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Polish Government Tu154M crash

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Polish Government Tu154M crash

Old 12th Apr 2010, 12:55
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps I am being thick here but, assuming they had set the correct number of Hpa given by ATC there was no danger associated with believing they had set QNH when in fact it was QFE,
Or it could be the opposite.
But those are all just guesses.
We now, that visibility was below minimal and as for now, almost sure, no technical problems. It would mean CFIT. Now, what were the causes? Weather. That's for sure. What else?

On the russian PM website there is a transcript of a discussion of the 11th,
Andrasz, link please.

Arrakis
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:06
  #382 (permalink)  
 
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We now, that visibility was below minimal and as for now, almost sure, no technical problems. It would mean CFIT. Now, what were the causes? Weather. That's for sure. What else?
I believe pressure could be counted as well. Doesn't matter if someone walked in and asked for, or not. It is definitely contributing factor at least.

Adam
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:19
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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It is no secret that the Kaczynski brothers are known for their temperament, sometimes things are very obvious.

In this time and age crews are very familiar with CFIT. The lessons from the past have been learned. They were simply not applied.

It is very reasonable to examine the fact that pressure on the crew from the back was a factor in this accident.

I fear that we will never find out why.

Last edited by Pitch Up Authority; 12th Apr 2010 at 13:55.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:29
  #385 (permalink)  
 
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Going on yesterday's media coverage, the leaders of the two nations are united in the aftermath of this tragedy. But, with the Russians apparently calling the shots in the investigation (correct me if I'm wrong on that), I wonder how much longer this harmony will exist. Would the Polish public accept an early finding that the flight crew were entirely to blame, a finding that seems already to have been pre-empted by the statements of Russian officials?

A backlash in Poland is a strong possibility. That is why consideration should have been given to calling in a third-party investigation team as early as possible, preferably even before Russians (or Poles) started sifting the wreckage, and retrieving the recorders. Of course, the latter sounds a utopian concept in the real world. Sad to say that today, the third day, it is almost certainly too late.
Predicting the response to an investigation before the investigation has been completed is speculative and serves no purpose.

The investigators will call for outside help if and when they need it and certainly have no need for purely political observations. I'm quite sure that Putin is not calling the shots, but only monitoring what gets released.

If there is any controversy in the findings then look for this among the investigators and not what's made up by outside speculations.

As always in an air accident investigation, blame is not the objective although it may be manufactured in the minds of the public.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:31
  #386 (permalink)  
 
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Andrasz, thank you.

Another question.
What type of radalt there is on Tu-154M? RV-5? RV-7?

What about the DH signalling when the landing gear is extended?

Arrakis
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:34
  #387 (permalink)  
 
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Hi. I've been reading this tread since very beginning. I'm not a pro, I am just interested in general aviation and technical stuff. I just thought I register here to help you clarify some doubts you've been having regarding the info available in Polish media.
You've been asking what is the third recorder that has just been found.
Well, according to Polish media, they all say that the 3rd recorder registers "podwyższone" flight parameters. The problem is "podwyższone" doesn't seem to be a technical term but rather some sort of miss-translated Russian/technical jargon. The word "podwyższone" literally stands for "elevated", but it may also mean improved/refined/extended/advanced... Maybe that will point you in the right direction.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:41
  #388 (permalink)  
 
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Arrakis

I'm afraid no idea, those times I was in ops, never flew them other than as pax or jump seat rider, also we had B-2's not M's. On the B-2 at least, there were no automatic callouts, that was the task of the PNF. But that may have changed with the M.

DVV, you might know ?
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 13:56
  #389 (permalink)  
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God Bless Their Souls

