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Decoded talks inside Poland's president's plane are released in Internet


delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
7 Jun 2010 #211
saying it pilot error only is not fair either

No, I think it's pretty obvious to outsiders (ie, outside the Air Force) that the captain isn't solely to blame - while he has to ultimately take responsibility for putting the plane into the ground, the cause is likely to lie deep within the Air Force.

I wonder why "MediaWatch" still hasn't discovered my little discrepancy, if he's so knowledgeable about this sort of thing?
nomaderol 5 | 726
7 Jun 2010 #212
do you think captain pilot and co-pilots tried to land down in heavy fog without consulting/warning president? i dont think he can do that. it could be possible if it was only president in the plane. but, there were 95 parliaments and elites.

logically, all other conspiracy theories are nonsense.

i guess russia, eu, etc even poland high officials know it was due to order of president, but, they dont want to say this clearly to public as they respect the president and as they want to use conspiracy theorists to keep playing international policy games. life is going anyway..
Seanus 15 | 19,706
7 Jun 2010 #213
Delph, how is your Polish? Buy Newsweek and have a read of the article there. It shows how there was negligence in not navigating the plane properly from Ground Control and also how they said they were on the right course. Also, the TVN guy painted a wrong picture of the pilot. They said he didn't understand key procedures but he showed that he did. The article will open your eyes, Delph. The decision to go to autopilot was particularly controversial. Looking for the runway? Why? Because they weren't helped and there wasn't even an ILS in place, never mind an MLS.

The Russians had enough data to guide them. Also, they didn't inform the Polish crew of the cold and heavy air in the terrain dips. That increased the rate of decline and precipitated the demise. Also, read up on TAWS and how it works in foreign climes. It is hardware from Tucson, Arizona. I think there was an interview on Youtube with the owner of the company.
f stop 25 | 2,513
8 Jun 2010 #214
Russians @ ATC told them: Conditions for a acceptance - none. Pilot was supposed to take heed.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Jun 2010 #215
The pilot took heed of all instructions from ATC. It is a simple matter and more aviation experts are realising it. The rate of descent was expedited by the pockets of air in the dips. There was no language barrier, just a shortage of info from the Russian side.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
8 Jun 2010 #216
The pilot took heed of all instructions from ATC.

No he didn't. If he did, he wouldn't even started to begin the descent. As f stop says - he was clearly told that they couldn't accept them - but unfortunately, ATC is only advisory, not binding.

It shows how there was negligence in not navigating the plane properly from Ground Control and also how they said they were on the right course.

There was nothing faulty with the guidance given by ATC - they were cleared to 100m. Why did they go below 100m? There's no reason or excuse to do so - unless they were attempting a landing contrary to ATC guidance.

Also, in terms of course - the transcript shows that they passed over both the outer and inner NDB markers, so they were fine.

They said he didn't understand key procedures but he showed that he did.

Well, he attempted a landing after being told that Smolensk-North couldn't accept them. He also went below minimums for no apparent reason.

The decision to go to autopilot was particularly controversial. Looking for the runway? Why? Because they weren't helped and there wasn't even an ILS in place, never mind an MLS.

What was supposed to happen from an ATC perspective was that they were cleared down to 100m, they would have a look - and if the runway wasn't in sight, they would go around. There's debate over just what was installed in the TU-154M and whether it was compatible with what was available at Smolensk - but this is the Captain's responsibility to request the usage of landing aids, not ATC's.

As it stands - they were helped down to 100m by ATC. For some unknown reason, the Captain decided to go below that, while still on autopilot. Perhaps he didn't notice the callouts, perhaps he thought that he saw the runway - we don't know and will probably never know.

The Russians had enough data to guide them.

From a controller perspective, they didn't. That's why they were told that "conditions for acceptance : none" - because they couldn't get the plane on the ground safely. The Russians have also comprehensively denied that any precision radar equipment was installed at Smolensk-North - which is believable, given that they have all but emptied the airport of anything useful.

