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Polish Government Tu154M crash

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Polish Government Tu154M crash

Old 16th Apr 2010, 23:15
  #681 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: St. Petersburg
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I don't remember by now anything, but I think I read in the very beg., when the controller was interviewed, that the plane was on course fine steady and all proper height, as I understood, at 2,000 m away off. (to confirm that last known "OK" height is important, I think. requires reading all over anew :o(

And by 1,050 it was already cutting a tree (at 8?) metres height, in the area of the Near Beacon, where it should have been at 60 m height.

Someone on the other blog has calculated that it was then going down at 6.5 sec/metre and found it very ? abnormal quick.

If it helps anyone. with anything.

Also as I understood something was made known officially, on the Polish side, that the plane was measuring its height in metres.
And the lady who made it known said that on whatever it is they were using m to another ? measueremnt is re-switched easily by one button, shouldn't have been a problem if they wanted not metres but something else.
And that one of the last crew members certainly was at this very Northern Smolensk the prev. week bringing in PM Tusk.
And that he knew 100% about that? hole, preceding the road.

The other pilot, who flew with the crew member the previous week, to this Northern airport, carrying Polish PM, was interviewed and said all this.
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Old 16th Apr 2010, 23:20
  #682 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I'm not a pilot and I'm Polish.
Trying to undarstand what happened.
I was reading this thread , trying hard to understand all proffesional words etc.
It's not easy
I have few questions , and I would be very thankfull if someone can try to answer
to them using simple english.
We all know that the reason of the crash was that the plane was too low on approach to landing.
Now my questions to proffesionals :
How come that pilot didn't know his alltitiude ?
Optical illusion mentioned before is probably not the case in poor visibility ?
Why control tower didn't warn the crew that they are too low ?
I'm trying not to get into the conspiracy theory , but all that happened after the crash
raises too many questions .
The plane crashed near the airport.
Normal reaction to that would be to send all resourses to the site , like fire fighters , ambulances , airport police , etc. , anyone that could help.
from footage we could see that just after the crash there was one firetruck present and nothing else .
there was no ambulance on site , they assumed tat all passengers died before they even cheked .
I'm sorry for bad english , and please try to answer .
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 00:38
  #683 (permalink)  
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I understand what you mean. But Smolensk is just 300,000 people, I think, I am not sure they had all that, how to say, to be much of everything, in view.
To a Russian sight the ?busy-ness amount, of activity, from footage shown, as min. - looked normal.
Absolutely all wrote that fire-brigades were first to the place, you should check Smolensk city own local forums, where locals (not aviator Smolensk forum, but ordinary people) discuss. I understood fire brigades were quick, like, in minutes, and like, and I didn't get the impression it was "one truck". All forums wrote they were putting down small fires, on the ground, mostly afraid and all expected it will all flame up. In fact, what all wondered, is why there wasn't a big fire, how much the plane had fuel, at all, all asked.

But then someone in the blogs wrote that aviation ? fuel? is not that easy to ignite, when it's soaked into the ground, it's normal, that it didn't all go up in one big flame. Still, doubts stay re the amount of fuel there were at landing. Usually always fires when planes crash here, somehow, expected the first thing. And not that you can walk around the whole debris area, right at once, virtually, and nothing much flames.

Whole forums asked can TU cast off fuel before dangerous landings and all replied it theoretically can't, so where is it?
There was an idea put forward that they wouldn't like to re-fuel in Northern but would bring with fuel enough for the return way as well.

Unless the 3 circles around the airport above was their burning the fuel away. But this was also written off, because if any problems one would think they'll surely go to Vitebsk with normal that "minima" - instead.

As a summary - I didn't get the impression anything was missing on the fire-extinguishing side. The speed of arrival - or lacking means, in fact I think they were ready for far more than what they had to manage in reality.

On the ambulances - honestly don't know. I guess the fire brigade people may have reported back to the city at once that nothing is needed :o(
But don't know.

On the police - it is not an American movie, where all police buzzes, lights, makes sounds and beautifully arrives in big quantities. But I saw on Russian TV on the road to the airport police cars in a line arriving, one after another, and, like, more than a dozen at once.
No idea if that was all or if it was what was needed or lacking.

Still, Smolensk city forum would have written, between themselves, if they found something ? inadequate. It's one big local gossip, all know everybody. But then, likely, they have other understanding, what is "normal", in such an? you know. never took place there, place.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 00:47
  #684 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Trying to understand what happened.

- In the first place, be very careful about believing any rumors or news reports in newspapers or on television. The majority of the stories I have read are often wrong, or contain lots of information that just can't be true.. As an example, I have read at various times that the aircraft attempted to land anywhere from one to five times. Obviously, they can't all be correct. Some of it comes from mistranslation, some from rumors, and some from speculation. Wait until the official accident investigation makes statements before assuming any facts are truly facts.

How come that pilot didn't know his altitude ?

- That is the main question that will be answered by the accident investigation. Until then, anything else is simply someone's guess, and there isn't enough information available to make a reasonable guess..

