Polish Airforce Tupolev 154 crash at Smolenks still has many unanswered questions

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Update; at April 11  Polish TV channel TVN24 reported the crew of the Polish presidential plane, which crashed near Smolensk in 2010, ignored repeated dispatcher warnings. A video reconstruction can be seen here.

Russia Today reports in english here.

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At April 10 2016 about 100.000 people remembered the 96 people who died at the crash of the Polish airforce Tupolev 154 at Smolensk in Russia in April 10, 2010.

96 people died.

Among the victims were the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, the former President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Government officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.

Both  Poland and Russia did an investigation into the cause of the crash. Both concluded the cause was pilot error.

Russia did not invite  Poland to participate in the investigation.

Satellite pictures show the plane’s left horizontal stabilizer was moved. This video is very interesting. More info in this blog.

left-stabilzer-moved

The Polish investigation  was independent of the Russian investigation under Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention, The commission was led by Jerzy Miller, Minister of Interior Affairs, who was in charge of overseeing the Bureau for Protection of Government Officials (BOR) at the time of the Smolensk crash.

The remains of the aircraft as well as the black boxes are still in Russia.

This is a weird video. Here the same video with subtitles. It shows the crash site minutes after the crash. Someone says someone is alive. 4 gunshots are heard. The video was concluded to be authentic.

The Miller commission came to the same conclusion as Russian aircrash investigation MAK namely a pilot error.

Aout half of Polish citizen did not accept the results of the commission Miller.

However the current Polish government will start a new investigation into the cause. There are still many unanswered questions. A documentary on the crash will be soon on  Polish cinema’s. 

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said last month that a bomb on board may have been the cause. Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told the Polish wSieci magazine in January that Russia had “something to hide” because it denied Poland access to evidence and didn’t return the wreckage.

“In essence we have to start from scratch. The past six years have seen the rule of people who didn’t want to find the truth, no matter what the truth is.”

Politicians of the opposition Civic Platform, which ruled from 2007 to 2015, have repeatedly said that claims that the crash wasn’t an accident are groundless.

The cause of the crash could be a bomb explosion just before the aircraft was about to land.

More news on the third investigation.

One of the mysteries are people who later died in suspicious circumatances. A Polish cameraman who was first to record the wreckage of the crash died in Moscow. His footage was never aired.

A flight instructor who questioned the outcome of the investigation hang himself in a bathroom while on vacation in India.

In total 17 people who were related to the crash, its airplane died under suspicious circumstances. A complete overview can be read here

Some websites on the crash

http://www.smolenskcrashnews.com/polish-air-crash-disinformation.html

http://smolenskcrash.eu/home

 

Many videos on Youtube are about Smolensk.

At March 22 2012 there was a public hearing on the crash by independant experts.

 

 

 

 

 

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20 Comments on Polish Airforce Tupolev 154 crash at Smolenks still has many unanswered questions

  1. > Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said last month that a bomb on board may have been the cause.

    There was a dense fog. The normally unused airstrip was not equipped with modern landing apparatus. There was another Polish plane on the strip who had a constant contact with the pilots in the air, confirming the bad weather conditions. Airfield operator recommended not to land. One Russian plane followed a recommendation and went away. But polish pilots decided to land anyway and drove into a birch tree. I wonder how you can twist those established facts to make it look like a bomb went off.

    The thing with that plane crash was that polish political elite died, making it a juicy topic for various speculations. Otherwise it is a very simple case. For fun I used to translate polish wikipedia on the topic and compare it to the english one.

    • This is a typical reaction of how most people think about MH17 as well. A quick look at MSM, wikipedia and the opinion is set..
      . How much time did you spent on reading stuff about this crash? 17 people died under strange circumstances. Experts say it is impossible for the aircraft to hit a tree at about 5 meters, turn around the axis and crash 340 meters later.

      There is a good reason the new Polish government is starting a new, third investigation.
      Remember: debris and black box was never handed over to the Polish.

      The people who died deserve a good, independant investigation.

      • > This is a typical reaction of how most people think about MH17 as well. A quick look at MSM, wikipedia and the opinion is set… How much time did you spent on reading stuff about this crash?

        I can hardly be accused of knowing little on that crash. I’ve been closely following the humongous (3k pages) Smolensk forum thread for its entire life, writing a few times too. My reading wikipedia was only out of interest in how facts can be twisted towards a particular PoV.

        > 17 people died under strange circumstances.
        That part I did not follow closely but I don’t think how that can change the fact that the plane was driven into a tree. You still should be careful when an attention is moved from the solid direct facts to emotional happenings on a side, which may have little bearing. I am not saying that you should not pay attention, but you’ll have to remember a particular rhetoric trick used to shift attention in an argument which cannot be won on solid grounds.