Also, they didn't inform the Polish crew of the cold and heavy air in the terrain dips. That increased the rate of decline and precipitated the demise.

Nothing that the TU-154M couldn't deal with. They simply failed to stop the descent at 100m for reasons known only to the pilot.

Also, read up on TAWS and how it works in foreign climes.

As far as I'm aware, there wasn't detailed topographic information available for Smolensk - so it worked, but only in a very crude manner.

Interestingly, it looks like they have the full GPS track of the plane according to a poster on PPRuNe - so this will crush a few conspiracies.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Jun 2010 #217
Couldn't accept them? I don't follow. They were leading them into areas known to accelerate the rate of descent and they didn't inform them of that. Look at the decline speed and distance covered and you'll see that they don't check out with regular aircraft descent ratios.

The critical point at 100m is where the distortion factor came in. The TAWS system wasn't activated until around 10:39:41 as the wavering and dragging air pockets didn't allow for an accurate reading before that. The instruments' calibration was offset by the 'jary' and to a material extent.

He could have diverted, that's true. In fact, if you had read Polish transcripts, you would have seen the important utterance, 'odchodzimy' (the 2nd pilot, the co-pilot). That clearly shows that they believed they were higher due to looking at the onboard instruments. However, Russian ATC well knew that they were falling at 8m per s as opposed to the normal 3.5 m/s. They saw, on their radars, the real position and the pilots saw the distorted one after the 'jary' effect. They kept telling them that all was ok, a blatant lie! He didn't go under, he was dragged under by the pulling power which gave him a false reading of his true position.

I think jary translates as 'air pockets'. They have a clear effect. Try ling.pl and read up on the effects they can have.

Well, have a look for that interview or even check it up through Google. The TAWS system works to varying degrees, depending on the terrain. They were in special terrain there and that altered its ultimate efficacy.
peterweg 37 | 2,321
8 Jun 2010 #218
The critical point at 100m is where the distortion factor came in. The TAWS system wasn't activated until around 10:39:41 as the wavering and dragging air pockets didn't allow for an accurate reading before that. The instruments' calibration was offset by the 'jary' and to a material extent.

Quite what you are talking about I'm not sure. But the Pilots were using the wrong procedure to approach the the airport, using barometric pressure; this gave them the height about sea level not the height above the airport as they should have been using. This is a fundamental mistake never mind the fact that they were not flying the aircraft after it descended below the decision height.

Remember, neither the ATC or the autopilot is responsible for flying the aircraft; thats the pilots job.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
8 Jun 2010 #219
Latest interesting development is that the Polish Air Force refused a Russian offer to add a Russian navigator to the crew, to faclilitate communications and operations.

I guess they were thinking he was a freemason, gay or Jewish - perhaps a combination?

Anyway I do not think it would have made a difference, LK still would have barged into the cockpit and forced them to land.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Jun 2010 #220
Well, isn't it lucky that the necessary equipment possessed by the Russians conveniently went missing? They had all the guidance tools but fiddled with things (the bulb issue). Polish navigation experts will show this when they get the next instalment from the black boxes.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
8 Jun 2010 #221
Couldn't accept them? I don't follow.

They were told, clearly, that the conditions at Smolensk-North were unsuitable for landing.

They were leading them into areas known to accelerate the rate of descent and they didn't inform them of that.

Known to who, Seanus? The crew of the TU-154M were in Smolensk a few days before - why didn't they pick up on this then? I'm also wondering where you've obtained this from - it's not something being mentioned on any credible aviation forum.

Look at the decline speed and distance covered and you'll see that they don't check out with regular aircraft descent ratios.

That's simply answered - they should have been at 300m over the outer NDB, and instead were quite a bit higher. Thus - they needed a steeper angle of approach in order to correct it.

The critical point at 100m is where the distortion factor came in.

What distortion factor?

