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DarkStar
10th Apr 2010, 07:32
Sky News - Breaking news that his A/c has crashed on approach in Russia. No further details yet.

Tu154? :(

zerotohero
10th Apr 2010, 07:47
BBC News saying 87 people killed in the crash, no official report though.

Not good!

WWMick
10th Apr 2010, 07:47
BBC report as follows -
Russian media reported that 87 people were killed in the crash, but it is not yet known if anyone survived.
The plane was reportedly heading to an airport in the western city of Smolensk when it crashed

nographix
10th Apr 2010, 07:50
It looks that they crashed 1,5km from the runway... :( many highly ranked polish politics were on board... witness said that the A/C had hit trees with left wing during go-around... press say that 87 are dead

pattern_is_full
10th Apr 2010, 07:53
Just this brief so far in the U.S - but it is still wee hours here.

Polish president's plane crashes in Russia: official - Europe- msnbc.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36352258/)

No, scratch that - Google's robots just woke up. A couple of dozen links in the past 5 minutes, include this PPRUNE thread.
___________________
102 - Poland - Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 Aircraft - Brno - Tu?any Photo @ Airplane-Pictures.net (http://www.airplane-pictures.net/image9913.html)

Tonden
10th Apr 2010, 07:53
The Polish TV informs it was on final in thick fog, then tried a go-around and hit the trees.

The TV reporter in the airport says the visibility was extremely limited to 100-150 meters.

Tonden

peter we
10th Apr 2010, 08:07
On the way to the 70 year Katyn memorial.

mbar
10th Apr 2010, 08:12
What is more giefing, our very old VIP aircrafts were to be replaced few years ago, but due to funds shortage, those old planes were only "refurbished".

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 08:15
They crashed at military airfield near Smolensk. Latest news speculation are that there's no approach guidances. Like during polish military CASA crash, couple years ago. According to polish/russian news agencies 87 ppl (all aboard) lost they lives. Russian news agency ItarTASS website right now is not working.
BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8612825.stm).


btw. moderator nice work

Tonden
10th Apr 2010, 08:17
What I do not understand is why such a group of people can be on one plane.
As a GM of a middle size company I cannot take the same plane with my CFO.

Tonden

fjouve
10th Apr 2010, 08:17
Is there any confirmation on the A/C type?

Krzyku
10th Apr 2010, 08:20
132 people
TU154M
propably this one:
Photos: Tupolev Tu-154M Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Poland---Air/Tupolev-Tu-154M/1512285/&sid=4e24a03edd65f5fced48566affc08c06)

GobonaStick
10th Apr 2010, 08:20
Not yet but almost certainly one of the state Tu-154s (two, I think they have, no?)

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 08:22
Yea its the Governement TU-154.

Unbelievable.

Out of all the places too, Smolensk on the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre, the VIPs of the Polish delegation, in Russia, in a Russian made aircraft...

Showing the first shots of the wreckage now.... scattered in the forest.. doesnt look good.

WWMick
10th Apr 2010, 08:23
Sky reporting it was Tupolev Tu-154

ATCNetwork
10th Apr 2010, 08:23
I think the BBC reporter in Russia just said it was a TU-154

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 08:23
Tu 154.

No full list of passengers.

Capacity 132, possible 100, confirmed 87 dead.

Polish President with his wife.
Central Bank Governor.
...

...

LGW Vulture
10th Apr 2010, 08:25
I think at this stage to make a link with aircraft type and age with the facts as they are currently known makes no sense. :ugh:

Tonden
10th Apr 2010, 08:28
Yes, TV says it was TU-154M.
Now they report 1 km visibility and very low clouds.

Tonden

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 08:29
Depending of course on the cause, I guess this could have happened with another type.
Nonetheless it is dissapointing to see a country that escaped the shackles of communism so long ago still persevering with an aircraft that has such a poor safety record.

mbar
10th Apr 2010, 08:34
I think at this stage to make a link with aircraft type and age with the facts as they are currently known makes no sense. :ugh:

Of course. It wasn't a mechanical failure, but nonetheless, in last few years polish VIP aircrafts broke few times (I can remember from the top of my head that in one of them engine ccaught fire -- not flameout), so they were not as safe as new planes (and of course I'm aware, that new planes can break too).

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 08:38
Stuknij sie po głowie Tonden..

========================

Showing video of the wreckage... looks pretty bad. Cleared patch of forest where it happened, fires were still being extinguished, wreckage scattered over the forest.

Huge blow for Poland, almost of unbelievable proportions. Plane was full of government VIPs, and all on the anniversary and on the way to Katyń.

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 08:40
Polish tv news are airing now terrible first videos from the site of the crash.
Total burning, smoldering, shattered wreckage.
Some fragments of tail and engines parts are recognizable.
No one could survive such crash :(.

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 08:41
I realise for any Polish person posting here there is an emotional connection, but please, don't try and convince anyone that a Tu154 era aircraft (no matter how well maintained and operated) will achieve anywhere near the level of safety afforded by (for example) a borrowed LOT B737. :=

At least be realistic on that score. Better perhaps to even have spent a few million on a Citation / Falcon , too late now. :{

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 08:45
The video shows clearly intact "black box".

Very important, the area is cordoned by Russian police and secret service.
All journalists materials from the airfield were confiscated.

It is a miracle that this video was transferred to Poland and broadcasted worldwide.

dilldog01
10th Apr 2010, 08:46
I would suggest it's not exactly the time to start lecturing Polish people about Western vs Eastern built aircraft safety standards

Krzyku
10th Apr 2010, 08:47
Could anyone find METAR of XUBS (I believe)?

correction UUBS

mbar
10th Apr 2010, 08:48
We have also lost Chiefs of: land forces, air forces, special forces and marine forces, with some accompanying generals.

Edit: there were 132 people on board.

racedo
10th Apr 2010, 08:49
Sad Sad news on so many deaths.

Concerned about confiscation of media material.

Russians will have to realise that it will have to be an open investigation with Western experts doing the lead as anything other than that will not be accepted by Poland.

Jarrune
10th Apr 2010, 08:50
According to the eyewitness, the plane was banking to the left and struck the ground with the left wing first.

ARRAKIS
10th Apr 2010, 08:50
I realise for any Polish person posting here there is an emotional connection, but please, don't try and convince anyone that a Tu154 era aircraft (no matter how well maintained and operated) will achieve anywhere near the level of safety afforded by (for example) a borrowed LOT B737.

The B-737 design is a few years older than the Tu-154 one.

If the very dense fog/low cloud at Smolensk was the main cause of the crash, the question is, would another plane with newest avionics made the difference?

Arrakis

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 08:51
There were negotiations to lease 2 Embraer 175 from LOT.

The negotiation have been broken few month ago, the reason
was not sufficient range.

At the moment, the reporter, Polish TV technician is confirming live
he was fighting with the police to rescue the tape.
He was in the hotel near the approach path.
He heard the crash, grabbed the camera and was able to take the shots.
He was aware he has to look for black box.

He was later arrested by OMON, but release on protest by Polish officials.

Running now live on Polish TV3 and 3.

readywhenreaching
10th Apr 2010, 08:58
there is a photo on jacdec.de (http://www.jacdec.de)

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 09:00
still persevering with such an unsafe type for so long

There is nothing inherently unsafe with the TU5. It had it's fair share of accidents, just like the 737, simply on account of being the most numerous type built in the old USSR. However looking at the accidents, most of them can be traced to gross violation of procedures, terrorism, etc. Very few happened due to any mechanical or systems failure (in that comparison, the 73 probably fares worse).

It is an old and by present standards uneconomical design, but if maintained properly (as I'm sure this aircraft was) it can be flown as safely as anything else.

Highly speculative, but this is what a rumour network is for: this may be the ultimate sad case of politicans meddling with airline/aircraft operations. I can very easily envision the scenario where there was enormous pressure on the crew (real or percieved) to complete the flight with marginal weather conditions to an airport with no precision approach. The high ranking person on board was not a particularly easy character to deal with, we will never find out how he may have reacted to the suggestion of delaying or cancelling the flight...

To this add a dash of recent operating environment in WAW - with only Cat II available, standard operating practice of many airlines (including the major local one) in marginal weather (which is basically all winter) was to shoot an approach even if reported minima were below legal, and the co-pilot look out of the window to the right. Once ground was in sight and one particular characteristic buliding was identified just right of the flight path, the call-out 'runway in sight' was made, usually just a second or two before reaching minimums. The runway did appear straight ahead about 5-10 seconds later... I'm reasonably sure the relevant authorities were aware of this practice, and turned a blind eye. Such an attitude will invariably lead to trouble eventually.

Will be interesting to see how these aspects of this sad event will be handled and released.

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 09:00
I remind You all that it is military airfield. No wonder that russian militia overreacted. Still huge informational chaos, concerning lost souls.
They say that russian ATC propossed other landing places.

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 09:06
Not much room for speculation as of now, as nobody knows any real facts.

Reduced visibility alone will not bring down an airplane.

mrsizzler
10th Apr 2010, 09:08
Polish radio reporting that the crash was after three go arounds

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 09:08
They say about 4 misapproaches !!! And 3 survivors (not officialy).

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 09:14
Andrasz:

....last report says it was the 4th approach attempt....

The were number of people waiting in the Katyń Forest
for the President to start the celebrations.

Now official press conference of the Polish Foreign Ministry running.
Passenger list is being verified.
Original list was 89, one person confirmed not appearing on time.
Now 88 dead expected. Not confirmed, not sure if some more persons
missed the departure 7 a.m. LT.

Some unconfirmed rumours three survivors in hospital.

Flame
10th Apr 2010, 09:15
Very sad event,

Image of the aircraft here ....

Photo Republic of Poland Tupolev TU-154M 102 (http://planepictures.net/netshow.php?id=742042)

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 09:17
....last report says it was the 4th approach attempt....

I rest my case...

A330AV8R
10th Apr 2010, 09:22
4 approaches ????? fuel starvation ?

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 09:24
"Fuel starvation?"

Expolosions and pretty big fires at the crash site..

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 09:26
Check video.
Almost no fire, no smoke tower...
???

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 09:26
Doubt it given the evident fire, don't think these guys would be operating a VIP ship on a minimum fuel policy scenario, particularly given the weather.

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 09:27
Video I saw had fires burning in the background, and witnesses reported explosions ?

Also reported the aircraft flying low in a turn prior to crash.

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 09:29
1600 m of runway at Smolensk. Bad runway quality. No approach guidances.
As I pressume Tu-154 needs at least 2000 for safe landing :(.
It is a national disaster, nevertheless political biases :(

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 09:30
4 approaches ?????

Latest reports say most of the Polish top brass were on board, including the Commander of the Air Force. This was a Polish Air Force aircraft, with military pilots... The first questions I would start asking after the CVR was listened to is who was sitting on the jumpseats (2 of them in the TU5 cockpit)

man_in_poland
10th Apr 2010, 09:30
More coverage here from an English-language newspaper in Poland

Polish Presidential Plane Crashes (http://www.krakowpost.com/article/2005)

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 09:32
Fuel starvation? Don't think so. Warsaw is not so far from Smolensk (fuel miscalculation + 4 approaches). It looks like ground (tree) strike during go around. But who knows?

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 09:33
Pure speculation of course , but if it was a NPA perhaps they got the lights @ low altitude and were attempting to manouvere at low level in poor vis to get a landing out of it it.

Never easy, and the pressure on them to get in, evidenced by the fact it was their 4th attempt ,would no doubt push them to give it a go even if it looked nigh on impossible.

Poor guys, talk about between a rock & a hard place.

A330AV8R
10th Apr 2010, 09:34
Obviously operating with min fuel would not be an OPTION in this scenario especially when the president along with a truck load of the nations big wigs are on board , but if you get to your destination execute 3 misses and are coming in on the 4th in around 100 mts viz with no guidance ..... your ASKING for trouble !

roving
10th Apr 2010, 09:35
Polish president killed in air crash near Russia's Smolensk - RT Top Rated Videos (http://rt.com/Best_Videos/2010-04-10/plane-crash-smolensk-region.html)


A Polish journalist, who had flown into Smolensk an hour earlier, describes what occurred (before he is 'cut-off' mid sentence).

The TU154 was attempting to land at a military airport, it seems may not have been suitable for a limited visibility landing.

The crew had been advised by air traffic control to divert to Minsk, but (no doubt because of the time factor) nevertheless attempted to land at the military airport.

GobonaStick
10th Apr 2010, 09:41
Official Polish statement simply cites preliminary information suggesting striking trees during go-around, as reported here:

Polish president feared dead in Tu-154 crash (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/04/10/340488/polish-president-feared-dead-in-tu-154-crash.html)

Krasnall
10th Apr 2010, 09:47
In 2008 President Kaczynski wanted to land in Georgia, which was at that time under Russian invasion. The captain refused to land (according to him it was too dangerous). He was highly criticized by the President, who actually wanted him to be prosecuted after the incident. So I can imagine the pressure to land at Smolenk was huge, especially today.

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 09:50
mcdhu

I am very well aware of the significance of the event. Unfortunately this very significance gives support to my thoughts. In aviation in seldom plays well if anything is considered more significant then the laws of gravity. From what is emerging, there was very clear pressure on the crew to land (emphasis: it may have been only percieved pressure).

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 09:53
@ Krasnall
Just try to land at extremely low visibliity at short runway, with bunch of VIPs sitting at your back. No approach guidances, 0 VFR conditions -
do it first and back here with comments.

