Crash of the Polish Governmental Plane PFL 101 in Smolensk on April 10, 2010
Independent Investigation Status Report, November 10, 2011, Part 3
Manipulation of Data
The Russian conclusion that the pilot was under pressure to “to continue descent in the conditions of unjustified risk with a dominating aim of landing at any means”  is supported by the following statement: “At a distance of 1200 – 600 m from the point of first impact during the actual descent with the vertical speed of about 8 m/sec, the CVR recorded three reports within 8 seconds about the height of 100 m, equal to the established minimum descent altitude.
[ . . . ] The PIC’s [Pilot in Command] decision to go around did not follow.” 
However, the Polish reading of the CVR revealed that upon passing an altitude of 100 meters the PIC ordered the 'go around.' The co-pilot confirmed this command.  Thus, contrary to the Russian statements and conclusions, the decision to 'go around' was made at the right time because the Pilot-in-Command ordered aborting the landing at an altitude of 100 meters, as required by standard airport landing minimum. 
“He will go crazy”
The 'psychological analysis' presented in the IAC Final Report is based on the transcripts from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (“CVR”) allegedly containing statements made by the crew members during the last 30 minutes before the crash. These transcripts, prepared by the IAC in May and June 2010, contain lines which do not appear on the CVR copy in the possession of the Polish side.
In the IAC Final Report, the Russian side twice included the following statement allegedly uttered by a member of the Polish crew: ‘He will go crazy.’  This statement has been used to prove that there was pressure to land coming from a third party, specifically from the Main Passenger. This third party pressure on the PIC to land is presented in the conclusions of the IAC Final Report as one of the main causes of the Smolensk Crash.
According to the Polish side, the words 'he will go crazy...' were never uttered by the crew of Tu-154M. In the opinion of the Polish side, the CVR tape was altered to imply such a statement. Both the Polish Investigation Committee and the Polish Prosecutor's Office publically concluded that no such statement was ever uttered by any member of the Polish crew. The Polish side unequivocally rejected any suggestions that the crew might have undergone any psychological pressure from a third party to continue descent. According to the Polish Response, “the record of the on-board voice recorder located in the cabin of the aircraft Tu-154M (CVR) did not reveal any passage confirming the attempt to influence the actions of the crew by third persons, including the Main Passenger.” . This position was once again confirmed by the spokesman of the Polish Main Military Prosecutor's Office on April 19, 2011 as follows: “In the documents gathered thus far there is no evidence whatsoever indicating that the crash of TU-154 was caused by undue pressure exerted on the crew of TU-154". 
In the transcript from the CVR published by the Polish side in August 2010 at the point 10:38:00 (06:38:00 UTC) where according to the Russians the statement “He will go crazy...” was uttered, no such statement is listed. Between 10:37:22 and 10:38:30 the transcript lists the counting by the navigator of a distance to the airport beam and the following statement not included in the Russian transcript: “Tell that one more mile to the center remains.” 
The Russian side ignored the above Polish objections and used the undue psychological pressure hypothesis supported by false evidence as the basis for its conclusion.
Topography of Terrain
The IAC Final Report ignores the evidence from the CVR which proves that the Tu-154M crew knew the topography of the terrain in the vicinity of the Smolensk 'Severny’ airport very well. The IAC completely disregarded clear statements made by the Polish pilots regarding the lowering of the terrain before the airport beam that appear in the CVR transcript. According to the transcript, one minute before the crash and 5 km before the airport beam (that is 3 km from the lowering of the terrain), the Co-pilot reminded the PIC about the lowering of the terrain to which the PIC responded: “I know.”  In direct contradiction to this evidence, the IAC concluded that the pilots lacked the knowledge of the terrain topography. Such conclusion also disregards the information that the PIC landed at the Smolensk 'Severny' airport as co-pilot three days before the crash.
TAWS and FMS
The Terrain Awareness and Warning System (“TAWS”) that was on board of Tu-154M was to prevent “Controlled Flight Into Terrain” accidents. The Tu-154M was also equipped with the Flight Management System (“FMS”). Both these instruments were manufactured by the Universal Avionics System Corporation based in the USA. The reading of TAWS and FMS recordings was performed by the manufacturer with the participation of the NTSB and FAA. 
