Vladimir Putin's Russian Government Inquiry into the Crash of The Polish Air Force One in Smolensk, Russia, April 10, 2010
Study Prepared by Dr. Kazimierz Nowaczyk, Ph.D., and Polish Parliamentary Committee for the investigation of the Tu-154M crash in Smolensk, Russia on April 10th , 2010 under the chairmanship of Antoni Macierewicz.
SCND: July 2, 2015
Click to download the entire report
On April 10, 2010, the Polish governmental flight performed by Tupolev Tu-154M airplane (“Polish Air Force One”) departed from Warsaw, Poland, to Smolensk, Russia. The plane carried a highest level delegation from the Republic of Poland travelling to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Forest Massacre1. Polish Air Force One crashed near the 'Severny' airport in Smolensk, Russia at 10:41:06 local time on the same day. There were no survivors; all 96 people on board were killed in the incident (“Smolensk Crash”). The official delegation consisted of the President of Poland, the First Lady, the entire General Army Command of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland, the President of the National Bank of Poland, members of parliamentary and government officials as well as family members of the Katyn victims, including a U.S. citizen. Among the ten generals of the Polish Armed Forces who perished in the Smolensk Crash, five had served as top NATO commanders, including Gen. Franciszek Gągor, the next in line to have had assumed central command of NATO forces in Europe. Furthermore, the following Polish generals, supporters of the US military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, were killed in this tragedy: Gen. Andrzej Błasik, Gen. Tadeusz Buk, Gen. Bronisław Kwiatkowski, Gen. Włodzimierz Potasinski, Gen. Tadeusz Płoski.
The present report was developed and is based on study results prepared by experts, academics, scientists and researchers from the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia, who have collaborated together for the past three years with the Parliamentary Committee for investigation of the Polish Air Force One crash in Smolensk, Russia on April 10, 2010. The report focuses on the official Russian report of the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (Miezhgosudarstvennyi Aviacyonnyi Komitet - IAC) (‘Final Russian report’) which assumed responsibility for the investigation of this crash upon an executive order by the National Investigation Committee headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin directly oversaw the initial investigation during its first 72 hours and maintained control of the investigative process until January 2011, nine months after the crash. On April 13, 2010, the Russian National Investigation Committee rejected an assistance offer from the European Union experts. Vladimir Putin has failed to sign the IAC report to this day.
Most significant technical findings referred to in this document have been presented and approved by experts during three annual scientific conferences dedicated to the Smolensk Crash, which took place in Warsaw, Poland in 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as at a public hearing in the European Parliament on March 20126, in articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in Polish Parliamentary Committee Reports.
Each section of the present report contains examples of the most significant errors and violations of investigation standards described in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) “Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation”, cases of evidence destruction or alteration as well as manipulation of conclusions contained in the Russian (IAC) Final report. All findings cited herein have been published by the Polish Parliamentary Committee for the Investigation of the Smolensk Crash.
Critical flaws, material falsifications and outstanding questions concerning the Russian investigation include the following:
The Final Russian report includes intentionally falsified original pre-crash glide path data from CVR (cockpit voice recorder); the original data indicated that the aircraft was directed away from the correct landing zone, setting stage for the crash; subsequent erroneous ‘confirmation’ of pre-crash aircraft course and glide path provided by Russian air traffic control - Severny to Poland’s Air Force One - was covered up by changing the CVR transcription record.
Rescue operation and medical examination
A 17-minute delay in arrival of Russian fire/crash response teams at the scene of the crash located 400 meters away from the runway towards south-east was recorded; medical rescue personnel were delayed by an additional 12 minutes. A summary declaration of ‘no survivors’ was made by Russian authorities before all bodies were located at the crash scene. Data in subsequent autopsy reports reflected noteworthy departure from medical reporting standards, including, inter alia, a uniform summary statement for the cause of death which was recorded for all the victims without individual details.
The locations of major crash debris 'changed' during the night of April 11, 12, 2010 in order to 'consolidate' the wreckage. The Final Russian Report noted the locations of the relocated debris to support the claim that the aircraft was basically intact upon impact with the ground. Evidence indicates otherwise that an in-flight explosion is likely to have had occurred.