GobonaStick
10th Apr 2010, 09:53
List of those on board. Talk about all your eggs in one basket...

http://www.polskieradio.pl/wiadomosci/kraj/artykul153440.html

criss
10th Apr 2010, 09:54
The B-737 design is a few years older than the Tu-154 one.

If the very dense fog/low cloud at Smolensk was the main cause of the crash, the question is, would another plane with newest avionics made the difference?

Arrakis

Not only 737 is older in design, but this particular Tupolevs were similar age as LOT B737s. And 737s are not much superior in terms of safety record, especially if you discount cases of human error. Regarding avionics - both Polish VIP Tupolevs had cockpits completely refitted with Western avionics (Honeywell I think), they looked nothing like standard Tupolevs.

B767PL
10th Apr 2010, 09:55
Anybody know what approaches are available at Smolensk?

clivewatson
10th Apr 2010, 09:59
Well said mcdhu.

Captainplaystation - at your current rate of posting you will have the final report polished off by five o' clock - fully inclusive of cause and contributory factors. Has it not occurred to you that most here have no interest in the speculative nonsense that you spout while a nation is grieving?

It's Saturday today, so no school for you. Why not go back to your computer game and wait for facts to emerge, or watch cartoons on the telly?

SMT Member
10th Apr 2010, 10:12
Although we don't know at this point in time if it was a factor, pressure to get in can indeed be a dangerous thing.

A Danish government G-III crashed on approach to Vagar some years ago. It was carrying the chief of the RDAF, who were heard on the CVR ordering the pilots to shoot an approach in very poor weather. That flight ended in a CFIT accident, killing all onboard.

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 10:22
To clarify runway length confusion:

Smolensk has two airfields, Smolensk North and Smolensk South. Both have similarly aligned (08/26) 50m wide runways. The North one is the military airfield with 2470m runway, the south one is a small civilian/utility airfield with 1550m runway. The accident must have happened at the North one. On Google Earth I cannot discern any approach lighting system in place, even though the resolution is very good.

peter we
10th Apr 2010, 10:31
Passenger list (google translation)

Lista osb na pok?adzie Tupolewa- Onet.pl - Wiadomo?ci -10.04.2010 (http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/2153159,11,lista_osob_na_pokladzie_tupolewa,item.html)

OFFICIAL DELEGATION

1st Mr Ryszard Kaczorowski, former president of Poland in Exile

2nd Mr. Krzysztof Putra Sejm Marshal

3rd Mr. Jerzy Szmajdzinski Sejm Marshal

4th Krystyna Bochenek Deputy Senate

5th BAHR Jerzy Ambassador of the Russian Federation

6th Mr. Wladyslaw STASIAK Chief Presidential Chancellery

7th Mr. Aleksander Szczyglo Head of National Security

8th Mr. Paul WYPYCH Secretary of State in the President's Chancellery

9th Mariusz Handzlik Undersecretary of State in the President's Chancellery

10th Mr. Andrzej Kremer, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs

11th Mr. Stanisław Komorowski, Undersecretary of State in the Defence

12th Mr. Tomasz Merta Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Culture

13th Gen. Francis Gągor Chief of General Staff of Polish Army

14th Mr Andrew CARRIER Secretary ROPWiM

15th Mr. Maciej Plazynski President of the Association "Polish Community"

16th Mariusz KAZANA MFA Diplomatic Protocol Director

PARLIAMENT REPRESENTATIVES RP

1st Mr. Leszek Deptuła deputy to the Sejm

2nd Mr. Gregory Dolniak deputy to the Sejm

3rd Ms. Grazyna Gęsicka deputy to the Sejm

4th Mr. Przemyslaw Gosiewski deputy to the Sejm

5th Lord Sebastian KARPINIUK deputy to the Sejm

6th Ms. Izabela Jaruga - Nowacka Deputy to the Sejm

7th Mr. Zbigniew Wassermann deputy to the Sejm

8th Ms. Alexander Natallia - WORLD Member of the Sejm

10th Mr. Arkadiusz Rybicki deputy to the Sejm

11th Jolanta Szymanek - Deresz Member of the Sejm

12th Wiesław WATER deputy to the Sejm

13th Mr. Edward Wojtas deputy to the Sejm

14th Janina FETLIŃSKA Senator RP

15th Mr. Stanislaw ZAJAC Senator RP

ACCOMPANYING PERSONS

1st Mr. Janusz Kochanowski Ombudsman

2nd Mr Sławomir Skrzypek, President of the Polish National Bank

3rd Janusz Kurtyka President of the Institute of National Remembrance

4th Janusz Krupski Director of the Office for War Veterans and Repressed Persons

REPRESENTATIVES Churches and Religious Affairs

1st Fr. Bp. Maj.-Gen. Tadeusz Ploski Ordinary of the Polish Army

2nd Archbishop Brig. Miron Chodakowski Orthodox Ordinary Polish Army

3rd Fr. Col. Adam Pilch Field Protestant Chaplaincy

4th Fr. Lt. Col. John OSIŃSKI Ordinariate of the Polish Army

Katyn Families REPRESENTATIVES AND OTHER SOCIETIES

1st Mr. Edward Duchnowski Secretary General of Association of Siberian Deportees

2nd Fr. Monsignor Bronislaw Gostomski

3rd Fr. Association President Joseph Joniec Parafiada

4th Fr. Zdzislaw KING Chaplain Warsaw Katyn Families 1987-2007

5th Fr. Chaplain Andrew Kwasnik Federation of Katyn Families

6th Pan Tadeusz LUTOBORSKI

7th Bozena Łojek President of the Polish Foundation for Katyn

8th Mr. Stefan Melaka Katyn Committee Chairman

9th Mr. Stanisław Mikke Vice ROPWiM

10th Mrs. Bronislaw Orawiec - Lffler

11th Ms. Catherine Piskorska

12th Mr Andrew SARIUSZ - SKĄPSKI President of the Federation of Katyn Families

13th Mr Wojciech SEWERYN

14th Mr. Leszek Solski

15th Ms. Teresa Walewska - PRZYJAŁKOWSKA Foundation Golgotha of the East "

16th Ms. Gabriela Zych

17th Ewa Bąkowska granddaughter Brig. Mieczyslaw Smorawinski

18th Mrs. Maria Borowska

19th Mr. Bartosz BOROWSKI

20th Dariusz MALINOWSKI

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ARMED FORCES RP

1st Gen. Bronislaw KWIATKOWSKI Operational Commander of Polish Armed Forces

2nd Gen. pil. Andrew Błasik Polish Air Force Commander

3rd Maj.-Gen. Tadeusz BUK Commander of Land Forces of Poland

4th Maj.-Gen. Vladimir POTASIŃSKI Polish Special Forces Commander

5th Vice Admiral Andrzej Karweta Commander Navy

6th Brig. Kazimierz GILARSKI Commander Training Centre

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 10:32
ASN Aircraft accident Casa C-295M 019 Miroslawiec AB (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20080123-0)

bomiknocker
10th Apr 2010, 10:45
Polish military sources are quoted by the media as saying that 30mins before the crash a Russian military plane IL-76 was sent back to Moscow's Vnukovo airport because of poor conditions. It was piloted by someone very familiar with the Smolensk airport, who after two approaches decided it was not a good idea. Landing at Minsk airport instead of Smolensk was suggested to the pilots of the Polish plane....

Jetjock330
10th Apr 2010, 11:04
CNN keeps showing and saying that there is only one airfield at Smolensk, and shows the Google image of a military airfield 1500m long, which looks too short.

However, there is a civilian field north of Smolensk with 2500m. Surely this is the field it was trying, as 1500m, seems a little short for TU154?

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 11:08
Not for the first time, CNN has it wrong. The South one with the short runway is the civilian field, the military field with the long runway being the North.

CNN quotes a russian official saying the accident happened on the outskirts of Pechersk, a town just north of the Northern military field. If this statement is true (as it appears to be), then the accident happened while the a/c was circling the field following go-around, not during approach.

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 11:17
Report say "severnyi" airport, so North.

Squawk_ident
10th Apr 2010, 11:35
It seems that Smolensk has no ICAO code but only an IATA one.
No METAR or TAF is available except a report called synop with a special coding. The WMO ID of Smolensk is 26781 and the only informations that I could find are below:

SYNOPS from 26781, Smolensk (Russia)
SI 10/04/2010 09:00-> AAXX 10091 26781 41396 80904 10027 20022 39956 40253 54000 71042 886//
333 88707=
SM 10/04/2010 06:00-> AAXX 10061 26781 31/93 91403 10009 20009 39956 40255 53003 74540
333 20005=
SI 10/04/2010 03:00-> AAXX 10031 26781 41996 01102 10005 21006 39953 40253 54000 71000
333 55074=
SM 10/04/2010 00:00-> AAXX 10001 26781 42997 01402 10030 21005 39953 40250 54000=
SI 09/04/2010 21:00-> AAXX 09211 26781 42997 71402 10061 21005 39953 40247 53003 87030=
SM 09/04/2010 18:00-> AAXX 09181 26781 32997 01102 10092 20002 39950 40241 54000
333 10160=
SI 09/04/2010 15:00-> AAXX 09151 26781 42597 31304 10141 21002 39950 40235 57015 83200=

SM 09/04/2010 12:00-> AAXX 09121 26781 42597 31103 10139 20029 39965 40250 57012 83200=



Sources : Ogimet.com// or metaf2xml: parse and decode METAR, TAF, and SYNOP and store as XML (http://metaf2xml.sourceforge.net/) for a decoding.
or :
Meteorological Resources - SYNOP (http://www.rwic.und.edu/metresources/synop.html)
Still trying to decipher...

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 11:55
To me the most incredible is to have the complete top brass of the Polish Armed Forces on the same aircraft. While the civilian delegation was mainly 2nd/3rd ranking officials and not unusual in composition, the top six commanding generals were all on the flight. I'm sure in an organisation where there is a regulation on how to tie shoelaces, there must have been a rule against this...

livermore
10th Apr 2010, 12:17
According to History : Weather Underground (http://www.wunderground.com/history/station/26781/2010/4/10/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA&MR=1) between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM this morning the visibility at Smolensk airport changed from 4 kilometers to 0.5 kilometers, the conditions from mist to heavy fog!

CargoOne
10th Apr 2010, 12:17
I can't believe amount of [email protected] written here by presumingly Polish posters. Crash is the tragedy. When it comes to the rest, make your facts right:

1. Both VIP 154M, reg 101 and 102 were built in 1990 and delivered new to Poland, later avionics was upgraded. They are same age as US VC25 (Air Force One).

2. 154M is not very economical airplane for airlines, but it is technically sound and reliable aircraft.

3. ATC offered them first divert to Minsk, later when handled over to Russians, they offered to divert to Moscow.

4. It looks they've attempted 4 approaches. There is no ILS at military Smolensk-North.

Krasnall
10th Apr 2010, 12:27
This particular airplane has been overhauled recently.

Reporters now say, that the airplane circled the airport couple times. They are not sure how many approaches it attempted.

ARRAKIS
10th Apr 2010, 12:27
I can't believe amount of [email protected] written here by presumingly Polish posters.
I have a different impression.


1. Both VIP 154M, reg 101 and 102 were built in 1990 and delivered new to Poland, later avionics was upgraded. They are same age as US VC25 (Air Force One).

Yeap, and 101 was overhauled last year.
102 was delivered in 1994.

Arrakis

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 12:36
CargoOne.

Not nice using such words...
:=

You should mind this 154M was still using the same engines like the LOT Il-62
which crashed 1980 and 1987. Both due to uncontained engine failure.
Nothing changed on design and technology.

Please do not compare AirForceOne with these 154.

Almost every second flight of these aircraft 101 and 102 was plagued
recently by different technical issues.

Few month ago the chief of the Polish Air Force unit flying these aircraft
resigned and left the army in protest, being unable to keep the standards.

CargoOne
10th Apr 2010, 12:43
ptkay

Almost every second flight of these aircraft 101 and 102 was plagued
recently by different technical issues.


Hopefully you know that there is no MEL on Polish Air Force TU154M, unlike LOT 737. It is not designed to be commercially effective, and it is not dispatchable with carry-on defects. If you don't see the difference, I guess we have nothing to discuss.

When it comes to investigation, don't forget that this is not a civil aircraft and not a civil flight. None of usual arrangements you have in mind are applicable.

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 12:51
...this is not a civil aircraft and not a civil flight...

Hit the nail on the head. Any civilian operator would have a rule of two missed approaches and divert, no questions asked. The airforce mentality of 'complete the mission whatever it takes' is likely to be a contributing factor here.

Less Hair
10th Apr 2010, 12:52
So no ILS, no VMC, and no MEL and no standards. Just top brass in the back insisting to land on time?:eek:

er340790
10th Apr 2010, 12:54
What I do not understand is why such a group of people can be on one plane. As a GM of a middle size company I cannot take the same plane with my CFO.

You'd be surprised how often this happens. On a tour of our Russian plants back in 2004, our travel agent was careful to ensure no more than 3 personnel were on the same flight... and then booked all 8 of us on the same minibus to the airport. :eek:

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 12:55
LH

No MEL means the a/c is unserviceable with ANY defect, no matter how insignificant. It is a much stricter rule than operating under MEL. As CO pointed out, not very economical...

mirogster
10th Apr 2010, 12:55
+ 0.5 visibility.

