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Polish Government Tu154M crash

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Polish Government Tu154M crash

Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:49
  #401 (permalink)  
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Hungarian media now quoting Andrzej Seremet, chief prosecutor of Poland, saying that after the initial listening to the CVR, "at this stage of the investigation there is no evidence for any pressure exerted on the pilots to land". It is also said that experts are continuing to analyse the background noise on the CVR to establish wether the "pilots were influenced in any way" (translate officialspeak - was there anyone else in the cockpit?).

Any of our friends in Poland in a position to provide any more details on the CVR contents ?
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:51
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you are right, thanks for correcting me, already edited.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:54
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andrasz, our posts crossed, check mine:

'...the CVR will show nothing..."
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:54
  #404 (permalink)  
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The Investigation

Quote from lomapaseo:
(1) "Predicting the response to an investigation before the investigation has been completed is speculative and serves no purpose..."
(2) "...If there is any controversy in the findings then look for this among the investigators and not what's made up by outside speculations.
(3) "As always in an air accident investigation, blame is not the objective although it may be manufactured in the minds of the public."

For once, lomapaseo, I think you are missing the point. Did you have a chance to read my original post of yesterday morning (Florida time)? The problem facing any investigation involving controversy is that not only must it be competent, thorough, and unbiased: it must be seen to be so; particularly in this case, where the historic national sensitivities can hardly be exaggerated. Perhaps these are not as well understood west of the Pond?

So my answers to your points are:
(1) The countries and personnel should be selected and assembled with care, with due consideration for the credibility of their reports, both to the industry and the public.
(2) As a retired pro, I would love to be able to agree with you...
(3) You are preaching to the converted, but we are talking about an investigation reporting to a Commission of Inquiry; led by an arch-politician, former president, current prime minister, and former intelligence officer of ONE of the two countries. What is "manufactured in the minds of the public" is likely to be all the greater for that.

You also wrote:
"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."

Doubts have been expressed, apparently even by Lech Walesa, that the captain of a Polish military aircraft had real autonomy of decision. In your world and mine, any Accident Inspector worth his/her salt would stand up to political pressure if, say, President Obama had started a presidential commission of inquiry. Perhaps we should ask some of our Eastern European forum-ites whether this ideal is credible in their part of the world.

Investigators calling "for outside help if and when they need it" makes sense normally, but would not help if there were any room for suspicion that the evidence (e.g., recordings) might have been tampered with.


Last edited by Chris Scott; 12th Apr 2010 at 16:15. Reason: Grammar (tense) of last paragraph.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 15:57
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Mr. Sermet said.
"At the current stage of the investigation, there is no data that would indicate that anyone exerted pressure on pilots of the presidential plane". He added that flight recorders of the crashed plane will be analyzed with this in mind. He pointed out that experts will try to analyze the background of conversations so as to determine "whether there were any suggestions brought forward to pilots".

So basically, at the time they still don't know whether there was a pressure and will only try to look into it.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:12
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As a professional pilot only one logical explanation comes into my head - on the last attempt pilots (bless them god) tried to land the plane in a very unusual but as they thought only one possible way - coming closer to runway deviate just a little bit below the profile to be able to see approach lights (if they are installed at that military place at all) or the RW itself and safely land there. But they came too low, maybe just by a couple of meters.....
All Aviation history is written on blood, sorry but this is true. I hope this lesson will and must be learnt by all professionals reading this very sad story..
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:17
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If there was pressure exerted, (I think there was) it would be hard to prove, neither will it be allowed to be proved, IMHO.

Way too much pride at stake.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:19
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kingofbongo, thanks! In H media it came down as the tapes have already been listened to.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:22
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Chris Scott

For once, lomapaseo, I think you are missing the point. Did you have a chance to read my original post of yesterday morning
I'm careful about quoting a named person to the point of a one-on-one discussion or argument (that works fine in real life but gets confusing in the meanings in a general discussion forum).

I accept your ponts and no doubt we agree in much. I only meant to respond to the possible interpretations of the words as quoted and to express my views in balance for the general readership.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:30
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Thanks for reading my points. There's probably little to be done at this late stage...
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 16:44
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That's the point

I am sorry about the '86 mistake.
All the knowledges I got are from the pilots met in the WAW when I was flying LOT line flights for them due to...


the way you are writing is the explanation for me that the bitter treatment of anybody else is your way of life, you are not able to understand a mistake, you are bound to speak to anybody from the second floor avoiding the pure common-sense I was invoking (even landing on RWY33 coming from Gdansk is a questionable decision).
I wish you all the best anyway.
Your way of reaction stands for what was in their mind, in the way they were trying FOUR TIMES to find a strip in nowhere's land.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 17:03
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No, simply I don't like fancy stories instead of facts (86 was not your only mistake), and people knowing it better than the actual crew. This perceived mistake of the IL62 crew flying to Warsaw was discussed ad nauseam, and bringing it here makes little sense. We've now had 23 years to analyze that, they had like 25 minutes, and almost no information what's going on.