We had 12 TU154-B2, the only catastrofic accident was in a training flight. They took-off with an engine to idle and at 200ft the instructor moved to idle the second engine. The mistake was completed when, ending the conversation with APP CONTROL, moved the flap lever to UP position. This meant beginning the leading edge to withdraw and they fall out of the sky.
The second accident happened in Africa when the captain despite the F/O & MEC calls for GO AROUND continued descending until water contact. ILS/LOC was wrongfully showing "On LOC" all around the circle due to ground equipment mafunction. The plane was split in three but only one passenger died by hart arrest.
In 20 years of flight no other incident major or minor was registered. Technically, sensitive to hydraulic systems, I feel myself entitled to say that this air-plane is extremely solid, reliable and provided that the crew is performing the right manoeuvres all should be OK. TU54M is even better.
In 1986 Russians halted LOT aircrafts due to suspicions that the limits were exceeded in operation as the initial cause of IL62 engine failure and catastrophe near WAW. That crew was flying from near Gdansk to WAW with engine failure/explosion and hydraulic limitations passing over at least 2 air-force strips. Would you do otherwise instead? Me myself I would risk a crash landing on a 2500m strip with a crippled plane instead of flying near an hour with smoke and when in the rear, the fire broke-out, the PAX were moving in front bringing her out of control at only 4NM from RWY33 THR. In simulator trainings a Russian trainer said “with fire you have 4 SAFE minutes, after that anything could happen”. It was a tremendous tragedy anyway.
Now back to the point, fact is that descending below DH without POSITIVE CONTACT is out of my flying culture.
It’s true that eastern leaders may be bossy but, even if this is the last mission nobody, no way, in no circumstances should determine anybody to challenge the worst nightmare of all.
It’s easy from a stool before the fireplace to judge but, some things should be asked.
1. The crew should be the best in the country. They should be very well trained. The TYPE IS NO LONGER IN USE AT THE NATIONAL FLAGLINE. Where did they trained themselves in order to be sharply fit for this unusual duty? Did they made the usual pre-mission flight to that unusual destination? (NOBODY was to reach old Hong Kong A/P without a simulator session at least).
2. The language of flight control was... ???
3. The QNH vs. QFE. In USSR they used largely QFE.
In the stress and specific conditions any little thing is important. They say that an error ignored becomes a mistake, ignored becomes a dangerous instance very near the cause of a tragedy.
Now the pure and simple question stands:
What could determine a good pilot to take-off when the destination is closed or forecasted to be closed at the time of arrival?
WHY DESCEND BELOW DH?
In official flights, the responsible of the presidential staff maintaining liaison with crew asked straightly:
CAN YOU DO IT? If we said YES it meant that the mission was to be completed IN FULL SAFETY. And one of the condition was to take ENOUGH FUEL. Question:
The fuel quantity was a factor?
The soviet controllers I know were very bossy if they said NO it meant no! What if at the last try they didn’t lighted RWY lights, to determine crew to go to another field?
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:04
  #390 (permalink)  
 
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In the "Landing the 154M" video automatic callouts are heard in the background.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:11
  #391 (permalink)  
 
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Did they made the usual pre-mission flight to that unusual destination?
Allegedly. Yes. The crew had been there last Wednesday and they knew the airport (been there on many occasions before) and they were fluently speaking Russian.
This information was provided by the commander of the military unit the crew served in during an interview in Polish TV (TVN24).
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:12
  #392 (permalink)  
 
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Smolensk-North approach topography.

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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:17
  #393 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

I don't know all of "yaw damper" 's background, but I like his/her thoughts. I flew several planes with "yaw dampers", heh heh.

Never flew the heavies, but somewhere we were taught and also learned that pilot-in-command means just that - "in command".

The sequence of events that led to the crash is classical. One small thing, then another thing and pretty soon you're flying into a box canyon and recovery is impossible.

Somehow I feel that undue pressure was placed upon the crew to land at any cost. Sure enough, the "cost" was loss of the plane and all aboard. I can tell all that if I had grave doubts about making a safe landing I would have told the big kahuna that if he wanted to land, then when I shake the stick, you've got it.

Terrible tale here, and I think the CVR will reveal more than we want to hear about the decision-making and "outside" influence upon the crew.
\end of rant,

Gums sends...
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:27
  #394 (permalink)  
 
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In 1986 Russians halted LOT aircrafts due to suspicions that the limits were exceeded in operation as the initial cause of IL62 engine failure and catastrophe near WAW. That crew was flying from near Gdansk to WAW with engine failure/explosion and hydraulic limitations passing over at least 2 air-force strips. Would you do otherwise instead? Me myself I would risk a crash landing on a 2500m strip with a crippled plane instead of flying near an hour with smoke and when in the rear, the fire broke-out, the PAX were moving in front bringing her out of control at only 4NM from RWY33 THR. In simulator trainings a Russian trainer said “with fire you have 4 SAFE minutes, after that anything could happen”. It was a tremendous tragedy anyway.
Horse beaten to death. Nice to analyse when you know the outcome and all causes; crew of that Il62 didn't know they had a fire. Also, with such statements, you should first get your facts right. The Kabaty forest disaster was in 87, so how could the Russians halt the LOT fleet in 86 due to it? And they were not flying for almost an hour with a problem, as the entire flight took less than an hour. Also, all this "Russian trainer" thing is nonsense - how can you land an overweight troubled a/c in 4 minutes, starting from around FL300? Too bad you weren't flying that plane, with all your easy answers, maybe they all would be still alive today? BS.