Good2bking
10th Apr 2010, 13:02
German news channel N24 reports that the tower suggested to divert to Moscow and got the reply from the cockpit crew that "the Polish President lands where he wants". (unconfirmed)

As always, you've got to be careful with all the sh!t stuff making the round.

worldpilot
10th Apr 2010, 13:11
What a tragedy. A whole leadership of a country almost wiped out. Again, another terrible instance or moment of aviation that could have been avoided.

sprocky_ger
10th Apr 2010, 13:12
Facts:
aircraft involved: Tu-154M reg 101 (http://russianplanes.net/REGINFO/3143)
maintenance status: not known yet
airfield: Смоленск-Северный (military, north of Smolensk, 2,500m rwy)
conditions: low visibility
other: three aboarted landings a fourth attempted landing underway

Possible causes:
low visibility combined with psychological stress for the crew caused by VIP pax

The real cause will be finally found by the investigators.

sprocky_ger
10th Apr 2010, 13:15
... and then booked all 8 of us on the same minibus to the airport.
But you do share the same room on a meeting?

SINGAPURCANAC
10th Apr 2010, 13:16
The airforce mentality of 'complete the mission I have to disagree. I had a honor to fly on jump seat in presidential aircraft on official mission. I haven't noticed anything but "Lufthansa" standard,if we agree that Lufthansa deserve current top reputation.
So idea to transport VVIP, on manner different than the most experienced air operators do, is not something that could not accept as a standard,how it should be done.
Regardless it is under military belt or private operator.
Safety has no alternative!

Less Hair
10th Apr 2010, 13:17
Could a military PIC just be "ordered to land" by higher ranking pax regardless of his own decision?

Wojtus
10th Apr 2010, 13:18
The real cause will be finally found by the investigators.
And might be never released to public. We'll get some bull**it blame-the-dead-pilot report instead.

luftschwein
10th Apr 2010, 13:21
Your English is not Lufthansa standard so I doubt your ability to judge is either.

GfaRm
10th Apr 2010, 13:22
Someone has to say this now. If you don't know polish mentality you wont be able to understand why this happened. To make the story short - they (pilots) had to land, no matter what. That was the matter of their honor. I can imagine the pressure on them... Diversion was not the option. And here we have the sad outcome.

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 13:23
Could a military PIC just be "ordered to land" by higher ranking pax...

Technically, no. However imagine the scenario that the Air Force Commander is sitting behind you on the jump seat, and quietly mumbles after the third attempt "if I were you, I'd try going 100ft lower..."

Gringobr
10th Apr 2010, 13:27
TV russa mostra imagens dos fragmentos de avio aps queda (http://noticias.terra.com.br/mundo/noticias/0,,OI4373618-EI8142,00-TV+russa+mostra+imagens+dos+fragmentos+de+aviao+apos+queda.h tml)

sprocky_ger
10th Apr 2010, 13:33
And might be never released to public. We'll get some bull**it blame-the-dead-pilot report instead.
Well, it may have been a pilot error - assuming he was on the controls. Even though I pointed out that this specific situation putting an extra pressure on him. How many of you made a fourth attempt to bring your bird down in such weather conditions? How many of you would have diverted if there was only you in the a/c?
To make the story short - they (pilots) had to land, no matter what.
Having the 2008 Tbilisi story in mind I can vaguely imagine about the pilot's last thoughts.

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 13:48
In a briefing recently Russian official confirmed parts of aircraft found
already 1-2 km before the crash site.
Witness suggested take off power applied shortly before crash.

The aircraft crashed while attempting a go around ...
When take off thrust was applied, the no.2 engine failed, severing the control cables for the elevator and rudder.

Sounds familiar?

This is the LOT Il-62 crash 1980.

Another one:

Date: 09 MAY 1987
Time: 11:12
Type: Ilyushin 62M
Cycles: 1752
Engines: 4 Soloviev D-30KU

the no. 2 engine Low Pressure turbine shaft broke loose, followed by the failure of the turbine disc. Debris punctured the aft fuselage, causing a fire in the cargo hold. The elevator control system was severed and the no. 1 engine had to be shut down.

The same engines as 154M.

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 13:51
Confirmed: 88 passengers and 8 crew.

96.

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 13:59
Date: 30 JUN 2008
Time: 15:48
Type: Tupolev 154M
Operator: Aeroflot Russian International Airlines
Registration: RA-85667
C/n / msn: 89A825
First flight: 1989
Engines: 3 Soloviev D-30KU-154-II


The nr.1 engine suffered an uncontained failure during takeoff. The aircraft was traveling at 60 km/h (32 kts) when the engine failed. Takeoff was aborted.

robbreid
10th Apr 2010, 14:00
The Kathryn Report (http://www.thekathrynreport.com/) excellent site for news feed info and video . . .

FA10
10th Apr 2010, 14:04
I have to disagree. I had a honor to fly on jump seat in presidential aircraft on official mission. I haven't noticed anything but "Lufthansa" standard,if we agree that Lufthansa deserve current top reputation.


The first thing that apparently was not "Lufthansa standard" on your jumpsear flight was the fact that YOU WERE ON THE JUMPSEAT!
On quite a few recent high profile accidents there has been someone on the J/S. Might not have been the cause for the accident, but at least there was distraction from the flightdeck routine.
And, as Andrasz mentioned before, the last thing you need on a troubled approach is a voice from the second row telling you how to do it better...

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 14:07
In a briefing recently Russian official confirmed parts of aircraft found already 1-2 km before the crash site.

Source ? That would certainly give a new angle to things, however all I can find on this presently is your word...

:offtopic:

The first thing that apparently was not "Lufthansa standard" on your jumpsear flight was the fact that YOU WERE ON THE JUMPSEAT!

Actually LH is one of the very few airlines left who DO take you on jumpseat, at the captain's discretion, if you are airline staff. All done in the professional LH manner, with briefing on the oxygen system and adherence to the clean cockpit rule. Had the pleasure several times myself, can only convey my thanks to the captains involved for not leaving me behind.

Yeah
10th Apr 2010, 14:08
Someone has to say this now. If you don't know polish mentality you wont be able to understand why this happened. To make the story short - they (pilots) had to land, no matter what.

What are you talking about?!
We've got thesame procedures like rest of civilised world. It depends on pilot that he/she should land.
Other subject is a pressure on crew carying VVIP, but I think that is the same level of pressure as flying Citation with your boss who is late for buisness meeteng.

Yeah
10th Apr 2010, 14:12
Source ? That would certainly give a new angle to things, however all I can find on this presently is your word...

Polish TV say that few minutes ago. But they did't say if they loose parts before place of crash, or parts fall-off in case of hitting something.

Here is the situation:
http://avherald.com/h?article=429ec5fa&opt=0

andrasz
10th Apr 2010, 14:20
...is the same level of pressure as flying Citation with your boss who is late for buisness meeteng...

...which is exactly why we know of several business bosses who have ended up among trees and smoldering parts of Citations a few hundred feet short of a runway, never making their meeting...

alexmcfire
10th Apr 2010, 14:23
Both Tu-154m salons that PAF operates where made in 1990, one delivered directly to PAF the other is a former LOT aircraft.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
10th Apr 2010, 14:48
<<How many of you made a fourth attempt to bring your bird down in such weather conditions?>>

At many places they would not have been allowed to make an approach in such conditions, let alone several go-arounds.

foxie
10th Apr 2010, 15:31
brief from russian and polish websites: even several hrs after chash, they were waiting for the experts, bodies remained to be inside the wreck. russian president medvediev ordered to start investigation and a special investigation commision had been crated. guess, who is the head of this commision? putin! former president of russia, former KGB agent, military jet licence holder.
meanwhile, polish government (the ones that weren't on the way to memorial service) are working on getting visas to russia, so they can start their own investigation.
now, the most idiotic about the accident itself: 3 missed approaches, on the 4-th one 200-300m away from runway (!!!) - altitude 2.5metres!
comment from experienced polish pilot Dariush Sobchinski, who knew flight crew in person. he said, they were high class professionals and 4 approaches means the jet must have been allright, as if not, after 2-th attempt, there would be no attempts in such fog, as afficials claim to be at that moment.
can anyone comment this for me, please?

brak
10th Apr 2010, 15:41
This article : Lenta.ru: : (http://old.lenta.ru/news/2010/04/10/disobey/) (in russian) says the following (translated by Google with my edits):

The crew of the Tu-154 of Polish President Lech Kaczynski repeatedly failed to comply with instructions of chief controller (title?) of airfield "Smolensk". This, according to ITAR-TASS, said Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexander Aleshin. According to him, a flight controllers at a distance of 1.5 kilometers discovered that the Tu-154 increased the vertical velocity and reduced the height of flight.

Chief controller gave the order to transition the aircraft to level flight, and when the crew failed to comply with instructions, several times he gave the command to use the alternate airfield. Nevertheless, the crew continued to descend" - added Aleshin.

JeV
10th Apr 2010, 15:53
Latest news form Poland says aircraft crashed on second approach (not 4h). Probably media mixed holding or sth like that with circling around airport. Common thing...

flash8
10th Apr 2010, 16:04
Perhaps one could keep one's political opinions about news outlets out of this discussion? Perhaps this would be more to your liking, if the messenger is so important to you.

With respect, the accident you link to was multi-faceted, the story you quote is early speculation, and the final conclusion would find that this focus was really an indirect element.

If indeed this was the 4th G/A (with a failure to arrest in time), and the WX was such that an approach should never have been attempted (especially given the local navaid situation) - and these facts can be established pretty definitely quickly, then that must make a convincing CFIT case. IMHO.

man_in_poland
10th Apr 2010, 16:04
CNN has interviewed a journalist from a Polish newspaper, who confirms reports of several attempts at landing prior to crash

Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com (http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2010/04/10/nr.polish.president.dead.cnn)

FireWorks
10th Apr 2010, 16:06
Escuse me,

It is said that pilots performed 4 approaches. If that information is confirmed, that means bad C.R.M & Bad Airmanship.

Keep in mind that when you decide the third approach is because you are in emergency.

Im sorry.:(

Kulverstukas
10th Apr 2010, 16:21
07:00Z (10am) Temp 1C Dew 1C Humidity 98% QNH 1026 hPa Visibility 0.5 kilometers Winds SE 10.8 km/h / Heavy Fog

foxie
10th Apr 2010, 16:23
ok, here is the a/c itself, a few days ago YouTube - TU154M Polish AF N 101 from 20100408 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjA0MovfbmE)

it was recently fully refirbished and equipped with the latest navigation systems only 3 months ago.
it was not an accident and i will never think otherwise. but i do respect attempts to keep this forum out of political speculations of any kinds. :)

JeV
10th Apr 2010, 16:38
Polish TU154M Lux had Rolls-Royce engines and also probably most sophisticated nav equipment from all Tu around world including normal FMC for instance.

Ericson
10th Apr 2010, 16:48
Are there approach charts for this airport available for general public ? I could not find any.

Type1106
10th Apr 2010, 16:51
Re Post 108

The comments...

'Chief controller gave the order to transition the aircraft to level flight, and when the crew failed to comply with instructions, several times he gave the command to use the alternate airfield. Nevertheless, the crew continued to descend"

...would suggest to me that, given the poor visibility, the only way a controller would know if the aircraft was descending would be if the aircraft was on a PAR approach. Much has been made of the fact that the airfield did not have any precision aids, such as ILS, but as a military field it may well have PAR.

Furthermore, given the quality of crew selected for VIP duties - ANYWHERE - it is stretching the bounds of possibility that a VIP commander would attempt an approach, let alone a landing, without an approach aid commensurate with the weather conditions that have been reported.

phantomlurker
10th Apr 2010, 16:57
Not all that likely IMO.

National militaries tend to be a bit secretive at times

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 16:58
CASA also crashed on PAR approach.

There was certainly PAR equipment on Severnyi.
If it was in use and if it was PAR approach, we will know later.

All Polish military pilots are used to and current on PAR approaches.
Until recently most of the Polish military airfields didn't have ILS, just PAR.

In case of the CASA accident the pilots were used to ILS, flying to
Afganistan and mainly from EPKR, not to PAR.

Also the 154 pilots were mainly (or almost only) flying ILS.
Seldom, if ever PAR.

jsypilot
10th Apr 2010, 17:00
If you zoom in a bit and choose "hybrid" view the crash location is fairly clear.

ASN Accident location map 10 APR 2010 Tupolev 154M 101 (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record_map.php?id=20100410-0)

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 17:02
criss,

I would be interested to know what you think I have posted that is "crap".

That the Tu154 has a poorer safety record than Western types

That the repeated attempts to accomplish a NPA in 500m visibility may have been a major factor

That the crew were under undue pressure to " complete the mission" if they truly made 4 attempts to get in

That if reports are true suggesting the aircraft crashed in a banked attitude it is quite possible the crew saw the lights (perhaps because they busted the minima in a last desparate 4th attempt to please the VIP's) and were trying to convert the offset quite possible on an NPA into a landing , at low altitude in the fog

Which part of the above do you classify as "crap" as opposed to half reasonable assumption?

Whilst some of this is certainly pure conjecture on my part, this particular forum is called "Rumours and News", so to your good self, the earlier now deleted well wisher who so kindly identified me as a muppet (how observant :D) and clivewatson, I can only say, use your imagination and professional knowledge and experience (assuming you have any ) and tell me how the suggestions I have made are so flawed then smart @sses.



Oh BTW, JeV could you give us some details of these Rolls Royce powered Tu154,s think we would all like to hear about that mod :rolleyes:

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 17:03
Tom, could you elaborate:

Why should know cases of uncontained engine failures
of the Soloviev D-30KU engines on take off power be
irrelevant in case of an attempted go-around?

