The new cockpit voice recorder transcript on Smolensk crash is a provocation, says Dr. Gruszczyńska- Ziółkowska, Ph.D.
SCND: April 8, 2015
RMF FM has recently published CVR transcripts of the Tu-154 which crashed in Smolensk. Allegedly, by means of a different method, it was possible to retrieve more information from the CVR. The new transcript seems to confirm information from the MAK report – chaos in the cockpit, pilots under pressure and the presence of General Błasik in the cockpit. Is it possible that the new transcript is a breakthrough?
Prof. Anna Gruszczyńska-Ziółkowska: When I read or hear media reporting on the alleged new transcript, I get the impression that those reports have little to do with the actual tragedy in Smolensk. They are more of a political provocation. I expect the prosecution to verify if the published materials are indeed excerpts of the new transcript and if yes, to explain whose decision it was to make such evidence public. Also, if an excerpt has been made available, we might as well have the full transcript published and the information about the team of experts who worked on it. I have hopes that other experts, e.g. who attended the Smolensk Conference or who are part of the Parliamentary Committee will be given access to the new audio recording to verify the new transcript. As it stands, no access has been granted, not even to the excerpts of the new material.
Does it matter who the experts are?
It remains an open question who listened to the recording, who deciphered the words and phrases and who identified the voices in the new expertise. How many people worked on the transcript? In such an important case it should be obvious that every single word and phrase should be consulted. Therefore, the prosecution should disclose the names of the experts. They are, after all, funded by taxpayers, so their identity should not be confidential.
Related Story: NEW TRANSCRIPTS
On April 7, 2015, new transcripts from black boxes of the Tu-154, which crashed in Smolensk, have been published by RMF radio. The Chief Military Prosecution Office announced back then that the published excerpt contained a series of inaccuracies, and published a transcript from the new CVR copy, together with experts’ opinions, on its website.
The published transcript presents the last 40 minutes of the Tu-154 flight. In the transcript, a person named DPS (not specified in the transcript, but media indicate General Andrzej Błasik, the Air Force Commander – in Polish, Dowódca Sił Powietrznych, so DPS) is heard during the final phase of the flight. The CVR is said to have been processed with the use of new methods, which helped to improve its quality and readability, with the transcript being a result of a several month work by a team of experts.
The transcripts, disclosed by the District Military Prosecution in Warsaw, who leads the Smolensk crash investigation, come from a complex expert opinion regarding causes of the Smolensk crash. A part of that complex opinion was an analysis of the new Tu-154 CVR copies. The new copies have been made in Moscow back in February 2014 by Polish experts.
Is it really possible that the team of experts, by means of the new method, could produce a clearer version of the Tu-154 transcript?
Technically it is possible. We know that Polish experts went to Moscow and made new copies. However, we don’t know who those experts are. I hope that the original recording was not damaged when new copies were made and that it can still be used for further copies in the future. I am not saying that the experts who made the copies are bad or that their intentions are bad, since nothing is known about them! This lack of knowledge gives us no reason whatsoever to have trust in the published materials they produced. I find it bizarre that we don’t even know the names of those experts. Who, and based on what qualifications, made the copies in Moscow? The only information revealed by prosecutors is that one of the experts is Andrzej Artymowicz. On what grounds was he recognised as an expert and what experience does he have in retrieving CVR MARS-BM? Has he done it before or has he just experimented using highly sensitive material? According to the public data on Mr. Artymowicz, he is a film sound producer, working for Playboy. What then, was Mr. Artymowicz’s specific role in the team of experts? Was there any other expert on that team with more adequate qualifications?
We can also question the authenticity of the Moscow materials. Can it be doubted?
The new copies were made in February 2014. Did the experts deliver them to Warsaw personally? No, they left the copies in Moscow, as, according to the Chief Military Prosecution Office, the copies arrived a few months later, in May. Since Polish experts go to Russia to make CVR copies in the presence of Russians, and then leave Russia without them, allowing those copies to stay in Russia for a further few months, is there any wonder that the value of those copies is being doubted? Until we get a chance to examine those copies, the doubt regarding their authenticity is fully justified.
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