In the IAC Final Report only the time information from reading the TAWS and FSM recordings was provided. This information was referenced in Footnote 26 as follows: “Considering the difference in time zones three extra seconds were added to TAWS time to be synchronized with the FDR.”  TAWS and FMS readings were not part of the analysis presented in the IAC Final Report except for the reading of the last FMS showing the position of the airplane, its altitude and speed. The original TAWS and FMS readings made by the American manufacturer were disclosed by the Polish side on July 29, 2011, more than six months after the publication of the ICA Final Report.  A careful analysis of this data shows that the entire computer system of the Tu-154M was shot down at an altitude of 15 meters from the ground and at a distance of 50 meters from first signs of the contact with the ground. This issue was not discussed at all in the IAC Final Report. Furthermore, as pointed out by Dr. K. Nowaczyk, TAWS No. 38 was not listed in the IAC Final Report at all. This TAWS indicates a different direction of the plane in the last fragments of the flight than assumed by the IAC.
Credibility of the IAC
On the basis of the Presidential Order of the Russian Federation dated April 10, 2010  a State Investigation Commission was appointed to investigate the causes of the Tu-154M aircraft crash. The Investigator-in-Charge for the State Investigation Commission was the Prime- Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. From April 10 to April 13, 2010, the investigation at the crash site was supervised by Vladimir Putin and led on the ground by the Head of the Flight Safety Agency of the Russian Armed Forces. During this three-day period, the following individuals played the key role in the investigation into the Smolensk Crash: Yury Chaika Prosecutor General, General Rashyd Nurgaliyev, Gen. Sergei Ivanov and Gen. Sergei Shoigu. 
All these officials are closely connected with the Russian security forces, the ultimate successors to the executioners of the Katyn [massacre] victims. General Shoigu is well known for his comments on the Katyn crime and the historiography of World War II. In March 2009, Shoigu publically stated: “Our parliament should pass a law that would envisage liability for the denial of the Soviet victory in the Great patriotic War.” General Shoigu further stated that the legislation would also seek to punish eastern European or former Soviet states that deny they were liberated by the Red Army. “The leaders of those countries could be banned from Russian soil. Then the presidents of certain countries denying this would not be able to visit our country and remain unpunished,”  Shoigu said.
On April 13, 2010, the general supervision of the technical investigation and coordination with the interested Russian and foreign parties was delegated to A.N. Morozov, the IAC Chairperson who also acted as Deputy of the State Investigation Commission.
On April 13, 2010, Morozov issued an order concerning the technical investigation in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense.  By this order the following investigation team was appointed: Investigator-in-Charge A.N. Morozov, Vice-Chairman of IAC – Chairman of the AAIC; Deputy Investigator-in-Charge: V.V. Sorochenko, Deputy Head of the Flight Safety Agency, Russian Armed Forces, Deputy Investigator-in-Charge: G.A. Yachmenev, Vice-Chairman of the AAIC, IAC; Members: 1) A.V. Alekseyev, Deputy of the Chief Engineer, Aviakor Ltd. Aviation Plant, 2) R.T. Yesayan, Deputy General Director – Head of flight-research center, State Research Institute for Civil Aviation; 3) N.M. Kozhevnikova, Consultant, AAIC, IAC; 4) M.S. Kulikov, Chief ATC instructor, Air Navigation Institute; 5) V.G. Nekrasov, Vice-Chairman of Airdrome and Equipment Certification Commission. IAC; 6) A.V. Roldugin, Vice-Chairman of the AAISTSC, IAC; 7) A.A. Talalakin, Deputy of the Chief Constructor, Tupolev Design Bureau.
Several members of the above listed technical investigation team acted in direct conflict of interest with respect to the investigation into the Smolensk Crash. The most alarming is the presence on the investigation team of a representative from the Aviacor Aviation Plant in Samara (“Aviacor”). In his capacity as Deputy Chief Engineer of the Aviacor, Alekseyev was directly responsible for the technical reliability of the airplane under investigation because at the time of the crash the Tu-154M airplane operated under valid warranty from Aviacor. Just 2.5 months before the crash, Aviacor performed major warranty work on this particular Tu- 154M. Similarly, the presence of Talalakin, a representative of the designer/manufacturer of the airplane under investigation, raises serious doubts as to his impartiality. Another member of the investigative team named Nekrasov serves as Deputy of the Airport Certification Committee of the IAC. In this capacity, Niekrasov issued IAC certificates for many airports including the certification for the airport in Sochi where on May 3, 2006, an Armenian plane crash-landed in bad weather. According to the IAC, the pilot was at fault. Armenia protested this finding, pointing out that the pilot did not receive appropriate support from the FCT.  Another member of the investigative team R.T. Yesayan publicly declaring that “they were seeking the ground and there was plenty of bodies.” With respect to the assessment of the work of the Smolensk FCT, Yesayan did not object to a statement by one of his experts that even “a chimpanzee could be seating and mumbling in the Flight Control Tower.”  Another member of the investigative team M.S. Kulikov as an expert on Civil Air Traffic Management had no appropriate qualifications with respect to air traffic management at the military airport like the 'Severny' Airfield in Smolensk.