        > Experts say it is impossible for the aircraft to hit a tree at about 5 meters, turn around the axis and crash 340 meters later.

        I bet those experts, pretty much like the DSB, never presented their derivations on paper for others to check. I professionally work in analytical mechanics, and have more than enough knowledge to grasp the physics side of the event. Although I did not do derivations on paper myself, nothing jumped at me then as physically impossible. The severed wing tip has a lot of leverage to provide a great torque to the plane (by the missing lift force). If you want to challenge me you can try finding derivations of those “experts” or you can try to do the derivations yourself (should be within a high school level). Or you can even ask me to do this job for you. But I don’t think you’ll be able to show that the plane could not turn around. If you watch WW2 plane dogfight footage, you’ll notice that as long a wing is shot the plane begins to spin wildly.

        Secondly, the Tu154 did not do a full 180 degree turn but less, the contact with the ground finished the job.

        Thirdly, the plane cut a lot of branches and smaller trees before and after the birch. By looking at the pictures you can exactly deduce the plane orientation along the fall.

        Fourthly, what’s the alternative? The plane did not hit the tree and all the cut brunches were a part of a premeditated plan by Putin’s agents? I wonder what sort of alternative explanation for the cut branches and trees you might have in mind.

        > There is a good reason the new Polish government is starting a new, third investigation.

        Indeed, but the reason might be entirely political.

        > Remember: debris and black box was never handed over to the Polish.

        Debris are not handed over probably only because Poland don’t want to invest in bringing them back. As far as I can remember the first thing MAK did was to make copies of the black boxes for Poland with the presence of Polish officials and experts. Poland has complete information from those black boxes. On the other hand, Poland never provided MAK the contents of the encrypted black boxes in Poland’s possession.

        • I have to say I have not read that much on the Smolesk disaster. But the facts that aircraft debris was moved is very strange.
          There were also 4 gunshots heard on a video made soon after the crash.

          Experts explained the aircraft could not have crashed as MAK had stated.
          See my blogpost and the satellite photos

          There are a lot of strange facts. Maybe you can list them?

          • > There were also 4 gunshots heard on a video made soon after the crash.

            I guess you need to dig that video and confirm it for yourself. This was about a few minutes after the crash, while the fire was raging. I personally could not hear those shots clearly in the noise of the fire, but if someone could, there is plenty of scope for an innocent explanation.

            Out of the entire world only in Poland theories blaming Putin for the crash survive, I think.

            > There are a lot of strange facts. Maybe you can list them?

            Fortunately my memory does not hold information indefinitely, otherwise I’d run out of space. I think the most reasonable rational complain of Poland was that the controller did not warn enough. But he did warn, and for pilots out there, what he said would clearly mean “landing is not recommended” (he said it via the pilot jargon: “landing is complementary/at your own risk” or something like that).

          • It could be just a matter of get-there-itis (lots of pressure to land the aircraft at planed airport). I understood that some high officers entered the cockpit and demanded the pilot to land at Smolensk.

            The move of the horizontal stabilizer is suspicious. And other event as well.

          • > It could be just a matter of get-there-itis (lots of pressure to land the aircraft at planed airport).

            Yes. The Chief of Airforce (or similar, sorry if I forgot the details) was likely in the cockpit at the time of landing. He could have been a decisive factor in that the pilots aborted the landing too late. Plus the pilots could not have known about a ground level drop before the strip, which contributed in their incorrect judgment of the altitude (altitude wrt to the strip, though they are specifically obliged to study the terrain around airstrips they are going to land on).

            https://picasaweb.google.com/107906898396623830387/MWzNeJ#5480051467216968802

          • > The move of the horizontal stabilizer is suspicious
            Note that the horizontal stabilizer was lying on something that looks like a road. So it’s very possible they moved it to clear the way for a recovery operation.

            First thing to look for is a possible innocent explanation. As for the Mh17, I really fail to come up with an innocent explanation on why the DSB haven’t noticed this inconsistency in their detonation point:
            http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/BDorg.png

        • Eugene: You have to agree with me that story about the film made just after the crash is remarkable.
          It seems the guy who made the video was stabbed and died
          http://smolenskcrash.eu/news-62-story-behind-the-quot124quot.html#.VwqLsmiLTIU

          • I’ve watched the subtitled video from the page
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rn4YXinczw
            Most of Russian speakers will lough at how they managed to extract speech when nothing can be heard. Definitely nothing incriminating. The gunshots could be anything, such as exploding tanks that blow the toilets.

