter than the real one – but it is irrelevant to the crash – this position error is not significant enough “

“One should not expect better guaranted accuracy than 550 m (0.3 NM) with GPS RAIM anyway. Unfortunately their vertical navigation was much less perfect.”

“I have made an analysis of possible Tu-154 approach profiles with use of available flight simulator and I am now leaning towards the third primary reason, not mentioned by me before – barometric altimeter setting error. I don’t know who made the error – controller or pilots, if this theory is right. Simple entering QFE value 759 mm Hg instead of 749 mm Hg would put the aircraft 120 m lower than intended by the crew.”

“It seems to me a bit less likely now, that the crew intentionally doubled the rate of descent, being as close to the ground as 100 m above aerodrome threshold, because it seems to be contrary to common sense of majority of airmen. Possibly, they could have believed, according to the baro-altimeters (with wrong QFE) that they were high on the glidepath (virtual, since no glideslope existed) and close to the Inner NDB.”

“That’s why they increased rate of descent trying to reach MDH shortly before Inner NDB or over it. Unfortunately the RA altitude callouts could have been unavailable, due to TAWS inhibition by the crew (depending on type of TAWS) caused by lack of XUBS airbase in TAWS airport database – possibly they never included scan of the RA – maybe it was intented later, after passing Inner NDB, as I previously noted, providing they had ever considered going below MDA. Maybe they never intended to go below MDH.”

“On the other hand you don’t try approach with 400 m visibility and 120 m MDH. The success, even without considering the tragic approach lights technical condition, was unlikely, without ducking under MDA close to the Mised Approach Point. Maybe they had reason to believe that the visibility had been better than reported. Or maybe they just wanted to close the mouth of their supervisors ungry that they didn’t give a try. Definitely there was lot of pressure (even if not spoken verbally).”

“Staying high on glidepath could be misleading to the controller, who was not aware of wrong altimeter setting or anything else going bad, until they increased the rate of descent. Increasing rate of descent at about 2 km from the threshold, when you know you are in heavy jet just 100 m above the ground is a bit strange to me – however if they wanted to try really hard and had never thought about the lower terrain 1.5 km from the threshold”

“(I bet they were not aware of its existance – you don’t see such insignificant things during approach in VMC), they just had concentrated on RA and artificial horizon and pressed on, however the pilot monitoring should be looking occasionally outside. Likely he saw the ground just two or three seconds too late.”

“Regarding the wrong QFE the question is whether the error was made by the controller or by the crew, and exact circumstances of the error making. And no doubt, it always unsafe when you mix QFE with QNH, mm of HG with of hPa, and meters with feet, especially if you are accustomed to QNH, hPa and feet, because it always adds some unneccessary confusion and distraction.”

TVN24: Warning devices in the Tu-154 worked

“I do not know SITUATION TO COMMAND PILOT ignored from the Tower”

Warning devices on board the presidential aircraft Tu-154 just before the crash worked. How TVN24 learned unofficially, the alarm rang in the booth for 30 seconds before the crash and was recorded by black boxes. Head of Training Air Force Maj.-Gen. Anatol Czaban also said that they do not know if that military pilot landed below the minimum conditions for landing. Also assured that Cpt. Protasiuk was fully trained.

– Cpt. Protasiuk was a pilot has trained on the Tupolev aircraft. (…) He flew a lot. Last year he had 295 hours flying time – emphasizing Czaban said the pilot experience.

He added that the pilot made a lot of training, some of them were recommended Badges. – He MCC training, which passed the civil center, training in risk in multi-crew aircraft (Eurocontrol). He also additional training – to operate by. instruments. Ambitious and at their own expense held a training on-line license – Czaban enumerated. – He made so everything is possible – concluded.

“I do not know the situation, would not respond to commands from the tower”

When asked how is it possible that the pilot did not follow the recommendations of the tower told Czaban: “Sometimes someone is passing a red light, and doing it unconsciously, because I do not see it. Or does it knowingly failing to comply with, and so is an offense more.” He admitted the fact that theoretically does not know the situation, to the control tower, something not allowed, and the pilot is done. – The controller in the tower is a key. If anything it is recommended for implementation. As in this case, we’ll find out after the committee’s work. I have such a hypothesis, he suggested that they, and not recommended, because I tell him: “no load” or “Do not follow this” is categorical – Czaban said.

He pointed out that, in this situation, Captain. Arkadiusz Protasiuk had four options: he could wait for the weather to improve land and only then – will have enough fuel, he could fly to another airport and return when the fog settles, he could land at another airport, or be able to return to Warsaw. – I decided to land in such harsh conditions? Wait for an expert – said Czaban.

‘Cases are unknown, someone landed below the minimum conditions “

He added that the cases are unknown, someone landed below the minimum conditions. – Traktowalibyśmy this as a breach of security – assured the general. He argued also that the army has departed from the training system, in which the selection of alternate aerodrome causing embarrassing questions at the pilot who made such a maneuver.

Head of Training Air Force also said that the pilots of the 36th Special transport aviation regiment to which he belonged Tu-154 that crashed April 10 near Smolensk, train in different ways to approach to land, including the use of older types of guidance systems, as the regiment operates flights to various airports, and less equipped.

Original Link – Polish

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Related Links:

Tragedy in Smolensk – 1 (English) (Original Link) (Polish)

RP: A strange arrangement of beacons (English) (Original Link) (Polish)

Salon 24: Smolensk disaster – an interesting hypothesis (English) (Original Link) (Polish) Tu-154 – photos and videos (Polish)

Huffington Post: The Mystery of Poland’s Presidential Plane Crash Deepens