And BTW, what does it have to do with this thread?

PS. "Turning off the rwy lights to make the crew go somewhere else"? Are you insane?
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:29
  #395 (permalink)  
 
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This article
quotes an employee of the Smolensk airport, Mr. Alexiey Korochnin,a jet fighter pilot and chief electric engineer of the Seviernyi airport.
This is an interesting part of the above article:
Despite the fog everything proceeded ok until ca. 1.5 km before the airstrip. At that point the plane lost too much altitude and clipped the radiolocator tower and hit first trees. Pilots tired to save the aircraft but they failed and the aircraft already started falling apart. It hit trees again several meters above the ground and then crashed down. 'Pilots must had been top professionals' says Mr. Korochnin. They were reducing altitude very smoothly, almost with horological precision. They were only a few meters too low. Had they been flying some 10-15 m higher, they would manage to land safely. Their skills are also confirmed by the fact that the plane did not fall down all at once and it didn't fall apart immediately and didn't explode, but it was kind of falling apart piece by piece.
According to Mr. Korochnin, the plane did not deviate from the glidepath by as much as 150 m to the left, as it was reported by the Russian Minister Mr. Siergiey Shoygu. 'That was the result of the plane collision with trees' explains Mr. Korochnin. Pilot apparently tried to pull up the aircraft, lifting its right wing and this is why it deviated to the left but it all happened while the plane was already falling down, not during its flight. 'The plane was on the correct course. Pilots were very skillful. The problem was they should not attempt to land in that fog anyway' suggests Mr. Korochnin.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 14:55
  #396 (permalink)  
 
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Pressure from the VIP in the back, is more relevant when you know the chief of the polish Air Force was on booard and as an ex-fighter pilot, he did not have that culture of "obey by the rules" displayed by all the airline pilots telling here they would, never ever have bent to such a pressure.

Anyhow, if as I think it was the case, we will never know the truth, as it is much better for those who rule the world to put the blame solely on a mere low rank officer.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:27
  #397 (permalink)  
 
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@Pitch up

It happened before
It has been reported by our media that (on an earlier state flight) the Polish President himself has ordered the PIC to start an approach into an airport that was basically closed.
It's not only possible, but well documented fact, mentioned here before.

The President ordered PIC to land in a war zone near Tibilisi, although the
flight plan was for another safe destination.
The PIC refused, was later, after returning attacked by the President
for insubordination and pressure was made on the military to fire him.
Instead, the Minister of Defence rewarded the pilot with a medal (silver)
for bravery and maintaining his integrity and standard in face of unusual situation.

Last edited by Ptkay; 12th Apr 2010 at 15:52.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:47
  #398 (permalink)  
 
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Ptkay, Medal of Honour has a very distinctive meaning in the US, especially for military personel. The PIC in question did get a medal, awarded in peacetime, which has nothing to do with THE Medal of Honour.

Arrakis
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:47
  #399 (permalink)  
 
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Well, according to Polish media, they all say that the 3rd recorder registers "podwyższone" flight parameters. The problem is "podwyższone" doesn't seem to be a technical term but rather some sort of miss-translated Russian/technical jargon. The word "podwyższone" literally stands for "elevated", but it may also mean improved/refined/extended/advanced... Maybe that will point you in the right direction.
I believe it's for "exceeded", so it fits QAR definition.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:49
  #400 (permalink)  
 
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Gloom PL

I believe pressure could be counted as well. Doesn't matter if someone walked in and asked for, or not. It is definitely contributing factor at least.
It is not only probable, but almost sure.
Nobody was walking into the cockpit,
the captain was walking to the back.
The CVR will show nothing.

There are few facts, which make the pressure scenario possible:

1. In an interview with the former President Lech Wałesa, he confirmed,
that it was a common practice, that in case of possible delays, diversions,
the captain was coming to the Presidents cabin and they were discussing
the possible options and solutions, with the Presiden and his aids
before the decision was made.
He didn't say, that the decisions were made by anybody else but the captain,
but nevertheless...

2. They were circling at least 3 times over the airfield, allegedly to "take a look",
but most probably to have time to make the, mentioned above, "walk to the back".
The decision was, as I assume and speculate, to, at least,
"have a try" before diverting...

3. As mentioned before on this thread, the late President, (as well as his twin brother)
were well known for their temperament. Also their normal attitude was:
"failure is not an option."
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