Unauthorised persons (e.g. local civilians and media) had almost immediate access to the crash site resulting in the removal of numerous objects
Mobilization of heavy equipment directly on the site occurred one day after the crash, when construction began of a concrete access roadway to be used by transport vehicles that subsequently removed the wreckage.
Within 45 days following the crash, certain trees were removed and the main crash site was ploughed to a depth of two feet, further destroying critical material evidence
Destruction of the wreckage occurred prior to the debris being transported from the site on April 13th,.2010, and continued during the transport process.
The relocated aircraft wreckage remained exposed, in the open air, to natural weather conditions for at least several following months.
Russian (IAC) Final report
Flight data recorders
The Final Russian Report contained a CVR (cockpit voice recorder) transcript which was inconsistent with both the 'original' CVR transcript provided to the Polish Government and another copy used by the Russian investigators. A total of five copies of CVR transcripts (provided by Russians) with different recording time(s) are publicly known to exist.
Out of the five flight recorders installed in the aircraft, one remains missing while data from two others (connected in parallel) is inconsistent; the original units remain under control of Russian investigators. All copies provided to the Polish side showed signs of tampering or were of such poor quality that it rendered them useless for the investigation and future analysis.
Analysis of encoded data performed by Universal Avionics, manufacturer of the TAWS (Terrain Awareness Warning System), was omitted entirely in the Final Russian Report. The omission included, in particular, the last data sequence (TAWS #38), containing the last reading of the aircraft location, altitude, status and other key parameters. The Final Russian Report included inconsistent data of the mentioned TAWS #38 reading.
Data manipulation associated with the TAWS #38 data sequence resulted in removal of about 1 second of data recorded by all the flight recorders.
The Final Russian Report failed to analyse important vertical acceleration and rotation data clearly stored by the flight recorders, showing abrupt violent movement of the aircraft seconds before crash.
This document has been arranged into seven sections:
1. Background (Appendix I, II)
2. Air Navigation near Severny airport (Appendix II, III, IV)
3. Rescue Operation and Medical Examination (Appendix V, XII)
4. Russian Investigation (Appendix V, VI, VIII, IX, XI)
5. Final Russian IAC report (Appendix VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII)
6. Independent Investigation
The entire report in PDF version can be downloaded here.
Books You May Like:
THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE
BLOWING UP RUSSIA
From the Editor's Desk: A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.
In 2007, a group of law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear.
From the Editor's Desk: A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience - he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police - nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams - even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy.
From the Editor's Desk: "Blowing Up Russia" contains the allegations of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko against his former spymasters in Moscow which led to his being murdered in London in November 2006. In the book he and historian Yuri Felshtinsky detail how since 1999 the Russian secret service has been hatching a plot to return to the terror that was the hallmark of the KGB.
Vividly written and based on Litvinenko's 20 years of insider knowledge of Russian spy campaigns, Blowing Up Russia describes how the successor of the KGB fabricated terrorist attacks and launched a war. Writing about Litvinenko, the surviving co-author recounts how the banning of the book in Russia led to three earlier deaths.
Already during the first night of the crash, the Russians were removing the most important pieces of evidence from the crash site, that is, the remains of the Polish President’s Tupolev, TU-154M. Parts of the aircraft were transported away without any prior planning, and some of them were purposefully destroyed. Read more here
"Russian Image Management"
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
World-renowned forensic pathologist goes on the record: "I have been doing autopsies for 50 years, and I've investigated more than fifteen, twenty airplane crashes […] I've been in countries all over the world where families think that the government is hiding something. Whether it is Zimbabwe or Israel, or Philippines, the government may not like an outside person checking to make sure they got it right. [But,] they never interfered with that. The family, the next of kin, always has the right to do what the wishes of the family are. In the 21st century, the body of the dead person no longer belongs to the state. It belongs to the family. So, it is unusual - something that I have never experienced before - where the government [of Poland] has not permitted the famil[ies]" to conduct independent forensic examinations of their loved ones' remains [...] I've never heard of a body coming back to a country and the family being unable to open up a casket. I've never heard of the family not being able to get an autopsy… Read more here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views the SmolenskCrashNews.com. All information is provided on an as-is basis, and all data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Smolensk Crash News DOT COM makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.