Optical illusion mentioned before is probably not the case in poor visibility ?

- I could be, since the pilot cannot see the full terrain, and can get fooled by the shape of the cloud cover.

Why control tower didn't warn the crew that they are too low ?

- If the news stories are correct, the tower did warn the aircraft of how low they were. (My previous warning about believing news stories, notwithstanding)

from footage we could see that just after the crash there was one firetruck present and nothing else .

- If you are referring to the video where the cameraman is walking around in the wreckage, that was taken by a journalist who happened to be working very close to where the crash occurred, and got to the site before the emergency vehicles. In the full video you can hear the general alarm whistle being sounded, and the sound of the emergency vehicles as they are arriving. However, the Russians also said that the first emergency people who arrived quickly saw that there was no possibility of any survivors, and probably canceled any large request for ambulances. The police, or perhaps the military can also be heard arriving and ordering the cameraman to leave the area..
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 01:01
  #685 (permalink)  
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There was a post from Smolensk local who was fixing his car in the garage and over whose head the both planes flew, the journalists, who landed, and the President plane. He heard a strange ? bump, like shook off, like, ? explosion - and thought - How that plane landed? but thought that must be alright, because his idea of a catastrophe was a big blast and bang, and he said he simply heard a strange sound, but not ear-closing in? loudness or anything, like a ? muffed down knock, nothing loud. And continued to fix his car, he was near and didn't even understood the plane has crashed right beside him.

Of the bad things if you really want to know :o( the locals say nobody nearly had heads, disaster, all upper part of the body traumas. And that the resque team was taking a layer of soil off many, they were virtually pressed into the ground, like as if struck from above, pressed into the earth.

And when the Extraordinary Situations Ministry teams arrived - the place was simply flooded with everyone and everything, these have it all. But alas it was of no use, but at least they flooded the area, standing everywhere, guarding it by themselves. They were working the whole night, brought with big? like lamps, to make it nearly day-light. This Minsitry has own airplanes, and flying hospital, it's like an army huge organisation, these flew to Haiti recently, they have dog teams own and doctors own, and go to earthquakes, to floods areas, their airplanes have helicopters inside, and own? trucks inside the planes, these have it all.
You may have seen the chap, in a brown leather jacket, Putin was interrogating him - that's the Minister of Extraordinary Situations' management, Shoygu. I understand the fog cleared out by noon, the place became fly-able again. Just 2 hrs difference :o(

We very much sympathise with you, disaster.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 01:24
  #686 (permalink)  
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The Ministry - when they arrived - made it quick. First report was I think by 6 pm that day, that 84 bodies are found and all records/photos/taken, they are taken away by from the site.
The rest of the time they were looking for more, un-sure about the numbers. If you remember there was a controversy initially, no body could tell how many boarded the plane. Like ex-secretary of Lech Walensa felt un-well, and didn't go that morning. And closer to the night that day the bodies were already in Moscow; on the site they continued to look for more, taking ground layers off, for someone initially said in Poland can be whole 132.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 01:36
  #687 (permalink)  
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But then of course, one thing is the mighty Ministry, another - what the city itself has.
If there were someone to save - Shoygu would have saved. That's the only sensible ministry in Russia, all see how they work and what they are for, practically. If he ever ballotted for a president, he has good chances, and for a decade already, but he is not a politician. Becuase he arrives from the skies :o), and saves. No lack of work for that ministry in Russia, alas.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 01:55
  #688 (permalink)  
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What's written here about journalists - it's correct.
At the forum someone said he saw a reporter, on internet, and liked it very much, how well everything is explained, and shown, around. "Why ours can't make it so simple, and understandable, where is what, and the order of events, but show some bits and pieces?" Then others went to see the link, and laughed at him.
Because the reporter was sayinhg "Here I am, just 10 minutes after the crash, and look left look right, etc." And what they spotted, he was standing by that conus? conic? pointed white cloth inflatable kind of lamp, that the Ministry brought with and installed - but it was far later!
The media.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 02:14
  #689 (permalink)  
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Thank you very much for your patience in translating so much into English for us from the Russian forums.

I'm sure most of us are overwhelmed at the significance of this horrific loss of so many Polish leaders, statesmen and heroes.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 04:10
  #690 (permalink)  
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In simple english

Hi Hubert:

In simple english - the answers to some of your questions are as follows:

How come that pilot didn't know his alltitiude ?

There are two types of altimeters in a cockpit. The accuracy of the pressure altimeter depends on the air pressure given to the pilot by the controller. Assuming this pressure reading is correctly given by the controller and understood and set correctly into the altimeter by the pilot, he will always know the correct altitude he is flying. ( Bar a technical malfuction of course).

The radio altimeter is independent of any pressure readings and measures height above terrain. But I am sure you already see a problem with this during this particular approach. Even though the plane may be flying level, if the configuration of the terrain underneeth changes, so does the reading on the radio altimeter.

