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Polish Government Tu154M crash

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Polish Government Tu154M crash

Old 11th Apr 2010, 12:56
  #221 (permalink)  
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Military and orders

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.

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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:20
  #222 (permalink)  

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Military and orders

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.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:22
  #223 (permalink)  
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<<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?
Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:23
  #224 (permalink)  
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Do they really behave like that?
Oh yes they do...

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...
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:24
  #225 (permalink)  
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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"
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:27
  #226 (permalink)  
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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.

Last edited by Kulverstukas; 11th Apr 2010 at 15:29.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:30
  #227 (permalink)  
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Mil Rules

Its called "The Military Code of Justice", Dunnunder
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:30
  #228 (permalink)  
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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!
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:37
  #229 (permalink)  
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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.

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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:39
  #230 (permalink)  
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More ghosts from the past

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.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:41
  #231 (permalink)  
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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
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:47
  #232 (permalink)  
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Pilot History..?

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.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 13:59
  #233 (permalink)  
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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.

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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:10
  #234 (permalink)  
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Pilot history...

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)
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:21
  #235 (permalink)  
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Pilot history..

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??
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:22
  #236 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:27
  #237 (permalink)  
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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:

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

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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:30
  #238 (permalink)  
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Just found this from Norway, complete with an ersatz sim of the crash:

Original or Google Translate

Also interesting, a bLog entry from February:

Original or Google Translate

Anyone fluent in Polish care to elaborate on this? Google seems to mangle it quite successfully...
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:31
  #239 (permalink)  
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<<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?

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
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 14:32
  #240 (permalink)  
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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?
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