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
10th Apr 2010, 17:04
<<the only way a controller would know if the aircraft was descending>>

SSR Mode C?

Ptkay
10th Apr 2010, 17:05
JeV

Polish TU154M Lux had Rolls-Royce engines and also probably most sophisticated nav equipment from all Tu around world including normal FMC for instance.

What an utter crap...
Where did you get these RR from???


ReplyDate: 10 APR 2010
Time: 10:50
Type: Tupolev 154M
Operator: Polish Air Force
Registration: 101
C/n / msn:
First flight: 1990
Engines: 3 Soloviev D-30KU-154-II

foxie
10th Apr 2010, 17:44
indeed, this is a PROFESSIONAL PILOTS rumor and news page. that s why i rather prefer to be here than in russian professional webnews! at least -here i can gather information no investigation commision ever will discloss to public. don t you understand who we are dealing with? ok, here are some people far from aviation, so what? the link to this website is published in all news and it is not "by accident" . so, really, get over yourself and let people bring in the latest updates from russian media. at least THAT is ALLOWED, or you rather prefer to googletranslate? :)

as you wish- do it yourself! -154 - Ψ! Online (http://news.moe-online.ru/view/217965.html)

Loose rivets
10th Apr 2010, 18:05
That if reports are true suggesting the aircraft crashed in a banked attitude it is quite possible the crew saw the lights (perhaps because they busted the minima in a last desperate 4th attempt to please the VIP's) and were trying to convert the offset quite possible on an NPA into a landing , at low altitude in the fog

This has a horrible ring of truth about it . . . a scenario that was repeated time and time again in European airspace in the years after the war.

And yes, it's speculation. In part at least, it's what this forum's for.

pbogdanovic
10th Apr 2010, 18:37
I would be interested to know what you think I have posted that is "crap".
That the Tu154 has a poorer safety record than Western types

Well, if you're asking, this is crap. Compared to similar western types in wide use and about the same age (B737, DC-9), discounting planes downed by missiles, CFIT, mid-air crashes and other non-aircraft related accidents, I would say the Tu154 has about the same safety record, or barely worse than Western types.

This being PPRuNe (as in ProPilots), I'm really dissapointed with some of the posts here.

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 18:52
pbogdanovic

Probably/Maybe you are right, and a large part of its poor record is down to the fact that is has been operated in a fairly non-standard way in countries with either decaying maintenance/regulatory structure (former USSR states) or generally poor standards anyhow (Iran, Africa for example )

Indeed, properly maintained/operated it may be as safe as a DC9 etc. . . . but, you wouldn't catch me hopping on one, much as I enjoy to watch them take off, quite an epic piece of kit, but much too scary to actually set foot in it with the intention of getting airborne thanks :=

lompaseo,

the info I would like to hear is the previously shown met gobbledegook translated, and the type of app being flown

Cacophonix
10th Apr 2010, 19:03
and a large part of its poor record

What poor record and relevant to what statistical study of other types operated in a similar way?

I appreciate that the investigation has only just begun but there seems to be no evidence yet that the aircraft type had any part to play in this accident.

This Russia Today program gives more detail on this particular aircraft and a previous 'diversion' incident that raised the president's ire.

YouTube - Tail ?101: Lech Kaczynski was reluctant to replace old Tupolev Tu-154 plane (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGz6y4qmyws&feature=channel)

criss
10th Apr 2010, 19:12
Captplaystation, you're entitled to your opinion, but posting it as a fact is of little use. 737 with it's history of rudder hardover accidents is not the best example of safety record, and is hardly newer than Tupolev (and this particular Tupolev was younger than some a/c in LOT fleet). And this is rumour and news, not conjectures and biased opinions forum. I can't refer to your other opinions, as some posts have been deleted.

flash8
10th Apr 2010, 19:20
Why is it the same platitudes about the TU-154M are rolled out again and again after any significant event?

Of course its hard to discount other causes, but assuming that the a/c was in a good maintainable state (and it was a low time airframe with probably VIP maintenance throughout its lifetime) I'd rather more lean towards what we already know.

The evidence reported (albeit early stage) leans towards the inevitable highly likely conclusion. Why can't anybody call a spade a spade nowadays?

ARRAKIS
10th Apr 2010, 19:28
and a large part of its poor record

Any facts to back up you theory.
I will help you a little. A total of 68 Tu-154 airframes were lost. Now, how many were lost to terrorist attack, crew error, collision, missile attack, etc.. and how many were lost due to technical problems and how many of them were related to poor maintenance?

Arrakis

demomonkey
10th Apr 2010, 19:32
The TU-154 is operated in some of the harshest climates known to man and has a design & components based on Soviet-era bombers it's fair to say that it's a tough old beast (CaptPlayStation - what are you on?).

For example, a Malev TU-154 did a accidental gear up landing, go-around and still landed safely with gear extended (Thessaloniki, 2000 - the fuselage still remains there). From the pictures (hence my speculation), whilst the terrain is woody, it doesn't appear to be massively dense.

So if the crew had descended below the MDA just to try and get in (because of the political importance of the event), and had become visual with the ground or lack of runway at the last moment and had executed a go-around, it would be fair to assume that the RoD could be arrested or reduced to a minimum and therefore even if contact with the gear/trees had taken place a similar outcome to the Malev case could be expected.

However in the crash site (again from TV pictures) the wreckage and fire scorched area seems to be quite tight rather than distributed widely but without deep craters. This would suggest a high RoD at low speed which seems odd at this stage of the approach (or go-around if one has been executed). Anyone else see where I am coming from?

Say Mach Number
10th Apr 2010, 19:45
What about GPWS or EGPWS calls? Surely they would recieved these warnings.

Or does the 154 not have this fitted?

DaveReidUK
10th Apr 2010, 19:56
From http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100410/tu_154_100410/20100410?hub=World (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100410/tu_154_100410/20100410?hub=World):

Aviation expert Mark Miller said allegations that the 26-year-old plane is the cause of the crash are likely unfounded.

The plane that was carrying the Polish president had recently undergone refurbishments, including the addition of "three Rolls Royce engines -- some of the most sophisticated and advanced engines available today," Miller told CTV News Channel Saturday in a telephone interview. "This idea that the plane was unsafe is an unfair characterization."

Clearly here is one "aviation expert" who knows something that the rest of us don't.

kontrolor
10th Apr 2010, 20:01
My personal opinion...

Pressure on Crew + Conditions - simple as that.

My fiancee is Polish so I know how they feel about this special memorial day.

I will not be surprised if this will be the final official werdict as well.

Chronus
10th Apr 2010, 20:04
That is the headlines from The Telegraph, see the article at:
Now the Poles have another reason never to forget the Katyn massacre – Telegraph Blogs (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/concoughlin/100033756/now-the-poles-have-another-reason-never-to-forget-the-katyn-massacre/)

If the approach was PAR given by a soviet controller it is a fair bet there will shortly follow a massive political fallout and calls for the accident investigation to be conducted by other than soviet state authorities. Basically this is not just an ordinary air accident.

hetfield
10th Apr 2010, 20:10
Basically this is not just an ordinary air accident.

Right! Fully agree, this accident MAY become a polit thriller.

Juliet Sierra Papa
10th Apr 2010, 20:22
What an utter crap...
Where did you get these RR from???

Ptkay,that's a very arrogant statement/question you made there and is typical of a "I know better than you" attitude. There is no way on earth I would fly with you as PIC.
Based on the below I suggest you wipe the egg off your face.

The plane that was carrying the Polish president had recently undergone refurbishments, including the addition of "three Rolls Royce engines -- some of the most sophisticated and advanced engines available today," Miller told CTV News Channel Saturday in a telephone interview. "This idea that the plane was unsafe is an unfair characterization."

JSP

ettore
10th Apr 2010, 20:24
According to a report from the Swiss-German Public TV, the tail broke off when it struck trees.

A reporter was sent to Smolensk. Witnesses told him that the a/c was obviously too low. When maximal thrust was then applied, the pitch was such that the tail struck the trees and broke apart from the rest of the fuselage. The a/c hit the ground a couple hundred meters further into the woods.

Caution: we are talking here about witnesses' accounts, interpreted by a foreign journalist.

Source: Look for the "Christoph Wanner" report (in German) at : Staatstrauer in Polen nach Tod des Prsidenten / International / SF Tagesschau (http://www.tagesschau.sf.tv/Nachrichten/Archiv/2010/04/10/International/Staatstrauer-in-Polen-nach-Tod-des-Praesidenten#video)

HamishMcBush
10th Apr 2010, 20:32
...and witnesses accounts in dense fog too. how much did they really see?

ettore
10th Apr 2010, 20:46
Hamish,
You've got a point. But the Swiss reporter was serious enough to discard a question of his own presenter as to why the pilot made four attemps to land as "wild speculation" and stopped short of any comment, such as thoses widely spread on this thread... :E

captplaystation
10th Apr 2010, 20:47
OK I'm outa here, first we have the Tu154 she is good aircraft (may be, but the poor old bird had some pretty crap owners/operators) then the BA CC luvvies (Oh , you are SO insensitive) now we have Wow the tail hit the ground first (well it bloody would if you pitched up too quickly to avoid ground contact)

Jeez, every thread on this forum just deteriorates into tosh within less than 1 day of any accident.

You know what guys, Tu154's are not as safe as similar era Western kit, miltary pilots are great, but hey flying 4 approaches smacks of desperation, and finally , most politicians are parasitic thiefs so forget the crocodile tears.

As in ANY accident, sorry for those who lost a loved one, but really, it doesn't take much imagination to see how this could have been avoided, in a word . . . DIVERT.

Oh, and thanks to pprune for this new "flag" system to see who the 1 post wonders are, makes it quicker to filter out the crass stupidity. Please consider posting on BBC or CNN next time, this is labelled, as I repeat SO bloody often PROFESSIONAL PILOTS RUMOURS AND NEWS are you one ? nope ? should you be here ? can you add something of worth or do you just wanna tell me how insensitive I am ?
Goodnight, perhaps by tomorrow we have some more info on the weather/approach flown and we can speculate (Oh Yes) with some more knowledge.

Kalium Chloride
10th Apr 2010, 20:50
The aviation "expert" on CTV actually said that he'd received an email from one of his contacts, telling him the aircraft had been outfitted with Rolls engines. Doesn't make it much better, mind.

Finn47
10th Apr 2010, 20:56
Instant safety comparison here:

Tu-154: 66 hull losses (Aviation Safety Network) out of some 900 produced = 7.3 %
DC-9 (up to & including the -50 series): 101 hull losses out of 976 produced = 10.3 %

... crude comparison, but its in the right ballpark.

Flying Bagel
10th Apr 2010, 21:17
Wiki mentions that the 154 only had 36 hull losses, and 66 major incidents. And I couldn't find any reference of any losses due to mechanical failure...

moonlighter
10th Apr 2010, 21:34
Standard ops ( SOP'S)

can't get in on original plate...DIVERT.... what is wrong with the world.

MCC is very basic training, but if every ICAO country adopted it 1 approach without meeting the plates requirements divert.:ugh:

Squawk_ident
10th Apr 2010, 21:38
201004100600 Aaxx 10061 26781 31/93 91403 10009 20009 39956 40255 53003 74540 333 20005=


10/04/10 0600 Utc/ Wind Speed In Meter Per Second /Smolensk/ Precipitation Nil/ Manned Station /Cloud Base Unknown / Visibility 0.5 Km / Sky Obscured / Wind 140/3 Mps / Temp+0.9/+0.9/ QFE 995.6/QNH 1025.5/ Nosig/ Fog /sky Not Visible/ No Change/ Previous Weather Fog / 8 Octas Stratus / Min Temp For Previous 24h +0.5 //

despegue
10th Apr 2010, 21:39
Anyone claiming the TU154 is a lesser aircraft than its Western counterparts is talking from their behinds. Most Russian built aircraft are/were built far stronger than American ones, being specifically suited for the rough climate/conditions of the Soviet Union periferic regions. Ask The German AF what they thought of the Tu154 compared with their A310's, ask ANY Aeroflot/S7 engineer about a comparison between Illyushin/ Tupolev made aircraft and the modern "plastic garbage" made in Toulouse/ Bremen...
Russian Aircraft engineering and design was and in some cases, like military IS always ahead of its Western counterparts. ( although it does seem that engines were/are always a weak link) Don't believe the crap that they are just copycats, in fact, it is the West who had more industrial spies and the Concorde is a result of BOTH parties spying on eachother...

Rant over.

ARINC
10th Apr 2010, 21:45
I'm assuming no GPWS fitted...?

ScotsAndy
10th Apr 2010, 21:46
Capy Playstation

Incredibly small minded attitude and also very ignorant/disrespectful to all who participate in these forums

Just goes to show that volume of participation is no measure of quality of participation !

Plus you seem to be making some very sweeping assumption as to the reasons for this particular crash - very unseemly

Redfox
10th Apr 2010, 22:20
Did this particular TU-154 have a CVR ... ?

deSitter
10th Apr 2010, 22:24
Oh please - the Russians are good but their military aircraft are miles behind western designs. They don't have the materials engineering at the same level, period.

-drl

deSitter
10th Apr 2010, 22:28
The plane sheared off trees over a wide area, meaning it was fairly level when it hit the trees. The tail ended up farthest away, which implies cartwheeling on a wing, so the plane probably hit trees level and then lost lift on one wing and rolled before impact. This one is a slam dunk, they hit trees on a foggy approach.