The TAWS system wasn't activated until around 10:39:41 as the wavering and dragging air pockets didn't allow for an accurate reading before that.

I'm fairly certain that there would be no need for it to kick in before then - what for? The TU-154M needs about 30-50m to go from descent to climb.

The instruments' calibration was offset by the 'jary' and to a material extent.

Nothing wrong with the calibration - the latest MAK report says that there was nothing wrong with the instruments. The Polish haven't disagreed, so no issue there.

He could have diverted, that's true. In fact, if you had read Polish transcripts, you would have seen the important utterance, 'odchodzimy' (the 2nd pilot, the co-pilot).

Sure. But instead, the captain chose to keep descending.

That clearly shows that they believed they were higher due to looking at the onboard instruments.

Actually - it means he was aware that they had gone below 100m without acquring a visual fix on the runway. It may also indicate that he was following the ATC request - go to 100m, if you can't see the runway, go around.

However, Russian ATC well knew that they were falling at 8m per s as opposed to the normal 3.5 m/s.

Really? The Russians have consistently stated that there was no PAR equipment installed at Smolensk-North. So - how did they fine well know, in the absence of such equipment? The fact that the crew didn't request a PAR approach also lends credence to this. They landed there a few days previously - so they would have known about the possibility of making a PAR approach, if the option existed.

It's very unlikely that the ATC knew - they may have had an idea, but there's nothing they could do - after all, they're not flying the plane.

They saw, on their radars, the real position and the pilots saw the distorted one after the 'jary' effect.

Seanus, that's frankly speaking nonsense. There's absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support this.

They kept telling them that all was ok, a blatant lie!

No, they didn't tell him that everything was ok. They told him what they could - that they were on course and on the glidescope. And - they were - up until they dropped below 100m. From the looks of things, they actually only screwed it up when they dropped below 100m.

he was dragged under by the pulling power which gave him a false reading of his true position.

Where's your source for this? I've never heard of air pockets causing not only a false reading on the barometric altimeter, but also the radar altimeter.

I think jary translates as 'air pockets'. They have a clear effect.

Sure, they do. But the pilot's actions in this case clearly shows that they didn't exist here.

The TAWS system works to varying degrees, depending on the terrain. They were in special terrain there and that altered its ultimate efficacy.

Or - simply put - the system installed simply didn't have the detailed maps for Smolensk-North. It had the basic TAWS system - which did the job fine.

Latest interesting development is that the Polish Air Force refused a Russian offer to add a Russian navigator to the crew, to faclilitate communications and operations.

Interestingly, until last year, when flying to a military airport in Russia, it was compulsory to have a Russian navigator on board.

Well, isn't it lucky that the necessary equipment possessed by the Russians conveniently went missing?

Actually - Smolensk-North has been all but decommissioned as an airfield. It is literally bare bones - one glidepath, little equipment (a basic radar, that seems to be about it) - and even the lights at the start of the runway were specially brought in for the purpose.

They had all the guidance tools but fiddled with things (the bulb issue).

The bulb issue was based one person's claim that they were from Smolensk. There was no evidence whatsoever to back this up - indeed, the Yak reported that they had formed a gate of light and that they saw it.

Polish navigation experts will show this when they get the next instalment from the black boxes.

I'm not holding my breath. But no doubt, the relevant box will show that the autopilot was consciously set to 8m/s.
convex 20 | 3,978
8 Jun 2010 #222
Quite what you are talking about I'm not sure. But the Pilots were using the wrong procedure to approach the the airport, using barometric pressure; this gave them the height about sea level not the height above the airport as they should have been using. This is a fundamental mistake never mind the fact that they were not flying the aircraft after it descended below the decision height.

If it was an NDB approach, it would have had a MDA, not a DH. They seemed to have been using the radar altimeter to get the DH. The calls in the transcript seem to be lined up with the terrain.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Jun 2010 #223
Aha, that they were :)

Look at the descent rates, Delph. The area that they went into had a material effect on that. There are some comments online to support that.