Optical illusion mentioned before is probably not the case in poor visibility ?

I saw that someone already gave an excellent explantion for this so no need to dwell on that.

Why control tower didn't warn the crew that they are too low ?

According to most reports, the controller did warn the crew but received no response. Again we will not know if that was the case until CVR transcripts are availabe.

Regarding post crash response - sorry, can't help you there as I simply did not research that aspect of the story.

By the way, I am Polish too even though I have been " on the other side of the pond" for 20 years and it is here that I learned to fly. RIP to all our countryman and woman that lost their lives.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 07:18
  #691 (permalink)  
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Alice, once again
Большое спасибо!!
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 09:27
  #692 (permalink)  
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I live in Warsaw in the midst of this terrible outpouring of grief. I had a PPL for many years and learned to fly on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific. This forum is extraordinarily interesting for me to read about of course as possible reasons for the accident. Excuse lack of technical commentary.

The nagging question for me is with so many beloved and irreplaceable dignitaries on board - such a precious cargo - why did the pilots attempt this risky landing in these conditions at all ? I suppose we shall never know the answer to that one for all sorts of reasons.

When I was learning to fly, on finals we used to come in over the cliffs on the island and approach the grass runaway over pine trees and a chapel - the island is covered in endemic Norfolk Island pines. There was a definite dip and significant loss of height at some point before crossing the cliff edge, which I could never predict, and I was always apprehensive of hitting the tops of the tall pines.

I was just wondering if there might have been a similar 'sinking' effect - loss of height - as he negotiated the valley and approached the slope up to the airfield? This unexpected 'sinking' as we approached land over the sea always bothered me a lot and would certainly have bothered him as it would have been so unexpected as the terrain contours were so visually vague. Could this explain his failed attempt to increase thrust and gain height - delay in spooling up? The visual illiusion aspect was an interesting comment I thought in relation to this slope. But I have never had experience of a low approach across a valley approaching a slope on the other side.

All this seems terribly irrelevant with the desperate scenes here in Warsaw as coffins are unloaded, public masses said and a grand sarcophagus carved for the president and his wife in Wawel castle in Krakow.

The sheer consequences of any sort of failure in this risky approach should have been invisaged by everyone on board (despite distrust of Russian motives) and the landing aborted - we all know this but.....Polish pilots in Spitfire Squadron 303 were fantastic but 'he who dares wins' is not always a case of positive outcomes.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 09:54
  #693 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Hi all
thank you very much for all response and explanation
The problem is that theres more gossips and speculations around then actual facts
I was referring to that video taken by polish reporter .
I know that life is far from american movies , but I've seen a plane being escorted by
few fire trucks , ambulances and airport police , on the way from the runway in Dublin airport.
It was either training or pilot reported some difficulties , but that is airport first responce I was refering to.
Thanks again

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Old 17th Apr 2010, 09:57
  #694 (permalink)  
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Fog muffles all sounds a great deal. For this reason the person Alice025 mentioned working on a car did not hear dramatic sounds.

landing speeds on jets are much higher than small single engine planes. They are not succed that fast by downdrafts compared to small planes. What I understood the TU154 was way to low (several 100 feet) on the final stage of this approach. In fog near ground level you have mostly very little air movement let alone thermals or downdraft at all. Therefore it is very unlikely that wind, windsheer, or downdraft was a factor.

Its still a myth why this approach was attempted. And since it was below minima why they did not stick to a PAR procedure to the runway.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 10:01
  #695 (permalink)  
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PJ2, Russian ATC never do QNH clearances.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 10:46
  #696 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Bulb replacement in Smolensk

New facts:
Wymieniali lampy tu? po katastrofie Tu-154 - Najwa?niejsze informacje - Informacje - portal TVN24.pl - 17.04.2010

Picture tooks by journalists few hours after accidend: uniformed Russian pulling cables and installing bulbs in approach lights.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 11:09
  #697 (permalink)  
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The latest diagram with trajectory and height profile before the crash.
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 12:23
  #698 (permalink)  
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Oh no it's not a "myth" they did it all right.

But I agree, it should be a "mystery" but I think most of us can already see why it isn't even that.

"Complete the mission "
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 12:32
  #699 (permalink)  
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Picture tooks by journalists few hours after accidend: uniformed Russian pulling cables and installing bulbs in approach lights.
Were they awaiting some more flights that sad day?
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Old 17th Apr 2010, 12:51
  #700 (permalink)  
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New facts:
This had beed cleared up by Kulverstukas many posts ago. Those are not approach lights (I also mistook them for such) but floodlights for the emergency crew to be able to work through the night.

Why was the airport not formally closed, when clearly the criteria for continued safe operations were not met?

I have remarked several times on the difference between western and russian procedures. In the past ATC did have the right to close any airport if conditions were below minimum, and military ATC still has that authority. They did wave of an IL76 before 101 made the approach, because that aircraft was a russian military one, and they had full authority to refuse permission to land.
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