-drl

Skyglider
10th Apr 2010, 22:31
foxie!

"guess, who is the head of this commision? putin! former president of russia, former KGB agent, military jet licence holder."

Never heard that Putin had a military jet licence????

ARRAKIS
10th Apr 2010, 22:40
Tu-154: 66 hull losses (Aviation Safety Network) out of some 900 produced = 7.3 %


According to Russian data, today it was the 68th airframe lost. Around 930 were manufactured.

Arrakis

bpmsmith
10th Apr 2010, 23:18
Redfox: Did this particular TU-154 have a CVR ... ?

There are reports that 'both' black boxes have been recovered. If correct, this would suggest yes.

Poland grieves for president, crash victims - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/11/2869474.htm)

11Fan
11th Apr 2010, 00:10
Not much left.....

DwXTBiW5rec

May take a moment to load and run. Getting a lot of hits.

Nicked from a poster on A-Net

robbreid
11th Apr 2010, 00:11
The Kathryn Report (http://www.thekathrynreport.com/)

More updated videos, scroll down.
Also Bulgarian Govt. TU-154 for sale . . .

The Bartender
11th Apr 2010, 00:17
Having glanced trough the list of Tu-154 hull losses on aviation-safety.net, the causes turn out roughly like this:

80% due to crew (Including CFIT, finding trees below the fog, running on fumes, and a surprisingly high number of overweight/out of trim rejected takeoffs...)
10% due to engines
5% due to poor maintenance
5% undetermined

Don't blame Tupolev for the bad stats, blame the handlers up front...:= ...and to a lesser degree, the smoke-generators in the back...

protectthehornet
11th Apr 2010, 00:25
I hope we can all take a deep breath and slow down here for a minute or two. I am sorry for this tragedy for the Polish People. Especially with the reason for the flight.

I just want to remind people that america had a crash a few years ago that included our secretary of commerce. A military version of the 737-200 crashed while making an instrument approach...a sort of odd one mind you...an NDB apch at that.

Pressures exist at all levels of aviation...including military aviation.

jfkjohan
11th Apr 2010, 00:35
When protectthehornet said that, I must admit, it was the first thing that crossed my mind as well. It might have been in a similar capacity (ie. high ranking officials etc with "get-me-there-itis") alas...

The link from what protectthehornet was referring to is here:

1996 Croatia USAF CT-43 crash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Croatia_USAF_CT-43_crash)

Just hope that it wasn't a risky-shift scenario what with all the big airforce bosses onboard and probably (pure speculation here) being in the cockpit?

-- JFK --

protectthehornet
11th Apr 2010, 01:01
and what if the high ranking air force guys were in the pilot's seat?

JetA
11th Apr 2010, 02:21
If the above weather report is correct and it was 0.5 Km vis. and there was not an ILS.

What type of approach were they using in those conditions????

jfkjohan
11th Apr 2010, 02:32
If the above weather report is correct and it was 0.5 Km vis. and there was not an ILS.

What type of approach were they using in those conditions????



a GMT, NPA? Get-me-thereitis!

On a more serious note -- I am sure that what transpired on the deck was/is/were easier said than done.

Eager to hear what the CVR recorded (if ever made possible).

supramkiv
11th Apr 2010, 02:46
I'm not sure the relevance of a/c produced to hull loss is relevant without the amount of cycles or flying hours etc is included?? In which case i'm sure the 737 is a safer more sucessful aircraft?

flyhelico
11th Apr 2010, 03:12
for me it' s simple, don't hire ex military pilots.

these guys want land at all cost. I know it, I flew with military pilots...

maybe not all, but when you have been trained in the military for 20 years, it 's very hard to change habits.

These guys have to land, in a case of war, guys land, whatever happen.
in no war time, they land in any situation, in case there is a war!

BreezyDC
11th Apr 2010, 03:37
FlyHelico, you do a disservice to military pilots who follow SOP's, not to mention exercise their own good judgment. Counter to your statements, note the quote in the Wall Street Journal from a reporter who traveled in the aircraft that crashed on a previous flight, and reported on the late President Kazynski of Poland:

"Of course, I dont know exactly what happened and this is not to suggest anything, but let me share a story that shows President Kaczynskis attitude toward his own personal safety.

"During the Russian-Georgian conflict over South Ossetia, Kaczynski flew to Georgia to show support for the Georgian leader. The president, as the supreme commander of the military, ordered the pilot to land near the breakaway republic and the military pilot respectfully refused, saying it was too dangerous and that Kaczynski may be his supreme commander on the ground, but not in the air.

"Eventually, he landed at a safer airport and the president had to take a really long drive in a motorcade. Upon arrival, an angry Kaczynski told reporters that it was unacceptable for his orders to be ignored like that and decisions about his travel be made on such a low level."

p51guy
11th Apr 2010, 04:20
I hope he was happy with his decision of taking his low level status pilot off his flights so he could control the next captain more efficiently. It sure saved that long limo ride. Sorry for the sad news. Poland lost a lot of people going to a humanitarian event.

Cacophonix
11th Apr 2010, 05:29
The Times is reporting that the Russia Today reports (Chinese whispers perhaps) that the crew of the TU 154 were dumping fuel before the missed approaches and final accident.

If this is true then it puts a whole new perspective on the Captain's determination to get the aircraft down despite the prevailing conditions.

Polish president dies in plane crash after pilot ignored warning not to land - Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7094338.ece)

Russia Today and other television stations reported that even before the first attempt to land, the pilot had been dumping fuel indicating some form of mechanical problem so by the fourth attempt there was no alternative but to put the aircraft down.
Interestingly the Times also repeats the 'TU 154 is unsafe' canard!

Mechanical issues aside, the questions about the imperative to land still seem firmly trended towards the nature of the president's political fears about a diversion.

Kaczynski, whose body was also said to have been found, was a former anti-communist campaigner with a penchant for taunting the Kremlin.

He had every reason to believe he was not welcome in Russia. Polish observers said he may have interpreted an order to divert to Moscow as an attempt to sabotage his big day in Katyn, where he was due to attend a mass and give a speech.

Russian media reports said he had once become angry with a pilot who refused to land in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, on the grounds that it was unsafe. The same thing may have happened at Smolensk, aviation experts claimed. They suggested he may have pressed the pilot to make at least two attempts to land.

The crew included Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk, Major Robert Grzywna, the first officer, Artur Zietek, the navigator lieutenant, and Andrzej Michalak, the engineer. All were said to have been very experienced.
YouTube - Heavy fog & human error possible causes of Lech Kaczynski plane crash in Russia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQhAhJdhXzQ&feature=related)

Neptunus Rex
11th Apr 2010, 05:58
flyhelico,
You would not have hired Captain Sully!

Nemrytter
11th Apr 2010, 06:19
I can't offer much insight on this crash but I can offer a small amount of information. Judging from satellite pictures of the crash site, the aircraft came down in a relatively small space on the order of 200 or 300 meters. The surrounding area doesn't seem too badly damaged, most of the trees nearby are intact - but it's not exactly thick forest anyway.
I vaguely recall a post here stating that bits fell off the a/c several km short of the crash location, but I can't see any evidence of that. I guess it depends how big the bits are though!

Was the Eastern Space Shuttle a success?

Somewhat off topic, but yes it was a success if you look at the engineering. Buran was considered superior to the US shuttle in most areas of it's design and construction.
Buran was never an operational success due to the fall of the Soviet Union, not because there was anything wrong with the shuttle itself.

jackharr
11th Apr 2010, 06:42
Just a thought. The Commander of the Polish Air Force (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Air_Force) was on board. It is not unknown for top brass to want to pilot the aircraft themselves. I could relate some (fortunately amusing) incidents when as a QFI in the RAF, the Old Man wanted a go.

Jack

Kalium Chloride
11th Apr 2010, 07:21
I'm not sure the relevance of a/c produced to hull loss is relevant without the amount of cycles or flying hours


It probably wouldn't be relevant even with that data. Conclusions on aircraft safety drawn purely by counting hull losses are utterly meaningless.

PBY
11th Apr 2010, 08:26
AVFLASH NEWShttp://www.avweb.com/images-avweb/bluetabcorner.gifJanuary 25, 2008
Polish CASA C-295M Crash Update http://www.avweb.com/images-avweb/mailtoicon.gifEmail this article (http://www.avweb.com/cgi-bin/udt/im.send.story.prompt?client_id=avflash&story_id=197016) |http://www.avweb.com/images/printicon.gifPrint this article (http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Polish_Crash_295_197016-1.html?type=pf)
By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor


http://www.avweb.com/images-avweb/clearpixel.gif
http://www.avweb.com/newspics/polish_casa_c295m.jpgThe Jan. 23 crash of a Polish air force air transport aircraft that killed all 20 aboard (including high-ranking officials) has led Polish officials to ground its fleet of nine EADS CASA C-295M aircraft pending the results of an investigation. The crash aircraft had fewer than 500 flight hours and its data recorder has been recovered. It clipped trees prior to crashing approximately 1 nm shy of the runway at Miroslawiec air base in northwest Poland. The crash occurred just after 7 p.m. local time. Weather at the time included cloud bases near 300 feet with heavy rain in the area. It was the aircraft's second approach. An instrument landing system had yet to be introduced at Miroslawiec, a spokesman for the Polish air forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Wiesaw Grzegorzewski, told the Polish Radio Information Agency. He added that the pilots knew that the ILS system was not operating at the base and were landing by means of a precision approach radar. The pilots, according to the spokesman, were used to such conditions. The flight was returning personnel from a flight safety conference in Warsaw. Among those killed were Col. Jerzy Pilat, commander of the Miroslawiec air base, and Brig. Gen. Andrzej Andrzejewski, commander of an air brigade based in Swidwin. The Polish government is recognizing the loss with three days of national mourning.

mirogster
11th Apr 2010, 08:28
jackharr Just a thought. The Commander of the Polish Air Force was on board. It is not unknown for top brass to want to pilot the aircraft themselves. I could relate some (fortunately amusing) incidents when as a QFI in the RAF, the Old Man wanted a go.

Jack

Just a reminder, after PAF CASA crash, there was the same speculation.
On board there were top brass PAF officers. All communication with ATC and cockpit recordings are classified to this time!!
And now, 7 top Polish generals died too!

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 08:28
...the crew of the TU 154 were dumping fuel before the missed approaches...

Utter nonsense. You cannot dump fuel on a TU5. If the problem is not that serious, you circle above the airfield to burn off fuel, in any other case you go in overweight. After a 1.5h flight and only 80something pax o/b the a/c would have been well under MLW (80t) even if it was fuelled for the return journey.

Amazing amount of ill-informed posts in the past 12 hours surfacing on this thread that started off reasonably sound.

hasta.la.vista
11th Apr 2010, 08:40
According the words of Russian Air Force Vicecommander gen. Aloshin it should've been a PAR approach. His description of cooperation between ATC and crew almost certainly indicates that kind of approach.

hasta.la.vista
11th Apr 2010, 09:03
Classified you say... Please check Dokument ujawniony przez min. Klicha (http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80708,5090660.html) and explain how come this "classified" information leaked to this news portal.

mirogster
11th Apr 2010, 09:03
Sorry to interrupt your nice offtopic chat, but quick update on topic:

According to polish press and witnesses of the crash, Tu154 was not approaching 4 times but just circled airfield 3 times, and then pilots decided eventually to land. Almost 0 visibility and no ILS = off center line approach, wrong glide slope.
About 1 km before runway it seems that they tripped some antenna (PAR ?) and tried to level up with full power.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 09:11
Could we PLEASE stop this discussion on Russian vs. US technology that is rapidly deteriorating into the ridiculous!

From what we know the make of the airplane played very little if any role in the accident. Yes, it was a 20 year old TU5. Yes, it was completely overhauled last year. Yes, it was outfitted with western instrumentation including FMC, EGPWS, TCASII, etc. No, it was not outfitted with RR engines (some twit confused the Tu-154 with the Tu-204).

So far from what seems to be known, the accident has all the hallmarks of a dozen or so similar events when a non precision approach in marginal weather placed the aircraft to a position it had no intention of getting to. The last one was just two weeks ago at DME...

At the moment the critical questions we should be asking (and hopefully getting answers soon):

What kind of approach did they fly ? We know there is no ILS, there is a NDB but doing a NDB approach with 500m vis is suicidal, not to mention being against all written and unwritten rules. The crew were professional, even under pressure to land it is extremely unlikely that they would have done someting like that. Most likely they were flying a PAR approach, but at this moment we do not know. Language very unlikely to have been an issue, all Tu pilots would have received their type training in Russia, language proficiency was one of the selection criteria.
Did they really make 4 approaches ? There have been reports (see above post) that they only circled the field 3 times, that sounds more like holding over the field waiting for the weather to improve. If indeed there were 3 prior missed approaches, then the event hovers at or is beyond the definition of being reckless, and would be a strong indication of the kind of pressure the crew were under to land.
Are the reports of wreckage found away from the main impact site true, and if so are they indicative of a tree strike at that point, or are they supportive of an in-flight failure (engine or other).All these questions are pretty simple to answer, even on the first day of an investigation. Mr. Putin, we are waiting!

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
11th Apr 2010, 09:14
<<About 1 km before runway it seems that they tripped some antenna (PAR ?)>>

It would not be PAR. Precision Approach radar antennas are usually located on the airfield, close to the touchdown area.