However, such corrective action wasn't suggested by the ATC, was it?

The atmospheric conditions in that area created the distortion. They wreaked havoc with the meters, sth that the Russian ATC should have seen or surmised.

Well, they were working due to a full inspection before take off but they faultered when they encountered that terrain and atmosphere.

He chose to keep descending for the reason I keep repeating. He didn't know his true position at all. Clipping trees should not happen if correctly guided, right?

They removed the equipment and had it altered. You want proof? Read Julia Latiyan of the Moscow Times. She ran an article on it just one week after. She mentioned the removals.

Yes, but they were guiding. Let me put it to you this way. You have a man paid to be the eyes of a blind man who needs to reach his final destination. You have the full picture and can see the danger ahead. You guide him into a hole from which he dies thereafter. Whose fault is it?

Check the cenogram, Delph. They gave info to the pilots which amazed the Polish side. They could only have had that with radars to support their case. Otherwise, they'd be lying.

The Russians have different landing protocols, Delph. The truth is, when they were under 100 metres, they were falling more rapidly than they should have and they weren't told this by the tower.

Given the dips, they were 100 metres not from the ground but from the dip. The onboard metres read the wrong thing. The tower had an obligation to tell them.

Sorry, jary are the dips. The shaped terrain.

The Russians were to clarify their position and they didn't.

Tusk landed fine, as did the journalists on the same day. The fog necessitated a closer dialogue which wasn't there.

Clearly the Tupolev didn't :(

The trajectory was altered by the air pressure as they approached the dips. It's basic physics.

Look how inept the Russians have been, Delph. They took 2 months to discover the 3rd person in the cabin. The Poles found this out quickly after listening to the recordings.
peterweg 37 | 2,321
9 Jun 2010 #224
He chose to keep descending for the reason I keep repeating. He didn't know his true position at all. Clipping trees should not happen if correctly guided, right?

You keep repeating that somehow the ATC were flying (guided) the aircraft. They were not, it was under the control of the pilot, well in fact under control of the autopilot until after the point of no return.

The truth is, when they were under 100 metres, they were falling more rapidly than they should have and they weren't told this by the tower.

Because the ATC had no way of knowing the altitude of the aircraft, their radar wasn't designed for height information
convex 20 | 3,978
9 Jun 2010 #225
Yes, but they were guiding. Let me put it to you this way. You have a man paid to be the eyes of a blind man who needs to reach his final destination. You have the full picture and can see the danger ahead. You guide him into a hole from which he dies thereafter. Whose fault is it?

Wrong. They were on secondary radar, flying an NDB approach. They were flying the plane. Advisory does not equal control. The crew was flying the approach, not ATC. It wasn't a radar approach. If the transcripts are true, they killed themselves and their passengers through gross negligence.
f stop 25 | 2,513
9 Jun 2010 #226
I've heard a rumour that Commander Blasik was in the copilot's seat. Is that true? Is that even possible?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Jun 2010 #227
With all due respect, that didn't answer my question. They had a duty to guide him given the askew readings through instrumental navigation. Russia is playing the role of guide dog here. Would a guide dog be taken to court for misdirecting? No. Are animals entities in the eyes of the law? Yes, in Scotland anyway. Russia tried to get smart but they knew what they were doing. Look at the ravine theory on PRPrune for further info of what I've been talking about above. I discovered it yesterday.

The point is that they were a sufficient height above the lowest point of the dip but NOT from the ground, the area that Russian ground control was monitoring.
f stop 25 | 2,513
9 Jun 2010 #228
With all due respect, that didn't answer my question.

You only hear what you want to hear. It makes no sence to waste time and re-iterate the facts for you here, you've probably seen them already and either did not understand or did not want to believe.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
9 Jun 2010 #229
Look at the descent rates, Delph. The area that they went into had a material effect on that. There are some comments online to support that.