            As to the killed guy. It might be true, but I fail to connect it to a reason of the crash.

        • > Remember: debris and black box was never handed over to the Polish.

          “Debris are not handed over probably only because Poland don’t want to invest in bringing them back.”

          From an article from yesterday, the Polish Defense minister Macierewicz wants the aircraft wreckage back:

          “Poland’s DefMin may ask NATO for assistance in Tu-154M jet fragments transfer case”
          http://tass.ru/en/world/868542
          “WARSAW, April 10. /TASS/. Poland is considering the possibility of approaching NATO with a request for assistance in the matter of transfer of fragments of the Tu-154M presidential jet crashed in 2010 near Smolensk from Russia, Poland’s defense minister Antoni Macierewicz said on Saturday night on the air with the local TVP Channel.

          The Polish side should continuing working on transfer of jet fragments held by Russia to Poland by all the possible methods, Macierewicz said. “We should try, demand it, and probably even follow the piece of advice from the Prime Minister of Norway and approach NATO allies”, the minister added.”

          “Russia repeatedly said that Tu-154M jet fragments are the material evidence and cannot be handed over to Poland until the investigation ends.”

          I’m not sure how NATO is expected to help. Bomb Russia if it refuses to return the parts?

      • > By looking at the pictures you can exactly deduce the plane orientation along the fall.

        For example, here you can see that the plane was banking roughly 60 degrees.
        https://picasaweb.google.com/107906898396623830387/MWzNeJ#5459759931643326354
        (the web album has plenty of relevant pictures)

        Btw, the pilots did initiate a go around. If not for the hilly terrain they’d survive.

  2. Peter Haisenko wrote an article about this crash in January 2011.

    Haisenko argued that the pilot apparently did not tank enough fuel before take-off so he could not fly to another airport due to lack of fuel and was forced to try to land in Smolensk in a desparate situation.

    The article is written in German:

    http://www.anderweltonline.com/wissenschaft-und-technik/luftfahrt-vor-2013/smolensk-katyn-ein-absturz-wie-aus-dem-lehrbuch/

    • Any article written by Haisenko should be read with a kilogram of salt. He writes a lot of nonsense. I did not bother to read his story. Waste of time

  3. Firstly, this plane took off from Warsaw and there was prepared to take off. If the new investigation confirms the bombing/assasination theory it is going to be a very bad news for the Poles.
    Secondly the pilots should NOT have landed in that weather conditions.

  4. Off-topic: Did you ever take a look at the TWA 800 crash?

    Trans World Airlines Flight 800, a Boeing 747-100, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 8:31 p.m. EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

    More than 700 witnesses saw a “streak of light” that was described as ascending, moving to a point where a large fireball appeared, with several witnesses reporting that the fireball split in two as it descended toward the water.

    However, the NTSB investigation report concluded that the probable cause of the accident was an explosion of flammable fuel/air vapors in a fuel tank, and, although it could not be determined with certainty, the most likely cause of the explosion was a short circuit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800

    http://twa800.com/witnesscd/eyewitnesshighlights.htm

    Now compare this to MH-17: According to the DSB report MH-17 was shot down by a missile that no one has seen and TWA800 was downed by a explosion in a tank although hundreds of witnesses saw a “streak of light” which could have been a missile.

    • I know the TWA800 accident a bit. Here as well many strange stories. Like that of a couple of retired NTSB investigators who requested to reopen the investigation.

      MH370, Itavia 870, MH17 all have very suspicious aspects.

  5. > In total 17 people who were related to the crash, its airplane died under suspicious circumstances….

    I read the overview by smolenskcrash.eu. Some of these people had nothing to do with the Smolensk crash; they were in the military, had access to state secrets and happened to die in the period of time close to the crash, and not only after, but even before the crash. Some of these 17 people critisized the investigation of the crash, but otherwise they had no relation to the accident. The “report” by the Russian defector Tretiakov was sheer nonsense – apparently, he tried to be useful to his new country. The “murder” of cameraman Krzysztof Knyz, who “filmed the crash”, was a blatant lie: at the time of the crash, he was in hospital because of pneumonia. Here is the interview of Knyz’s colleague (in Polish):
    http://natemat.pl/71733,pawel-pluska-operator-tvn-nie-mogl-nagrac-zdjec-ze-smolenska-bo-od-miesiecy-lezal-w-szpitalu

  6. Here is an interesting article about what happened to the pilot, refusing to fly former president Lech Kaczyński to a meeting in Tbilisi during the war Georgia vs Russia in 2008.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/08/the-ghosts-of-smolensk-poland-kaczynski-russia/

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