FireWorks
11th Apr 2010, 09:29
Well, in my oppinion pilots were under pressure:

1. Very Important People VIP on board.
2. VIP had to go to a polical/social ceremony. There were a lot of people waiting for them, and pilots knew the importance of the events.

Im sorry

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 09:52
Andrasz, thank you for support:

Yes, it was a 20 year old TU5. Yes, it was completely overhauled last year. Yes, it was outfitted with western instrumentation including FMC, EGPWS, TCASII, etc. No, it was not outfitted with RR engines (some twit confused the Tu-154 with the Tu-204).


JSP from Kwa Zulu,,, etc.

Ptkay,that's a very arrogant statement/question you made there and is typical of a "I know better than you" attitude. There is no way on earth I would fly with you as PIC.
Based on the below I suggest you wipe the egg off your face.

You can carefully investigate the matter of RR engines in a Tu-154,
or keep your "I know better than you" attitude based on the single,
internet note based on single e-mail by an "expert".

I suggest, you wipe up your....

PS:
In the meantime, the "expert", Mr. Miller has withdrawn this RR "utter crap"
from his statement. Nevertheless still claiming the aircraft manufactured 1990
was "26 years old"...

Check yourself:
Tu-154 likely not to blame for crash: expert - CTV News (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100410/tu_154_100410/20100410?hub=World)

Cacophonix
11th Apr 2010, 09:53
Utter nonsense. You cannot dump fuel on a TU5. If the problem is not that serious, you circle above the airfield to burn off fuel, in any other case you go in overweight. After a 1.5h flight and only 80something pax o/b the a/c would have been well under MLW (80t) even if it was fuelled for the return journey.

Amazing amount of ill-informed posts in the past 12 hours surfacing on this thread that started off reasonably sound.Andrasz, you might have noted my very sceptical tone in my post. This thread is about sifting the wheat from the chaff, not attacking every poster who dares note a media rumour on Russian TV.

Your specific detail about the TU was very useful though so thanks for that.

NF

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 09:56
Well, in my oppinion pilots were under pressure...

I think we can all agree on that. However there is a huge difference between psychological pressure due to the importance of the mission, and direct instructions/interference from non-crew members on board. The first may be contributing factor, the second could be direct cause...

NamibFox, apologies, no intention of being offensive, my remark referred to the original article not to your posting.

His dudeness
11th Apr 2010, 10:05
Could we PLEASE stop this discussion on Russian vs. US technology that is rapidly deteriorating into the ridiculous!

From what we know the make of the airplane played very little if any role in the accident. Yes, it was a 20 year old TU5. Yes, it was completely overhauled last year. Yes, it was outfitted with western instrumentation including FMC, EGPWS, TCASII, etc. No, it was not outfitted with RR engines (some twit confused the Tu-154 with the Tu-204).

So far from what seems to be known, the accident has all the hallmarks of a dozen or so similar events when a non precision approach in marginal weather placed the aircraft to a position it had no intention of getting to. The last one was just two weeks ago at DME...

At the moment the critical questions we should be asking (and hopefully getting answers soon):

* What kind of approach did they fly ? We know there is no ILS, there is a NDB but doing a NDB approach with 500m vis is suicidal. The crew were professional, even under pressure to land it is extremely unlikely that they would have done someting like that. Most likely they were flying a PAR approach, but at this moment we do not know. Language very unlikely to have been an issue, all Tu pilots would have received their type training in Russia, language proficiency was one of the selection criteria.
* Did they really make 4 approaches ? There have been suggestions that they only circled the field 4 times, that sounds more like holding over the field waiting for the weather to improve. If indeed there were 3 prior missed approaches, then the event hovers at or is beyond the definition of being reckless, and would be a strong indication of the kind of pressure the crew were under to land.
* Are the reports of wreckage found away from the main impact site true, and if so are they indicative of a tree strike at that point, or are they supportive of an in-flight failure (engine or other).

All these questions are pretty simple to answer, even on the first day of an investigation. Mr. Putin, we are waiting!


Spot on Andrasz, ksenem!

The pressure from the cabin in an executive aviation environment can be very bad and makes you think 3 times before you decide not to try... (never been in the military but could imagine that is even more of a problem there)

Lets hope it wont come to a fight and slagging contest between Russia and Poland over the investigation. Their relations are bad enough, with Kaczynski being a major contributor to the unrest between them.

jackharr
11th Apr 2010, 10:06
flyhelico: "for me it' s simple, don't hire ex military pilots. These guys want land at all cost. I know it, I flew with military pilots..."

It is certainly a mistake to put ex-military straight in the left hand seat regardless of background. The fast jet jockeys might need to or three years learning the ropes. But ex-transport pilots (I was a Hercules QFI) like me adapted to the civilian methods which frankly were virtually indistinguishable with relative ease. Nonetheless, 12 months in the right hand seat provided a useful and necessary apprenticeship as an airline pilot for which I am grateful. But having got that out of the way, within a few years I was an IRE. The CAA doesnt give away IREs to reckless pilots who land at all costs.

Jack

GobonaStick
11th Apr 2010, 10:15
According to polish press and witnesses of the crash, Tu154 was not approaching 4 times but just circled airfield 3 times, and then pilots decided eventually to land. Almost 0 visibility and no ILS = off center line approach, wrong glide slope.



If there was zero visibility, how did witnesses see anything?

Or is that information from air traffic controllers?

captplaystation
11th Apr 2010, 10:16
Skimmed quickly through the last 10 pages and I didn't come upon it. Where exactly was the point of ground contact in relation to the R/W ? one report said 1.5km, was that 1.5km on final on the centreline ? or 1.5km offset alongside the runway ? or where exactly. An earlier poster referenced a satellite image, can't find nowt on google, any links ?

Do we know yet if the aircraft was flying PAR/NDB ?

criss
11th Apr 2010, 10:22
They were not ex-military pilots, they were current military pilots, this was a military a/c. The real problem for polish military pilots is they get very little flying time per year due to funds shortage, but this wouldn't apply to these transport pilots.

If there was no ILS, there are only 2 possibilities, NDB or PAR, as VORs are rather scarce there. PAR more probable due to reports that ATC "commanded" the crew to climb (of course, it might happen also under normal SSR, but it does bear resemblance to PAR), but then, placing of the crash site so far from the expected flight path would be difficult to explain.

BTW, Casa's ATC transcript was not classified. They were published, and CVR from An28 crash (CFIT during training flight) was published likewise. I would assume that if there's nothing really embarassing for the dead VIPs on the CVR (clear instructions to try to land, meaning they killed themselves), it gets published. Whatever you (and we) might think, it's not some third world.

And again, can we finally cut all the nonsense about a/c type and Eastern vs Western? It makes the first P look more like pathetic than professional...

hasta.la.vista
11th Apr 2010, 10:24
Useful infographics regarding your question:

http://bi.gazeta.pl/im/9/7756/m7756789.jpg

That was military PAR approach as far as I understood Russian AF vicecommander Aloshin.

flydoc134
11th Apr 2010, 10:26
for me it' s simple, don't hire ex military pilots.

these guys want land at all cost. I know it, I flew with military pilots...

maybe not all, but when you have been trained in the military for 20 years, it 's very hard to change habits. :=
FlyHelico, obviously you did not undergo a western-type UPT; i cant remember there has ever been a economic pressure by a CEO in commencing an approach in my military time, but i remember an IP who had been busted by higher command, just because of commencing an approach for a missed approach training purpose, when the wx-conditions were below published minima.
Sounds a little bit like one of this guys had been hired where youve been rejected..??:p


t's better to miss the lead story at 6 . . . than to become the lead story at 11. Bruce Erion, President of the National Broadcast Pilots Assn., 1999.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 10:29
Where exactly was the point of ground contact in relation to the R/W ?

So far the only report giving any clues is the CNN reference to 'the outskirts of Pechersk', a town immediately (about 2km) north of the airfield (Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=54.837873,32.031326&spn=0.04676,0.175095&t=h&z=13))

There is a wooded area between the airfield and the town, if this report is true the accident site is 1.5 km North of the runway, significantly off the approach path.

So far I have not seen any credible report even on which approach direction they were using.

wessel_words
11th Apr 2010, 10:29
My gut feeling is they would have been under a lot of pressure to "get in". The inexperienced can fall fowl in these scenarios.

Being military pilots they would be used to "taking orders", without question, if they valued their careers. That what they are trained to do.

One also would need to to question the criterion of "presidential crews". I am always wary of the "unblemished" record or never "made a mistake" quality of some of these people. When persons of this quality do eventually screw up it can be in a big way.

P.S. Shouldn't the minimums when operating these VVIP flights, be set "higher" and adhered to?

jsypilot
11th Apr 2010, 10:31
I found this map. If you zoom in then choose "hybrid" in you will get a rough location. Hope this helps.

Accident location map. The Aviation Safety Network Website. Last updated: 11 April 2010.


ASN Accident location map 10 APR 2010 Tupolev 154M 101 (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record_map.php?id=20100410-0)

criss
11th Apr 2010, 10:36
Being military pilots they would be used to "taking orders", without question, if they valued their careers.

That's a very shortsighted vied that shows you don't know anything about their situation. It's not USAF with hundreds of crews (and potentially many more on the market with type ratings for American-built a/c). Polish Special Squadron had only 2 crews left current for Tupolevs, and potential market is not really big (and as this is a military unit, you can't hire just anyone). So in reality their commanders had little power over them, because grounding/firing them would mean they would have to drive everywhere (or take a ship if going to America). If anything, in the past years it were crews who were leaving due to low salaries and less flying time than in the civilian jobs.

captplaystation
11th Apr 2010, 10:40
So, you think they were in a good position to leave ? current type Tu154, current job market ?

Or does being Polish and working in a control tower give you a different and more in depth perspective of the job market than the rest of us ?

Chris Scott
11th Apr 2010, 10:46
I notice that a number of the posts on this thread are rational, and appear to contain authentic information. A smaller number even manage to avoid speculation based on assumptions.

Any dedicated, professional investigator charged with conducting the inquiry into this tragedy will be faced with an unenviable task; not because of the circumstances of the accident itself, which are likely to have been mundane.

Mr Putin's reported decision to take personal charge of the investigation will be seen by some as indicating the importance of leaving no stone unturned; by others as determination to ensure that the Russian state is absolved of any blame. The Russians are rightly proud of their aeronautical heritage.

On the other hand, the proud reputation of Polish aviation, which stoically faced such hardship from 1939, is also at stake.

Normal protocols suggest that only the two states need to be involved in the investigation. In view of the sensitivities involved, however, not least that of potentially conflicting national pride, it is vital that at least one other should play a leading role in it.

The question is: does the accident-investigating authority of any third-party state have a high enough reputation for expertise and impartiality to silence the nationalistic conspiracy theories that are being formed, inevitably, in the wake of this disaster?

If so, time is of the essence...

Chris

criss
11th Apr 2010, 10:47
You can always acquire other type ratings. Surely easier for them to get trained on a 737 or E170 than for military to find a Tu154 pilot, or to find someone current on a 737 wanting to convert to a Tupolev.

And as I said, a number of crews DID leave this unit in last 2-3 years due to low pay and conditions, so it means there are other possibilities for them, unless you suggest they preferred unemployment.

pbogdanovic
11th Apr 2010, 10:59
Indeed, properly maintained/operated it may be as safe as a DC9 etc. . . . but, you wouldn't catch me hopping on one, much as I enjoy to watch them take off, quite an epic piece of kit, but much too scary to actually set foot in it with the intention of getting airborne thanks :=

This is just the uninformed bias you're talking about here. I flew on the Tu-154 and it's a fine plane. When properly maintained and with a reputable airline I would not doubt for a second to fly in one, just as I did before.

It's actually a very robust plane and you have to make many dumb mistakes before you manage to crash it.

Mr Optimistic
11th Apr 2010, 11:00
The BBC was showing an interview with an eye witness who claims he saw the aircraft at tree height about 1km short of final resting place. So visibility was not zero.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 11:01
ASN Accident location map 10 APR 2010 Tupolev 154M 101 (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record_map.php?id=20100410-0)


Just saw a report on CNN which shows wreckage with large hangar-like structures in the background. The location pinpointed on ASN could be reasonably accurate (though there is a warning: "location accurate to within a couple of kms")

captplaystation
11th Apr 2010, 11:02
criss
Possible indeed, if not too easy in the current market.

IMHO, their perceived "self worth" or "job security" was probably still not enough to cancel out the real AND perceived pressure to land at destination.
Perhaps to this you can even add that other human frailty pride.

Here they are, with your President and all his entourage on their way to a ceremony that is perceived as very important.
Assumedly, they have checked the weather and , as you say probably expected a PAR, and not unreasonably with that type of approach, think 500m is do-able.
If it was the 1st approach, what happened? bad controlling? bad flying? failure to follow an instruction to go-around by the PAR controller when it got out the box, perhaps due to seeing the lights momentarily and deciding to give it a go? something completely different like tech failure ?

If it was in actuality the 4th approach, I think it is more simple to find the cause.

pbogdanovic,
of course you are right, but we are all entitled to our "comfort zones", trouble is , even if this one was "nickel" how many of them are, suspect there are quite a few you wouldn't get on either :hmm: But, in all likelihood, as I acknowledged way way back in post # 20 aircraft type is probably not remotely a factor here.