Perhaps looking at the raw data, you can come to the conclusion that there was something wrong with the descent rates. But in that case - wouldn't you expect someone to say something, particularly if the descent rate wasn't what was expected? I'm damn sure that a pilot would notice the difference between 3.5m/s and 8m/s.

However, such corrective action wasn't suggested by the ATC, was it?

The ATC had no real way of knowing m/s speed - and by the time they realised that something was wrong (and issued the Horizon request) - it was possibly too late.

The atmospheric conditions in that area created the distortion. They wreaked havoc with the meters, sth that the Russian ATC should have seen or surmised.

I'm struggling to get this - are you claiming that air pockets cause distortion of not only radar, but barometric altimeters?

Well, they were working due to a full inspection before take off but they faultered when they encountered that terrain and atmosphere.

Strange - I haven't heard about this phenomenon elsewhere. Convex, or any other pilot - do you know anything about altimeters showing false readings due to air pockets?

He chose to keep descending for the reason I keep repeating. He didn't know his true position at all. Clipping trees should not happen if correctly guided, right

It's been said above, but ATC was only providing an advisory service. Nothing else. They already told Polish Air Force 101 that they couldn't accept them - and that they were cleared to 100m and no more. Certainly, they didn't have clearance to land, nor was ATC controlling them.

They removed the equipment and had it altered. You want proof? Read Julia Latiyan of the Moscow Times. She ran an article on it just one week after. She mentioned the removals.

The equipment was removed, sure. But that was after the base was decommissioned - not after the crash. Anyway, it's irrelevant what equipment there was at Smolensk-North - the transcript tells us what the ATC and crew were doing and using.

Yes, but they were guiding. Let me put it to you this way. You have a man paid to be the eyes of a blind man who needs to reach his final destination. You have the full picture and can see the danger ahead. You guide him into a hole from which he dies thereafter. Whose fault is it?

Unfortunately, in this case - ATC is advisory, not guiding. A PAR approach would be a different story - but in this case, when they were attempting a landing despite being told that they couldn't? It's no fault of the ATC if they attempted to land and got it wrong.

Check the cenogram, Delph. They gave info to the pilots which amazed the Polish side. They could only have had that with radars to support their case.

Where in the transcript do they show amazement, apart from after hitting the trees?

The Russians have different landing protocols, Delph. The truth is, when they were under 100 metres, they were falling more rapidly than they should have and they weren't told this by the tower.

The tower may not necessarily have known until it was too late. You can see how quickly the Horizon comment came - but in such conditions, you can hardly expect the ATC to be able to react that quickly. Radars just don't update that quickly!

Given the dips, they were 100 metres not from the ground but from the dip. The onboard metres read the wrong thing. The tower had an obligation to tell them.

They did. Horizon 101?

The onboard meters seem to have worked just fine - the confusion between the meters shows this clearly.

Look how inept the Russians have been, Delph. They took 2 months to discover the 3rd person in the cabin. The Poles found this out quickly after listening to the recordings.

Inept, or thorough? I'd rather have them take their time and get it done properly, rather than rush something out which would satisfy no-one.

The point is that they were a sufficient height above the lowest point of the dip but NOT from the ground, the area that Russian ground control was monitoring.

We know this. We also know that the Russian ATC didn't have the capability to judge height.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Jun 2010 #230
Then why was nothing done?? The descent was clearly wrong and it wasn't corrected.

The ATC had the tools for measuring the speed so that puts that to rest.

The conditions in the dips saw air masses which had a material effect on the descent speed. Simple!

I saw the same on that website for pilots so I know pilots believe the same.

The whole point is that ATC didn't lose track of the plane which they could see was too low.

They didn't remove it for Tusk or the Polish journalists who arrived on 2 separate days. Doesn't that strike you as odd?

When you can see that sb is in trouble, do you stand aside?

I refer you to the Newsweek article of this month, Delph.

Delph, come on, they are fully aware of the local conditions there and how the terrain impacts on landings.

