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Who are the members of the Miller Commission?

SCND AUGUST 17, 2015

“An analyst of traffic on divided highways, a parachute and paraglide expert and a psychologist working extra hours as a diet expert at a beauty salon – here are the experts assigned to investigate the most prominent air crash in the history of Poland. The commission’s leader is Jerzy Miller, a specialist in machining with work experience within the area of health services and drug financing. 16 members of the Miller Commission have never even been to Smolensk and those who went there, failed to examine the wreckage or the birch tree,” reports Gazeta Polska.

The Parliamentary Team’s experts have been criticized for the lack of expertise in investigating plane crashes, but it seems that their critics should have a closer look at the members of the Miller Commission charged with investigating the Smolensk crash.

Jerzy Miller Commission
Jerzy Miller Commission PHOTO by Polskie Radio

Revealing their professional backgrounds, Gazeta Polska emphasized that none of the Miller Commission’s members specialize in a tupolev aircraft construction, military air traffic controllers or explosives. None of them had any experience in investigating large scale air crashes.

The Commission was led by Jerzy Miller, a civil officer, Minister of Interior, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Chief Executive of the National Health Service. Miller himself is by profession a specialist in machining, but his work experience is mainly within the area of health services and drug financing. Moreover, as Chairman of the Commission for the Investigation of the Smolensk Crash (Miller Commission), he acted in the position of conflict of interest because as Minister of Interior Affairs at the time of the crash he oversaw the Bureau for Government Officials Protection (BOR) charged with responsibilities to assure safety and security of government officials.

Miller is known for traveling to Moscow three times to bring the copies of the black box recordings. The first recording he brought was missing a few seconds; the second one was too blurry. Miller was basically a political representative of the governing Civic Platform who diligently followed Donald Tusk’s orders.

16 out of 34 commission’s members have never been to Smolensk. Those who went there did not examine the wreckage or the tree the aircraft allegedly hit before the crash. Below is the description of the professional experience of some key people assigned to explain the cause of death of Poland’s political elite:

Jerzy Miller – a control systems engineer, specialising in machining.

Agata Kaczyńska – Miller Commission’s secretary – a parachute and paraglide training, construction and operation specialist. She is a lawyer who deals with work organisation at the State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation.

Dr. Eng. Stanisław Żurkowski was a leader of the technical sub-commission. There is no record on the subject of his professional doctorate or circumstances surrounding his degree of doctor of technical science. The deputy leader was Colonel MEng. Mirosław Wierzbicki, an aviation on-board engineer, and a head of Aviation Department at Poland’s Ministry of Defense.

It remains unclear if Żurkowski ever went to Smolensk in a role of a sub-team leader, but Wierzbicki definitely visited the site. Here are the extracts of the interview he gave to the Polish Accredited Representative Edmund Klich, published under the title “My black box.”

Edmund Klich: “Wierzbicki refused to draft a plan of wreckage examination.”

Editor: “Is Wierzbicki an expert on a tupolev construction at all? As far as I am aware there was no one in Smolensk with expertise on that subject.”

“Does that mean that no Polish expert saw the wreckage?”

“Even if any of them did, no results of their work are known, because when a meeting in Moscow was organized back in June to discuss the examination results, Wierzbicki presented only the outcomes of examination carried out by the Russian experts.”

The only member of the technical sub-team with a title of professor was Ryszard Krystek, a lecturer at the University of Gdańsk, in the Road Engineering Department. He was an undersecretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure in the government of Marek Belka. He specializes in road traffic engineering; road and sea transport safety, road structure effects on individual transport performance in cities, and risk analysis of overtaking on divided highways. Back in 2009, at a conference under the patronage of Bronisław Komorowski, a Marshal of the Sejm, Krystek delivered a presentation about the effects of road accidents on victims’ lives.

Maciej Lasek – played a key role of a deputy chairman of Miller Commission’s aviation sub-team. He is a pilot and aviation engineer with a professional doctorate on a subject of aerodynamic interference effects on the motion of aircraft dispensers at a time of their disposal. He is also a co-author of several articles, e.g. “The examination of structural sensitivity of a controlled ornithopter model,” “Design and simulation of a Flapping Micro Air Vehicle,” “Design and technical realization of devices supporting aerobatic special effects.” From 1993 to 2010 Lasek participated in factory and government trials of ultra-light aircrafts; he also worked as an experimental pilot of five types of gliders and motor gliders.