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 11:05
Transcript of a meeting with V. Putin and the emergency response team at the Tu-154 crash site.
Prime Minister of the Russian Federation - Events - Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a meeting of the emergency response team at the Tu-154 crash site (http://www.premier.gov.ru/eng/events/news/10179/)

The early 97 pax information, instead of 96 comes probably from the fact, that one of them was late and missed the flight.
AFAIK the take of from Warsaw was almost 1 h late.

Arrakis

captplaystation
11th Apr 2010, 11:13
1hr late = more pressure & less time to pick up the schedule in case of diversion and need for ground transport.

Massey1Bravo
11th Apr 2010, 11:14
So in reality their commanders had little power over them, because grounding/firing them would mean they would have to drive everywhere

What makes you think that the president or anyone apart from the air force commander is actually aware of this fact? If the president hates him enough he will find a way to get rid of him. And if that grounds the plane he will just charter another one. After all didn't the Chinese govt charter their planes from Air China for state visits?

One more thing, do we actually know if the airfield equipped with a PAR or just a vanilla military PSR?

It seems strange that while the type is reliable mechanically and while I appreciate the fact that it routinely operates in airports with poor weather/terrain/navaids, there seems to be no shortage of pilots who ends up driving it into the ground or cause an unusual attitude situation. (Pulkovo flat spin comes into mind) Maybe we're looking in a training or culture problem, or perhaps the cockpit is not as ergonomically designed when compared to other types.

400Rulz
11th Apr 2010, 11:14
Hi All,
Interesting reading. I have flown with both brilliant and appalling military and General Aviation pilots. My experience with ranking (above Squadron Leader or US equivalent) officers who have not regularly flown (and I emphasise this) is that you have to watch them very carefully. Be prepared to take control and accept the consequences. I once flew with a Wing Commander who TWICE forgot to lower the gear on approach, both times on the same sortie!!. When I reported his incompetence, I was grounded for a week ( the Squadron Commander had just passed him on his annual competency check, incidentally). I was a Pilot Officer at the time......

But that is an aside. What does strike me as relevant is that when carrying VIP's in the Military, the most senior pilot is the designated PIC. Surmise.... maybe he was not fully current on the aircraft? There seems to be so many conflicting reports. TU154 engines are notorious for in-flight failures. Could it be possible that a catastrophic failure of one of the engines adversely affected the hydraulics, therefore preventing a successful go-around? Witness testimony suggests this. But you have to ask the question - are they expert witnesses? Experience suggests that they are not, especially when the viz is 0/0 (or close to). Only the Accident Investigators will be able to determine this.

Only those on the flight deck will ever have full knowledge of what actually happened. The rest is all conjecture, even though the "black boxes" have been recovered. Although the "Iron Curtain" no longer exists, we may still never know the full story.

My sympathies lie with the Polish People, however. Whichever way you wish to approach this incident, it is a tragedy. Hopefully the full story will be released so that we can all learn from the error(s), and make changes to our own SOP's that would prevent such an accident in future.

400R

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 11:20
To stick to facts I will try to sum up a little what the Polish and
Russian media are reporting (witness, briefings):

1. the ac was on approach way to low, on the "antenna", as described
by one witness (probably NDB), instead of 60m they crossed at 8m alt.
It has been not confirmed, that they hit the antenna. They ignored the
ATC (PAR???) orders to pull up. The a/c banked.
2. They then hit a 8m tall tree, clipped it with the wing, lost half of the wing,
eventually hit the ground and disintegrated.
3. Experienced pilots knowing the airfield comment, that the approach is "tricky"
because of the "invisibly" climbing terrain. Shortly before the NDB there is
a gentle slope of a valley app. 40-80m deep. (Compare the google map with
the net of traversing roads on this "slope").

From here on, my speculations:

4. When in doubt about PAR directions to pull up and about the altitude
readings of GPS and ALT, they may have used the radar altimeter readings.
Those showing them the bottom of the valley instead of alt. above threshold.
5. When the altimeter reading started to rise quickly, it was too late.

6. It is possible the approach maps were not precise or non existing.
It is a Russian military AF Base, so some data could be classified.

And now the question:

Why were they too low and ignored the pull up orders (which is fact)?

The possibilities are:

1. Following altimeter readings of the valley,

2. Some kind of engine malfunction and loss of thrust,

3. Controls malfunction.

As I mentioned before the Soloviev engines did malfunction before,
taking into consideration their position, uncontained failure
meaning also possible tail controls failure.
It happened before, see my earlier posts.

Richard J.
11th Apr 2010, 11:28
Useful infographics regarding your question:

http://bi.gazeta.pl/im/9/7756/m7756789.jpg



I note that the large-scale map, showing where the aircraft crashed in relation to the runway, quotes 1600 m length for the runway, which looks like that of the civilian airport south of Smolensk, though it is certainly the military airport that is mapped. With that inaccuracy in mind, it would nevertheless be interesting for non-Polish speakers to understand what the other captions mean. Any offers?

W.R.A.I.T.H
11th Apr 2010, 11:28
Not directly related to the crash, but here (http://www.planesvideo.cz/?dl_id=219) you may find what is probably the most recent video of the aircraft involved, visiting PRG two days prior to the accident. Observe a display of inflight reverse thrust deployment, a feat unique to the Russian design school, afaik.

Massey1Bravo
11th Apr 2010, 11:31
Observe a display of inflight reverse thrust deployment, a feat unique to the Russian design school, afaik.

Concorde can do that as well. :ok:

400Rulz
11th Apr 2010, 11:44
DC-8 as well

jackharr
11th Apr 2010, 11:48
wessel words: "Being military pilots they would be used to "taking orders", without question, if they valued their careers. That what they are trained to do."

Obviously you're not ex-military yourself. NEVER in 18 years in the Air Force as a result of pressure from above, was I made to fly in conditions I did not consider suitable. As far as I can recall the regulations stated that a pilot could only be ordered into the air under conditions of war (someone bring me up to date on exact regulations). I was once pressurised by an Air Commodore (passenger) to fly when the destination some 40 minutes away, was way below limits. (Tern Hill to Little Rissington). I stuck to my guns and refused to take off until I saw a reasonable chance that the destination would be within limits when we got there. The Old Man was annoyed with me but I had not given in to his pressure. I heard no more about it. But some forty years later, I am still around to be able to talk about it. Had I given in to that pressure, I might not have been.

Jack

wessel_words
11th Apr 2010, 11:56
jackharr

Good for you and glad to hear it. You did admit there was pressure.

If you were ordered to blow a B747, full of innocent civilians, out of the sky because it strayed off course, would you do it? A military pilot was ordered to do just that and he did. Also quoted as saying he would do the same thing again. This is the programming, conditioning or brainwashing I am referring too. You cannot have an efficient military without discipline. Discipline to me, is following orders. Orders which are "right or wrong". I am sure you would agree with that.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 12:03
Jack,

You are lucky to be unaware of the mentality and cultures of the east block military establishments that still lingers on despite the elapsed 20 years. I'm sure anyone who served in the RAF, USAF or any other airforce based on the western concepts of power, authority and accountability will find the quoted statement offensive.

However in the USSR and satelite countries like Poland or my own, the attitude was very different. Rank gave power, unquestioned authority and full immunity to any accountability towards any of the lower ranks. Human life was considered expendable, I know from first hand accounts that in the Mig 21 training school in Krasnodar (where all Warsaw Pact airforce cadets did their initial and type training) a 2% loss of cadets through the three year programme was considered acceptable. The whole system was built on authority and the unquestioned acceptance of orders, no matter how ridiculous. For someone who came from this background, it is very difficult to transition to an environment where individual assessment of risks, personal iniative and a critical attitude is the norm.

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 12:03
Small correction to my previous information.
The plane took off from Warsaw at 7:23 (or 7:29) - two different versions are published. According to the pax list, it means still about 1/2 hour late.
http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/7930/presidentcrash.jpg

The English transcript of the meeting from my previous post is not complete. Some rather important elements were cut from the Russion original:
???? ???????????? ????????????? ?????????? ????????? ?.?.?????? - ??????? - ???????????? ????????????? ?????????? ????????? ?.?.????? ? (http://www.premier.gov.ru/visits/ru/10184/events/10179/)





Arrakis

interpreter
11th Apr 2010, 12:24
Looking at my log book I notice that almost 51 years ago to the day I was flying in a Hastings from Nicosia to Luqa (5.5 hrs in those days) as a passenger (rearward facing seats) when the aircraft made a turn to the left and looking out of my window in the near darkness noticed that the Port outer had been shut down. The pilot, of Flying Officer rank (no names - no packdrill) came on the intercom to say that we were diverting to El Adem with an engine problem. Immediately a Flight Lieutenant or Squadron Leader, I cannot recall which, but who looked as if he had been flying in the First World war yet alone the second, leapt out of his seat and strode up to the cockpit. Very shortly afterwards I was aware that the Port outer had been restarted and we turned right back on track towards Luqa. The officer then returned to his seat and was hear to say words to the effect that " these young pilots don't know what flying is - diverting when all he had was a blocked by-pass filter."

It does happen -or rather did happen.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 12:27
Some rather important elements were cut from the Russion original:

I do not wish to clutter the therad with a complete transcript, google translator works surprisingly well: Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.premier.gov.ru%2Fvisits%2Fru%2F 10184%2Fevents%2F10179%2F&sl=ru&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8)

A couple of important pieces of information:

Communication was in Russian.
The legal minimum was 1000m horizontal visibility for the approach (we still don't know what kind it was)
Actual visibility was ~400m
Pilot was advised of conditions, and a diversion was suggested (emphasis mine)
Pilot decided to try an approach (we still don't know how many), with the known outcomeOne source of misunderstanding may be various (mis) translations of the russian phrase used to convey the instructions of ATC as instructed / ordered / suggested. In Russia up till very recently the word of ATC was an order, pilot had no discretion. While this changed, old habits still linger(see my post above, or think of berlingen), until we see the CVR and ATC transcripts, it is hard to assess what was really conveyed. The power distance can work both ways - it is possible that the local controller did not feel confident enough to give an explicit instruction to the 'commander' of a presidential aircraft, no matter how inappropriate his actions appeared.

By the way, the composition of the investigation comission makes for an interesting read:
Google Translate (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://premier.gov.ru/events/messages/10174/&rurl=translate.google.com&usg=ALkJrhi5iXYLU9nkvESiAuzYk_TyYF9lcw)

Elberoth
11th Apr 2010, 12:36
Capt. Arkadiusz Protasiuk was only 36 years old.

Foto (http://www.rmf24.pl/foto/zdjecie,iId,167742)

I thought I would post this info, since some posters sugested 'comunist block mentality' among the pilots. Clearly, the crew took their trainig long past the comunist days.

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 12:46
In Poland ex military pilots are now CFI or FIS on uncontrolled
aero club airfields in G class space.

During my training and private flights I heard and still hear:

Pilot-student (obviously following the CFI instructions)
or CFI: "Request permission to land runway xx"
FIS: "permission granted, you can land runway xx."

Old habits die hard...

BTW: It was not before 2004 that airspace in Poland became mostly G,
with usual CTR, TMA etc. restrictions. Before that it was all controlled.

BugOutWest
11th Apr 2010, 12:56
No, wessel, I think that you're wrong.

This orders "right or wrong" bit is very important: you have to have a legal order to be required to follow it. There will always be pressure if your career is on the line, but as jackharr writes, you have to resist it if you know that you are right. That's what captaincy is all about, military or civilian.

BoW

McDuff
11th Apr 2010, 13:20
Being military pilots they would be used to "taking orders", without question, if they valued their careers. That what they are trained to do.

I'm afraid that sounds like rubbish to me, wessel. Professional pilots have to adhere to standards of captaincy whether military or civilian.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
11th Apr 2010, 13:22
<<Observe a display of inflight reverse thrust deployment, a feat unique to the Russian design school, afaik.>>

Many more than Russians.... happens daily all over the world.

<<Pilot-student (obviously following the CFI instructions)
or CFI: "Request permission to land runway xx"
FIS: "permission granted, you can land runway xx.">>

That sounds like the kind of R/T one reads in a comic. Do they really behave like that?

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 13:23
Do they really behave like that?

Oh yes they do... :rolleyes:

According to the old school, if you wished to address your superior, the correct phrase was "comrade *** (rank, not name), request permission to report". Thank God it's over...

jsypilot
11th Apr 2010, 13:24
Latest news from BBC web site:


Correspondents say the plane was flying too low and clipped some trees as it approached the runway in thick fog.
A Russian general said air traffic controllers had repeatedly urged the pilots to pull up. Investigators from the Russian emergencies ministry are sifting through the debris for any evidence of mechanical failure.

Has anyone he transcript of the "Rusian general"

Kulverstukas
11th Apr 2010, 13:27
The English transcript of the meeting from my previous post is not complete. Some rather important elements were cut from the Russion original:

It is just begining of transcription, didn't covered the whole meeting in Russian. Untranslated part contains report of Poltavchenko:

Putin: Just a minute. I wanted to ask the Representative of the President. On behalf of Dmitry Medvedev you was meeting the Polish president and those accompanying him. You, in fact, been witness to this accident. What do you estimate was happened, what you have seen? As I understand, you were almost there first at the scene?

