Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

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Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:16 am

President of Poland Killed in Plane Crash in Russia

By ELLEN BARRY, MICHAL PIOTROWSKI and NICHOLAS KULISH
Published: April 10, 2010
MOSCOW – A plane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and dozens of the country’s top political and military leaders crashed in a heavy fog in western Russia on Saturday morning, killing everyone aboard.

Television showed chunks of flaming fuselage scattered in a bare forest near Smolensk, where the president was arriving for a ceremony commemorating the murder of more than 20,000 Polish officers by the Red Army as it invaded Poland.

The governor of Smolensk region, Sergei Antufiyev, said the plane did not reach the runway but instead hit the treetops and broke apart. An official with the Russia’s Investigative Committee said possible causes were bad weather, mechanical failure and human error. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/world/europe/11poland.html

As the accident happened in the same area as the historical event being commemorated from the Second World War, the area is reminding Polish people of old memories.
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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby Speak-Ez on Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:33 am

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Something chimed deep in my memory when I saw this post and the reference to fog. I just checked to be sure, and that chime was ringing for a reason.

Smolensk Airport is not set up for a precision approach with an ICAO Catagory II or III ILS so an attempt to land in fog is going to be questioned, if the low visibility conditions reported are correct.

Plus one must consider the PIC isn't going to want to land long because they have a rather short 1600 meter runway.

EDIT: Well, I might be wrong about which airfield they were on approach to. Seems it might have been the military field. I don't think the military base has an ILS, either. But at least the tower could have talked them down. Guess I need to do some homwork on this, yes? Sorry about that.

Sad day for the people of Poland and the families and friends of all that perished. My condolences to all.

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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby smitty on Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:42 pm

That was a shocking bit of information to all including all the passengers & any related to them in any way. To think the aircraft made three attempts to land in the foggy conditions before the fatel one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:44 pm

A top Russian military official said air traffic controllers at the Smolensk airport had several times ordered the crew of the plane not to land, warned that it was descending below the glide path, and recommended it reroute to another airport.

“Nevertheless, the crew continued the descent,” said Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Alyoshin, the first deputy chief of the Russian Air Force Staff. “Unfortunately, the result was tragic.”


I seem to remember reading that there was a military plane in the area also wanting to land at the same place, when the pilot of the Polish flight decided not to heed the request to land in one of two other locations but to land.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smolensk_(air_base)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smolensk_Airport

"Landing systems’ incompatibility may have caused the crash" – military analyst
Published 10 April, 2010, 22:23

Speaking to RT, defence analyst and former Polish military pilot Mikhal Fisher noted a previously unmentioned factor that possibly was one of the reasons for the crash.

"In the Soviet Union/Russia they use a unique instrumental landing system called PRMG. It works almost exactly the same way as the international Western system ILS. However, the two are not compatible. The Polish airplane was modified to use the ILS, as the [Soviet] airplane was mainly flying to various airports that use it," Fisher told RT.
http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-04-10/landing-systems-kaczynski-crash.html

http://havatrafik.blogspot.com/2009/02/aircraft-landing-system-prmg-76uprmg-5_03.html
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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby Speak-Ez on Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:16 pm

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Unlike my first post when I hadn't had much time to poke around and check matters out, I have had a bit more time this past half hour or so to do just that ― poke around.

First, it would appear my first ID on the airfield being used was incorrect. They were going into the military field, not the civilian field.

So, that being clear, we then must consider the manner in which a precision approach would be handled and I think many Russian military fields still use the TACAN equivalent called RSBN. But the question would then have to be asked whether the Polish Air Force One was equipped for RSBN.

On a grimmer note, I am really wondering just what went wrong just before impact? I am wondering that because of the details one can gather from this video footage.

http://www.rmf24.pl/raport-lech-kaczyns ... nId,271818

That aircraft sure does not appear to have impacted the ground wings level.

Finally, we must keep in mind that the PIC was a military man and that had to come into play when decisionmaking was going on in the cockpit. Maybe the President was pushing that pilot to make that landing, or else. Civilian pilot would most likely not have done another approach after having missed three. Probably not after having missed two. In fact, would probably have diverted right away when the tower indicated they wanted him to.

But a military pilot and possibly a VIP or two breathing down his collar? Well, we'll see what comes out in the investigation.

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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby CielOnTap on Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:30 pm

Towards the end of the clip, it is apparent the videographer is in sight of the firefighter dousing flames or smoke but farther ahead are more EMS people. Wouldn't the reporter be in some kind of trouble being right in the impact site as the zone would need to be investigated?

It would be another thing if the camera was off if videographer saw that anyone on the crashed flight needed help.
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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby Speak-Ez on Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:41 pm

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I would guess that as long as the reporter was careful about where he was stepping the possibility of contaminating the crash site would be minimal.

Hard to fault a reporter for doing what that reporter did. After all, that's what they get paid to do, right?

I suppose there may even be some value to the investigation team of that footage the reporter shot.

Sad scene, for sure.

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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby Rhet-or-Ric on Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:12 pm

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It seems there has been an announcement out of Russia that the aircraft was not in any sort of mechanical trouble.

The Telegraph's Matthew Day quotes Russia's chief investigator Mr. Alexander Bastrykin as stating, "The recordings that we have confirm that there were no technical problems with the plane."

He also added that Mr. Bastrykin said, "The pilot was informed about complex weather conditions but nevertheless made a decision to land."

You can read Mr. Day's full article here, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... fault.html

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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby Speak-Ez on Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:37 pm

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I posted the following yesterday:

Speak-Ez wrote:Finally, we must keep in mind that the PIC was a military man and that had to come into play when decisionmaking was going on in the cockpit. Maybe the President was pushing that pilot to make that landing, or else. Civilian pilot would most likely not have done another approach after having missed three. Probably not after having missed two. In fact, would probably have diverted right away when the tower indicated they wanted him to.

But a military pilot and possibly a VIP or two breathing down his collar? Well, we'll see what comes out in the investigation.


And that was stupid.

It would appear that the reports of three missed approaches before a fourth approach are incorrect. I see even in the article in the Telegraph posted by Rhet-or-Ric that there is mention of three missed approaches, so what exactly happened still seems very unclear, but I have been receiving reports that there was only one approach. That the aircraft had been holding over the airfield to see if the weather might break and the holding pattern was reported as being approaches.

Whatever occurred, it was stupid for me to speculate as I did based on unreliable reports. I fell into that trap I have bemoaned in the past. I'll wait for the results of the investigation.

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Re: Poles heading to Russian memorial die in plane crash in fog

Postby deja vu on Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:22 pm

All indications are that the air crash on Saturday that killed President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of other Polish dignitaries was the result of a flawed decision to land in extremely bad weather, Obama administration officials say.

Official reports reaching Washington support media accounts that Kaczynski had a reputation for pressuring pilots to take unnecessary risks, according to a U.S. national-security official. One notable instance occurred during Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia, when the Polish president traveled to the former Soviet republic and allegedly badgered his pilot to fly to the capital, Tblisi, despite the pilot's insistence that it was too dangerous. After the pilot refused and diverted the plane to the neighboring republic of Azerbaijan, Kaczynski had to travel to overland to his destination. According to the Guardian, initial steps were taken to put the pilot on trial for disobeying orders, but prosecutors threw out the case. The pilot struggled with depression in the wake of the incident, according to The New York Times.



http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/declassi ... ilots.aspx


This explains why they are looking closely at a forced landing. It's too bad no one stepped up and told him to let the pilots do their jobs and leave them alone.
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