Gazeta Polska presented an analysis of air accidents and incidents examined by Lasek. They turned out to be mainly emergency landings or problems with deceleration run after touchdown. He analysed small crashes, mainly single-engine, turboprop aircrafts, for teaching training, tourism and aerobatics use.

Lasek became a deputy chairman of the State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation in 2003. 147 accidents that took place from 2003 to 2010 were examined by Hania Archangielska from a Polish portal, Pl.Wolności. “Examination of 17 out of those accidents was led by Dr. Eng. Maciej Lasek. It is interesting that all the 147 accidents involve small aircrafts, such as Cessna, the archaic Pipers or Golden Orioles, Hummingbirds or Moravans; mainly single-engine, turboprop aircrafts for teaching, training, tourism and aerobatics use. Only one of the accidents involved a two-engine Let L-200 Morava. Looking at the types of accidents, they were mainly emergency landings within airfields’ grass areas, caused by problems with engine operation (often due to lack of fuel), loss of landing gear or aircraft turnover. There were a few exceptions, involving aircrafts hitting objects on the ground due to bad weather conditions or loss of engine. However, the majority of examined cases concerned problems with deceleration run after touchdown, which is a basic problem when it comes to air accidents. All cases examined concerned aircrafts of a simple construction (of the Wright Flyer era), without complex technological or machinery features. The examination of cases focused mainly on the area of the accident and aircraft documentation analysis.”

It shall be noted that neither Lasek, nor accredited representative Klich, two key Polish team leaders. ever examined a crash of a large, multi-engine, jet-propelled aircraft that would result in a vast number of fatalities.

Another member of the technical sub-commission was Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Eng. Sławomir Michalak, an aviation engineer from Poland’s Air Force Institute of Technology; head of the Avionics Department. According to Nasz Dziennik, Michalak won a Riga Civil Aviation Engineers Institute scholarship. Michalak was in Moscow when the black boxes were examined. He allegedly suggested that Bartosz Stroiński, who performed the examination of the tapes, should not focus on identifying the unknown voice, wrongly assumed to be that of General Błasik. Michalak allegedly told Stroiński that “those who knew the Air Force Commander very well have already identified his voice.”

What’s interesting is that, according to Nasz Dziennik, the person who identified the voice as that of General Błasik, was Wiesław Kędzierski, who shortly after the Smolensk crash was delegated to Moscow to work as a translator. Kędzierski, who worked at the Polish Air Force Command, graduated from the Gagarin Air Force Academy in Monin, Moscow. According to the documentation found at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, Kędzierski was delegated to attend military training in Soviet Union, back in the days of the Polish People’s Republic.

Col Dr. Olaf Truszczyński is another member of the Miller’s Commision. He is an aviation psychologist from the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine. He specializes in obesity treatment, a qualification which enabled him to earn extra income by advising on weight loss.

Other members of the Miller Commission were lawyers. The most well-known is Prof. Marek Żylicz, who specializes in international law. His attitude as a commission’s member was not to upset anyone. Another lawyer in the team, Dr. Agnieszka Kunert-Diallo, specializes in conflict of the international air transport’s laws and regulations. She is a lecturer at Łazarski University; one of the subjects she lectures concerns transport documents’ control.

Gazeta Polska provided also a list of scientific publications and citations from the last 16 years, by the head “specialists” of the Miller Commission. In case of Dr. Lasek, Prof. Krystek, Dr. Michalak and Dr. Żurkowski there have been none.

Gazeta Polska compared the list to the number of publications and citations by Antoni Macierewicz’s team of experts: Prof. Binienda – 95 publications, 455 quotations, Prof. Rońda (15 and 69), Dr. Szuladziński (18 and 7) and Dr. Nowaczyk (29 and 855).

Gazeta Polska also revealed which members of the Miller Commission were educated in Moscow and what sort of specialists the Miller Commission was lacking.

Source: Gazeta Polska, Nasz Dziennik, niezalezna.pl, wpolityce.pl.
Translation: JD
Photo: www.polskieradio.pl

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