Poltavchenko: Indeed, Vladimir Vladimirovich, we, along with the governor, Sergei Antufev and members of the delegation were waiting the plane. Flight director came, reported that weather conditions difficult. This was indeed the case. I even think the visibility there was less than 400 meters. It was somewhere in the vicinity of 10.30. Visibility was about 100-150 meters. Very strong, dense fog, but up - even wetter.
Flight director reported that they offered the Polish crew to consider the option of the alternate: in Minsk to Vitebsk and at Vnukovo - three options. According to the head of the flight, crew decided taking into account the fact that they had enough fuel to go to the terminal area, look around, and then decide.
Then we were told that they will try. Really, we have not even heard the plane approached, did not hear engine noise. Then - a blow, strange noises, not typical for the crash. And then we were told that the plane had collided with the earth. Just three minutes later we were at site.
I would like to note the very efficient work of firefighters, Emergency units, because the priority activities have been fully implemented. It was cordoned off area, began on finding survivors in the crash.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: You were at the crash site in three minutes?

GS Poltavchenko: Three minutes.

400Rulz
11th Apr 2010, 13:30
Its called "The Military Code of Justice", Dunnunder

A2QFI
11th Apr 2010, 13:30
Mr Optimistic. The witness could have been 1km from touchdown as the aircraft went past in the fog, also 1 km from touchdown = very low visibilty. It depends how you read it!

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 13:37
They were not cut, it just begining of transcription, not covered whole meeting in Russian as well as in English. English version is shorter by report of Poltavchenko.


It means, it was cut compared to the Russian published text.

There are sumps around the airfield. It means the visibility was probably better over the runway and worse above the sumps.

Now, regarding the pressure, I agree with andrasz. Some kind of pressure is not to be ruled out, but even if there are some evidence, I don't think they will be published, ever.

Arrakis

Marbles
11th Apr 2010, 13:39
I have held back from commenting until the likely cause became more firmly focused on the pilot having to endure pressure from the brass in the back. I am reconstructing the history of the RAF's early Special Duties operations for SIS and SOE in 1940 and 1941. When Polish crews were posted to 138 Squadron in late 1941 and early 1942 the operational records become slightly confusing, until one realises that one set of records that holds the aircraft and pilot, and another that gives the operation-name and the captain, are about the same sortie. With the Polish Air Force crews the Observer/Navigator was almost invariably the aircraft captain; the pilot was, to be perhaps unfairly blunt about it, his driver. My almost immediate reaction to this speculation (for that is what it is, so far) was to wonder if some hangover of this culture lasts to the present day, even though I am writing about events from 70 years ago. The Soviet-bloc mentality as evidence by the posts from andrasz indicates that the same chain of command applied to the Soviets as well as to the German Air Force in both World Wars.

In the RAF the pilot was always the captain, even if he was a Sergeant and the rest of his crew were commissioned officers; a situation which was a source of amazement to USAAF bomber crews. My father's pilot was, briefly, a Sergeant to his own rank of Flying Officer: as he said to me "In the air I was in charge, on the ground, your father was; it never caused a problem." The same principle applied even if the CO was flying as Second Pilot. Occasionally, the Rear Gunner or Despatcher might be a Squadron Leader: S/Ldr Jack Benham, one of the Ringway parachute pioneers posted to 1419 Flight, was lost on ops in January 1941 flying as Despatcher, a job usually performed by an NCO or even an LAC before the role was granted regular aircrew status. Some of PPrune's corespondents might be guilty of assuming that the rules that applied in their air force applied to all.

lomapaseo
11th Apr 2010, 13:41
Ptkay

And now the question:

Why were they too low and ignored the pull up orders (which is fact)?

The possibilities are:

1. Following altimeter readings of the valley,

2. Some kind of engine malfunction and loss of thrust,

3. Controls malfunction.


You can't be ordered to pull-up

any advice to pull up can only be acted upon over a time frame having to do with the performance capabilities of the aircraft considering the descent rate and rising terrain.

The issue based only on (unreliable news and witness) reports is why was he too low.

To me that is very unlikely to be an arcraft performance issue.

...... on with the speculation

rottenray
11th Apr 2010, 13:47
It will be interesting to learn more about the experience and history of this flight crew.

As former USAF, I can agree at least partially with some of the comments regarding orders, et cetera.

I worked communication systems on C141 and C5 for a few years, with the odd B52 or fighter dropping in for attention.

There is a difference between the attitudes of cargo/VIP pilots and fighter/bomber pilots, at least in the USAF.

As pet owners grow to resemble their pets, pilots seem to do the same with the aircraft they fly.

Most of the heavy pilots I met were calm and almost deadpan; very much into staying well within the envelop, a logical fit for their mission and aircraft.

Most of the fighter pilots I met seemed to be a bit more adventurous; nothing wrong with this at all, merely a reflection of their experience with agile aircraft.


So, does anyone know anything about the history of this crew?

That could provide some insight into their decision-making process.

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 13:59
Missing/cut/abbreviated/etc... compared to the Russian text.
You could talk about "not translated" if they would leave some untranslated Russian text, which is not the case.

Arrakis

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 14:10
Have no first hand info (if someone has, please correct), however based on analogies on other East-bloc countries, I assume there was an airforce unit assigned to government flights since many decades. As only 2-3 units of the type were operated as such, and the same type was in use by the national airline, the pilots were often drawn from the best (which in those times = best connected) of the airline, and it was regular practice (at least in Hungary) for them to be rotated into airline operations to keep current, as government flights would not have built up sufficient hours. I assume the pilots of this ill fated flight would have had similar background.

(In H they were not very popular, getting all the perks while not really being accountable. One such crew was involved in the last fatal accident of MA at OTP in '79, ironically flying into trees on a too low approach in fog... Soon after that the unit was disbanded, and govt chartered MA aircraft for official flights)

grebllaw123d
11th Apr 2010, 14:21
The Polish newspaper FAKT is, according a Danish newspaper, reporting that the commander of the TU 154 was 36 years old air force captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk. His total flying hours is reported to be 1939 - not much for a 36 years old captain.
I really wonder if this figure is correct........maybe it is hours flown on the TU 154??

criss
11th Apr 2010, 14:22
Massey1Bravo, he probably learned that after the Georgia incident in 2008. And even if not, Air Force Commander must have known that.

We are all looking at visibility, no one mentioned clouds. Perhaps it's a similar accident to the one of Casa 2 years ago? They tried typical military approach in difficult conditions - get low, below clouds, overhead airport, and then circle low speed low altitude. They lost it during the turn. Perhaps that's exactly what happened here.

As far as I could gather, airport has PAR, but it was not used (or if used, only to monitor, not for talkdown).

Grebllaw - although Fakt is the worst kind of tabloid that can possibly exist, personal info for the commander is correct, so the numbers might be to - it's Polish military, not airline transport, they don't get to fly 900hrs per year.

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 14:27
Have no first hand info (if someone has, please correct), however based on analogies on other East-bloc countries, I assume there was an airforce unit assigned to government flights since many decades.


Yes, there is one special unit:
36SPLT (http://www.36splt.mil.pl/)

Under the actual name, the unit exist since 1974 but it's history is longer than that.

Arrakis

rottenray
11th Apr 2010, 14:30
Just found this from Norway, complete with an ersatz sim of the crash:

Original (http://nrk.no/nyheter/verden/1.7074890) or Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fnrk.no%2Fnyheter%2Fverden%2F1.7074890)

Also interesting, a bLog entry from February:

Original (http://dziennik3rp.********.com/2010/02/rzadowe-samoloty-tu-154-numery-101-i.html) or Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdziennik3rp.********.com%2F2010%2F02%2Frzadow e-samoloty-tu-154-numery-101-i.html&sl=pl&tl=en)

Anyone fluent in Polish care to elaborate on this? Google seems to mangle it quite successfully...:eek:

Yeah
11th Apr 2010, 14:31
<<Pilot-student (obviously following the CFI instructions)
or CFI: "Request permission to land runway xx"
FIS: "permission granted, you can land runway xx.">>

That sounds like the kind of R/T one reads in a comic. Do they really behave like that?

Bu**it!!


Maybe someone remeber situation from 2008 in Georgia, when pilot was awarded by his commander for "not listening of President". He refused landing in dangerous place, and took president to another airport. The president wanted to get consecuences...
Translation from polish:

Google T?umacz (http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,5705983,Medal_dla_pilota__co_Lecha_Kaczynskiego_sie_ nie_bal.html&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.pl&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhgp2cPB1NCmGQgxcmTsV29wqSxztA)

flyboyike
11th Apr 2010, 14:32
Is it typical in Europe for presidential pilots to be relatively low-rank, like the gentleman in this case who was only an O-3?

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 14:34
Another contribution to the "mentality" theory is the case of the 11-nov-1998
air parade in Warsaw on National Day and the 80th anniversary of the Resurrection
of Poland.

In spite of marginal weather, the generals on the tribune ordered the aircraft to take off.

The officers opposed, so the generals ordered a training aircraft, Iskra to
do the "weather reconnaissance" flight.

The aircraft flew into cloud and eventually crashed due to instruments icing and
spatial disorientation.

ASN Aircraft accident 11-NOV-1998 TS-11 "Iskra" (http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=17546)

In spite of that accident the generals ordered two fighter jets to take off and
do a flyover near the tribunes.
The ceiling was 400m, the two jets buzzed at 300m above a 2 mil. city
below the tops of the skyscrapers.

This action resulted in court-martial for the few of the generals and colonels,
but just with minor penalties or aquittal.

Also a very important anniversary, President, Prime Minister and a lot
of other officials on the tribune...

The Air Force couldn't allow to be humiliated by the stupid weather.

protectthehornet
11th Apr 2010, 14:41
Do any of you recall the story of the USS Shenandoah, or the Akron, the Macon?

These were dirigibles belonging to the US Navy, and they were ordered to fly in bad weather. They were lost with many dead crew members. These were flying aircraft carriers for those of you who might have a glimmer.

One was lost enroute to a State Fair. The commander of one of the airships was a good friend of billy mitchel. This was part of the triggering for his court martial about air power.

We must look at the past in order to move forward and do right in the present and future.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
11th Apr 2010, 14:49
<<You can't be ordered to pull-up>>

Really? I've ordered plenty of aircraft to pull-up/ go-around/ overshoot, or whatever you like to call it, and they've all done it... without question.

<<Pilot-student (obviously following the CFI instructions)
or CFI: "Request permission to land runway xx"
FIS: "permission granted, you can land runway xx.">>

That sounds like the kind of R/T one reads in a comic. Do they really behave like that?

Bu**it!!>>

What's "bu**it" about that. I worked in ATC all my life and not once did any pilot ask me for permission to land.... and not once did I, or any controller I ever worked with, say "Permission granted..."

What kind of planet are these people on??

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 14:58
What kind of planet are these people on??

From the Communist army following the Russian/Prussian army tradition.

Molchay, slushay, spolniay...
(Shut up, listen, carry out)
Ordnung muss sein.
Befelh ist Befehl.
(Order is order.)

In 19th century Poland was under Russian, Prussian and Austrian occupation.

Polish army formed 1918 was conglomerate of these 3 cultures.

andrasz
11th Apr 2010, 15:00
What kind of planet are these people on??

It's called the Continent, you know, that green bit accross the Channel... :E

Sorry, no offence intended, I'm a great admirer of your fine island, but could not leave that one out...

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 15:03
andrasz

:ok:

Ptkay
11th Apr 2010, 15:07
The second pilot, major Robert Grzywna was also 36 years old.

Pure military career.

The navigator, Lt. Artur Ziętek must have been the same age.
He graduated the Military Air Force Academy in 2001.

RIP

ARRAKIS
11th Apr 2010, 15:09
So it is what "they" do. Just leave some untranslated russian in russian (main) part of site. BTW, its russian government web-site, and russkie speaks russian, not english, even in emergency state.

I really don't see what is or where is your problem. Please continue solving it without me. EOT



According to Georgy Poltavchenko, based on the preliminary crew-ATC communications records analysis, technical problems are rather to be ruled out.

Arrakis

brak
11th Apr 2010, 15:13
Well, here it is, written very clearly (sans the silly Google translation, although still readable) from the ******** article:

Journalists still very happy to fly with VIP. Despite the terrible air-conditioning inside, and the various inconveniences to be in a group chosen gives a sense of ennoblement.
- How to die, is in good company - Margaret Naukowicz repeats, which is a frequent guest on board a government plane.
This gloomy scenario is rather unlikely, because tutkami pilots fly very good.They gave evidence that even when some of Leszek Miller to return to France.Snow-storm raged over Warsaw.Better weather was in Katowice, and there had to land the plane.

The Prime Minister was anxious, however, is that the airplane landed at Okecie.The pilot announced that he will try to complete three approaches.If this proved to be too risky, he had to give up and go, however, to Silesia.
The plane began to descend a flight, but through the windows could not see, but a vast trouble.
At one point there was a roar - the pilot pushed the chassis. Silent jokes, there was laughter.Everyone expected that in a moment the wheels touch the runway but the pilot jerked the machine and began to prepare for the second approach.
When this time the pilot jerked the machine, no one imagined that it would take another test.But this time the pilot began to descend sharply down and the plane crashed on the belt wheels.At this point, one of the journalists could not stand and began to cry - Jesus! Help! We will crash!
- Political journalist Martin says Graczyk.

jsypilot
11th Apr 2010, 15:18
From the online version of the British newspaper The Independent on Sunday

Former president, Solidarity founder and Peace Prize laureaute Lech Walesa, said it was too soon to cast blame.

"Someone must have been taking decisions on that plane. I don't believe that the pilot took decisions single-handedly," he told reporters. "That's not possible. I have flown a lot and whenever there were doubts , they always came to the leaders and asked for a decision, and based on that, pilots took decisions. Sometimes the decision was against the leader's instructions."