And again - what four times??
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 17:14
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Sorry guys - just waded through the first dozen pages of this thread, but can find no reference to the runway in use. The crash site 'hybrid' map quoted an accuracy of a couple of kms - no help.

Sorry if I've missed the obvious, or a relevant post.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 17:18
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fly low

But they came too low, maybe just by a couple of meters.....

The reports indicate that they hit the ground 1,500 to 2,000 metres from the runway. At 1,500 metres from touchdown, assuming a target of 15 metres over the runway threshold, to be on a 3 degree glidepath, they should have been at 100 metres Height Above Touchdown (HAT.) Hardly "just by a couple of metres."
The HAT for a missed approach would have been in the order of 60 metres HAT.
I shall not criticise the crew, as we do not yet have all the information. However, altimetry has to feature large on the list of possible contributing factors.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 17:53
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NDB approach in a fog... descent below minimum...
Military airfield... which was almost not in use more than 9 month...
The Mr. President's choice was to land at the NEAREST airfield...rush....
Classic crash.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 18:28
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Aileron Drag
...but can find no reference to the runway in use
avherald states:
...was on approach to Smolensk North Airport's (Air Base) unmarked runway (runway heading approximately 270 degrees)...
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 18:43
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It was Smolensk airbase.

Smolensk (air base) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Last edited by ARRAKIS; 12th Apr 2010 at 20:00.
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 19:11
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"The Polish officer should not be cowardly"

In August 2008, the pilot of Kaczyński's plane was pressured by the president when he refused to land in Tbilisi during the South Ossetian war between Georgia and Russia.[42][43] During that incident, the captain of the plane, Grzegorz Pietruczuk, was asked by the president's staff to change the flight plan and land in Tbilisi.[44] After consulting with the commander of his unit, the captain refused, justifying his decision by safety concerns. He was then visited in the cockpit by Kaczynski himself, who tried to convince him to change his mind. Kaczynski later told journalists that "the Polish officer should not be cowardly". Nevertheless, the pilot held his ground and the plane landed in Azerbaijan as planned. A few weeks after this incident the pilot of the plane was decorated by the defense minister for following correct procedures in this case and keeping the safety of his passengers utmost in his mind.[44] The pilot continued to fly the president's plane after the incident, even after Kaczynski expressed unhappiness with his performance during the flight to Tbilisi.[45] Grzegorz Hołdanowicz, a leading Polish defence analyst stated his belief that in Smolensk the pilot would have been under pressure to land, despite advice from air traffic control to the contrary.[43]

2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 19:22
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In the UK press today about the above post;

"It was known that Mr Kaczynski once fired a flight crew when they refused to land at Tbilisi - and flew to another airport"
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Old 12th Apr 2010, 19:22
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I guess there's an interesting discussion on russian forum:

I don't have a good knowledge of Russin, however excerpts were on Polish forum, and I can happily translate.

If you take the picture at the top, there's a vertical situation (ground level, units are meters) describing distances and positions. At 0.0 you have runway threshold. AT 0.6km there's a road, mentioned in some simulations and screens. At 1.1 km you can see the NDB location.

If you now look back into the CASA case, the pilots looked for visual, or at least ground visual contact, and they just descended below clouds. If we assume similar might have happened here, here's a possible chain:

NOTICE: This is speculation ONLY.

1. The crew decides to go for approach
2. They're descending as planned until 2-3kms from the runway, and some 200m above. Slowly they're descending looking around, searching for clearing in the clouds.
3. They suddenly have an opening in the clouds, and oops - they find themselves quite high (notice terrain drop at 1.5km). They start to descend below proper descend line, and reduce speed.
4. Suddenly, the hill begins. The terrain goes up, the pilots try to get back into the air higher, losing speed probably. They do not manage to do it properly, and they end up on NDB antenna, 1.1 km from the runway, then they still climb until the fall about 600m later. Lack of speed? Could be, depending on thrust, we might know on official.

Some questions remain of course. If they had QFE set, would they go below 0? Never know, they might've been happy to see the ground and decided to go on visuals, it was seconds after all. Perhaps a QFE/QNH match (as described above)?
And why would they go "on top of the trees" once they catched visual with ground, instead of trying to stay as close to the clouds?

This is all speculation, however I am more and more convinced of this (or similar) scenario, involving descend to visual and then a hill climb (from 200 to over 250 meters within 1.5 km). Anyways, CFIT is very plausible considering that plot on Russian forum.


PS Idea behind has been published on Polish forum, I'm just retranslating to give you all this info.
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