They were mistaken as to their true location, you will see that I'm sure from the second decoding session.

The Polish side did an equally effective job in a fraction of the time. Thorough is desirable but they waited til the mourning and anger died down. It's all about timing!

The point is, they did. Their markers are for ground-level height, not the dips and it is this which caused the inaccuracy and ultimate crash.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
9 Jun 2010 #231
Then why was nothing done?? The descent was clearly wrong and it wasn't corrected.

Because - they were cleared from 500m to 100m. How the plane gets there was nothing to do with ATC - they were left to decide themselves, in line with the advisory role that ATC had at Smolensk-North.

The ATC had the tools for measuring the speed so that puts that to rest.

They didn't. The Russians, from the first moment, have consistently said that there was no such equipment installed at Smolensk-North. And why would there be, when it was a shell of an airport, decommissioned and effectively useless for all but good conditions?

The conditions in the dips saw air masses which had a material effect on the descent speed. Simple!

I'm still wondering where you heard about these conditions, because it's not reported anywhere credible.

I saw the same on that website for pilots so I know pilots believe the same.

Most people on pprune believe that the pilot put the plane into the ground.

The whole point is that ATC didn't lose track of the plane which they could see was too low.

Sure, they didn't lose track. They actually told them to level off (Horizon) within 3.8 seconds of the plane leaving 100m according to the transcript. That's about as quick as you can expect them to react, given that radar isn't instantly updating and that the human brain needs to process the information in front of it.

The plane wasn't too low until it went below 100m. In fact, from what I can see, the plane went too low for 16 seconds. The ATC responded within 4 seconds - of course, it was too late, but it was the crew's responsibility to keep that plane at 100m, no-one elses.

Perhaps ask yourself - why didn't the pilot turn off the autopilot as soon as he knew that they had gone below 100m? There was a good 8 second gap between that information and the autopilot being turned off - more than enough time to pull on the control stick.

They didn't remove it for Tusk or the Polish journalists who arrived on 2 separate days. Doesn't that strike you as odd?

That's another unfounded rumour.

When you can see that sb is in trouble, do you stand aside?

No, when your radar screen updates, you process the information and give them the instruction to level off (Horizon). Unfortunately, it was too late - but that's what happens when you mess around in an airliner below 100m.

Delph, come on, they are fully aware of the local conditions there and how the terrain impacts on landings.

So why did they attempt such a risky landing, without an ILS, in a place known to have difficult local conditions and fog on top?

They were mistaken as to their true location, you will see that I'm sure from the second decoding session.

I'm wondering what will change - we know that the pilot willingly went below 100m (the autopilot tells us a lot!).

The point is, they did. Their markers are for ground-level height, not the dips and it is this which caused the inaccuracy and ultimate crash.

Why would you fly into the dips if you're supposed to be above the markers? Don't forget - the inner marker was located after that dip, so what the hell were they doing below the marker?

There is a point that perhaps, they intended to simply fly to 100m, then go missed and divert. But if so - why did the captain not turn off the autopilot and fly away after hearing "100"? It wasn't too late at that point, dip or no dip.

Still, the GPS track combined with the other two black boxes will tell us all.
MediaWatch 10 | 945
9 Jun 2010 #232
No, I think it's pretty obvious to outsiders (ie, outside the Air Force) that the captain isn't solely to blame - while he has to ultimately take responsibility for putting the plane into the ground, the cause is likely to lie deep within the Air Force.

I wonder why "MediaWatch" still hasn't discovered my little discrepancy, if he's so knowledgeable about this sort of thing?

What are you talking about? What discrepancy?

Is this something based on Russian transcript and version of events?
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
9 Jun 2010 #233
What are you talking about? What discrepancy?

I'm leaving it for you and the other conspiracy theorists to work out. Don't want to make your life easy, after all!

