How could they not know what equipment was installed? They must ensure the smooth functioning of available apparatus, especially given the VIP status of the guests. It's BASIC safety and you don't leave it to chance.
It's not that the Russians, or Polish don't know - it's that the public doesn't know. But - as I said - the ground equipment suggests very, very basic equipment there - after all, it was public knowledge that the Russians all but stripped Smolensk-North bare at the end of 1999.
They were checking the bulbs and a Belarussian caught this.
This is literally a case of "some guy posted pictures online" without any proof that it was taken at Smolensk-North on that date. No-one else has came forward to say that they saw the act - so you have to take it with a large pinch of salt. I'm curious to see what the Polish report says about this, but it seems of dubious credibility.
Delph, basic radars are enough to guide them and you CAN'T tell me a military, yes, military airport wouldn't have the most fundamental of things. So they didn't have MLS, ILS or a radar?
Certainly no MLS, definitely no ILS and the radar, from what people have suggested, was of a very, very basic type that wouldn't update quickly enough for the controller to react.
Delph, let me wipe out your theory in a oner. Even in extreme danger and with the TAWS system screaming at them to PULL UP, they declared 'odchodzimy'. As you know, they came into contact with a birch tree which was their downfall. Had they not, they were on their way to pulling up. Otherwise, they wouldn't have called it as a maneuver to perform.
See below about why this failed -
It doesn't need to update.
As far as I understand radar - it isn't updated "instantly". What the controller sees isn't one smooth movement of the plane.
Guided to 100 metres and no more? They were not guided to 100 metres above ground but 100 metres from their present position above the canyon, that's my point!
They were given barometric altimeter settings, and in addition, were cleared to 100m on the barometric altimeter in accordance with Russian operations. But - either way - if they had stuck to the Tupolev minima, they would have been at least 120m above the canyon - which was more than survivable.
However, isn't it strange how Tusk touched down 3 days before AND the journalists did on the same day? Fog I hear you say. Well, maximum precautions had to be put in place. Were they?
Touching down in clear conditions would be a piece of cake for any experienced pilot. As for earlier in the day - we already know that the Yak pilots disobeyed the Russian ATC in order to land. But - the Yak is far more manoeuvrable!
They would have known that, Delph. They are the elite pilots, not us. I disagree, it isn't enough to be 90m above the canyon given the huge dip. Look at the result, they were 15m BELOW the runway. When have you ever seen that in a plane that doesn't pull up well? He didn't react? Please show me the transcript of that segment. Thanks!!
Look at the transcript when the autopilot was disengaged. Way, way too late. As for the plane? It's well documented in the TU-154M manuals that the plane will lose altitude before starting to climb. Nothing new there.