The Interstate Aviation Committee that conducted the investigation into the Smolensk Crash acted from the position of conflict of interest in many important respects. The IAC, as the state regulator, certified the designer of this plane, its manufacturer, its servicer, the manufacturer of the engines, and the servicer of the engines. The average fee for the certification is in the range of three to five million dollars.  Accordingly, the IAC — as the agency responsible for quality control of the airplane, aircraft manufacturer, and the safety procedures at the airport — acted in direct conflict of interest in the investigation into the crash of the Tu-154M airplane in Smolensk.
The Tu-154M that crashed in Smolensk had experienced a major technical problem on landing in Haiti in January 2010. The IAC, as the agency overseeing Aviacor, took no action with respect to this incident. 
Continue to part 4
 IAC Final Report, English translation, p. 183.
 IAC Final Report, English translation, Article 3.1.59.
 The Polish Response in English, p. 142. The transcript of the cockpit recording with the command ‘go around' was published in August 2011. See: http://mswia.datacenter-poland.pl/protokol/Zalacznik_nr_8_-_Odpis_korespondencji_pokladowej.pdf
 Polish Response in English, p. 139.
 IAC Final Report, English translation, p. 103: A number of phrases recorded by the CVR (at 10:30:33 “Pan Director”: “So far no President’s decision what to do next” and at 10:38:00 unidentified voice 23: “He’ll go crazy if...”) show that the PIC was in psychologically difficult position. It was obvious that in case of missed approach and proceeding to the alternate airdrome the PIC could have to face negative reaction of the Main Passenger. As the phrase “He’ll go crazy if...” was said during the final turn the PIC could have changed his previous decision and decided to take the risk of descending lower than the decision altitude hoping to finally establish visual contact with the runway and land. See: http://www.mak.ru/russian/investigations/2010/files/tu154m_101/finalreport_eng.pdf
 The Polish Response in English, p. 66.
 See: http://www.tvn24.pl/-1,1699665,0,1,matprokuratura-nie-ma-zadnego-dowodu-na- naciski,wiadomosc.html
 Odpis Korespondencji Pokładowej, Załącznik 8, p. 118, as posted on November 7, 2011 at http://mswia.datacenter-poland.pl/protokol/Zalacznik_nr_8_-_Odpis_korespondencji_pokladowej.pdf
 Ibid. CVR transcript: S-Drugi pilot, A-Pierwszy pilot: 6:40:09.0 S- (Tam jest obniżenie?) 6:40:12.0 S- (Tam jest 6:40:12.5 obniżenie?), Arek. 6:40:13.0 A-(Wiem,) 6:40:13.5 (zaraz,) 6:40:14.0 (będzie.) 6:40:14.5 6:40:15.0 Tam, to jest taki ...?) There were five lowerings of the terrain on the path. See: http://m.naszdziennik.pl/zasoby/smolensk/ZalacznikiDoRaportuKoncowego.pdf
 TAWS serial number 237 and FMS serial numbers 291, 1577.
 IAC Final Report, English translation, pp. 105-107.
 Final Report of the Polish Commission for the Investigation of the State Airplane Accident Number 192/2010/11 of the airplane 154M nr 101 on April 10, 2010. See: http://m.naszdziennik.pl/zasoby/smolensk/RaportKoncowyTu-154M.pdf. According to this data submitted by the NTSB the recording took place at 6:41:02 with the speed of 270 km/h at the point N 54°49.483’ E 032°03.161’ at the corrected altitude of about 15 meters.
 Order of the Head of the State Commission No 225-рп.
 Aleksander Ścios, Zbrodnia Smoleńska; Anatomia Dezinformacji. Wydawnictwo Antyk, Warszawa 2011, p. 70.
 See: Adrian Blomfiled, “Russian to outlaw Criticism of WWII tactics.” The Telegraph, March 5, 2009, as retrieved on line on November 7, 2011 at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/4943814/Russia-to-outlaw-criticism-of- WWII-tactics.html.
 Order No8-498/р
 Ścios, Zbrodnia Smoleńska, p. 72.
 Ibid. p. 73.
 Per estimates of Michail Markov, the IAC received from Aviacor close to $ 25 million from certification fees. The credibility of the IAC is also challenged in connection with a major malfunction of the TU-154M airplane that took place in January of 2010 in Haiti. The IAC as the agency overseeing Aviacor took no action with respect to this incident.
 Ścios, Zbrodnia Smoleńska, p. 75.