Is this something based on Russian transcript and version of events

As far as I'm aware, the Polish/Russian/English transcripts available are all very good translations. The discrepancy certainly isn't a translation issue.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Jun 2010 #234
Delph, we are going round in circles. Please try and get hold of Newsweek as I see this as a credible source. Also, even I felt some of what the pilots of PRPrune were saying to be a little conspiratorial. One even suggested a 'scud run' through a dip. He lost me with that comment. Have a read, page 43 if I recall rightly.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
9 Jun 2010 #235
One even suggested a 'scud run' through a dip. He lost me with that comment.

A scud run is essentially when you go down very low and attempt to visually spot the runway - with the danger that you can end up putting the plane onto the ground as you have very little room to play with.

There was previous form for that move - the transcript suggests that the Captain alluded to having done it in Gdansk before.

Please try and get hold of Newsweek as I see this as a credible source.

I'll have a look, I'd like to see this article for myself. It's a bit strange that Newsweek has came out with it - it's not a popular opinion at all. You're right though, Newsweek is fairly credible.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Jun 2010 #236
Delph, you seem to have a keen eye for aviation stuff. Please go and tell Aberdeen airport to do sth with their runway so that they can have a direct flight to Wrocław or Kraków.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
9 Jun 2010 #237
Gah, don't even get me started on that issue.

Part of the problem is the ILS at Aberdeen is rubbish - only Cat I. Then the other part of the problem is the runway - though seemingly, a 300m extension will happen. But as long as BAA are running the show, I can't see a Polish flight happening, just too expensive for the likes of Ryanair et al.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
9 Jun 2010 #238
It's about time some investment went into improving the services there. If Poland really got serious regarding its gas business, they'd jump quicker than I could say hey to get a direct flight between Poland and themselves.
peterweg 37 | 2,321
10 Jun 2010 #239
A scud run is essentially when you go down very low and attempt to visually spot the runway - with the danger that you can end up putting the plane onto the ground as you have very little room to play with.

Its seems the most likely scenario that a Scud run was exactly what the pilot was attempting, not unusual with Polish pilots apparently.

He wasn't doing an ILS and was 'having a look' down to 100m, as they went far below 100m before reacting suggests they were looking and didn't see anything until too late.
f stop 25 | 2,513
16 Jun 2010 #240
post from another forum:
This whole mess has very little to do with Polish aviation traditions, qualities of Poles as pilots, or anything like that, but everything with completely worthless politicians who made a mess of things. Yes, pilots are probably at fault for what happened with that flight. But, their mistakes happened long before that flight, when they allowed themselves:

•Be micromanaged by politicians over where how they should land their planes
•Be under "training" program where (among other things) some stupid politico would make political decisions on the subject of Tu-154 pilots NOT training on Tu-154 simulators.

•Be under "procedural" regime where the same politico would make a decision to not ask for Russian military navigator, even though the crew clearly did not have a trained navigator that was up to the task and wanted a Russian navigator to be there. (Russians taking their time switching over to western procedures is another story, but not our business to interfere with).

•End up being used in a stupid dog and pony show, where it was "political message" and not safety and sense that dictated procedures. I (obviously) understand significance of Katyn history, but imagine if someone wanted, for example, to make a big ceremony in the US over plight of US's Native Americans and demanded to land at some US Air Force base only because it was closest to some Native American cemetery or battleground and when allowed to do so, refused to play by the US Air Force rules. Because such setup almost guaranteed anything that say ATCs do to be seen as possible political provocation, it really was a very, very bad idea from the start. Russians should also grow some balls in the matter and simply state that Russian Military Airports are not the greatest places for dog and pony shows with foreign dignitaries. It would not hurt anyone to fly to nearest civilian international airport and drive from there.

The best way for pilots to avoid this mess would have been to refuse to do that job under those conditions. And of course, many Polish ex-military pilots did just that, which means that they probably got stuck with pilots who, to begin with, were not too sure of their abilities or who had abilities to be sure of.

At the end of the day, karma is a b***tch and when one screws around with logic and sense, the rewards are soon to follow.


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