Home

Database

Description

Updates

Links

Contact

 

 

10 April 2010 - Polish Air Force

The military jet crashed and was destroyed while attempting to land in dense fog and poor visibility. The crew requested permission to carry out a trial approach to a decision height of 100 m and told the controller to expect a go-around. A few seconds before impact, the autopilot and autothrottle were disconnected in order to execute a go-around. The airplane impacted upsloping terrain at a distance of about 1,100 meters from the runway and 40 m to the left of extended centerline.

The immediate cause of the accident was:
1. The failure of the crew to make a timely decision to proceed to an alternate airport although they were not once informed of the actual weather conditions at Smolensk, which were significantly lower than the established airport minima.
2. Descent without visual contact with ground references to an altitude much lower than minimum descent altitude for a go-around, in order to establish visual flight.
3. No reaction to the numerous TAWS warnings which led to controlled flight into terrain, aircraft destruction and death of the crew and passengers.

Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife were among the 96 people killed.

Excerpts translated into English

KEY
KVS: Captain
2P: Co-pilot/First Officer
B/I: Flight engineer
D: Air traffic control
A: Unknown/unrecognisable speaker
TAWS: Terrain awareness and warning system

10:06:05,0:
ST: 118,975, Polish Air Force 101, thank you, good day.
D: Bye.
2P: You're supposed to say, "Do swidanija".
ST: Well, I don't know, is it "Do swidaija", or...
2P: Or how?
ST: I wouldn't agree...
2P: "Dobroje ranieco".
2P: Say that, we'll see if he gets it (laughter).
2P: Dobroje ranieco.

10:11:01,5:
2P: No, I can see the ground... I can see something... It may not be a tragedy...
2P: Do you have something to write with?
ST: Yes, I do.
2P: So? Let's start getting ready.

10:11:34,7:
B/I: Can I have the air pressure and temperature too?
ST: How should I know (incomp.)?
2P: I don't know. No, tell them the temperature. Coooooooold. (laughter).
A: (incomprehensible)
A: (incomprehensible)
2P: Coooooooold.

10:14:06,5:
D: Polish Air Force 1-0-1, for information at 06:11 Smolensk visibility 400 meters fog.

10:17:40,2:
KVS: Not looking good, there's fog, it's unknown whether we'll land.
B/P: Yeah? (incomprehensible)
A: And if we don't land, then what?
KVS: We'll leave.
A: (incomprehensible)
A: What information do we have (incomprehensible) to Warsaw?
A: Around 7.
A: How much fuel?
2P: We have about 13-12.5 tonnes.
A: (incomprehensible)
2P: We'll make it!

10:24:22,3:
D: PLPH-2-0-1, there is fog at Korsaż, visibility 400 metres.

10:24:40,0:
D: There is fog at Korsaż, visibility 400 metres.

10:24:49,2:
KVS: Temperature and air pressure, please.
044: We greet you warmly. You know what, speaking honestly, it's a bitch down here. Visibility is about 400 metres and in our view the bases are below 50 metres, thick.
D: The temperature (incomp.), air pressure 7-45. 7-4-5, the landing conditions are nonexistent.
KVS: Thank you, if it's possible we'll try to approach, but if not, if the weather's bad, we'll circle around.
2P: Have you landed yet?
044: Yeah, we managed to land at the last minute. But speaking frankly, you can definitely       try. There are two APMs, they made a gate, so you can try, but... If you're unable by the second attempt, I advise you to try, for example Moscow, or somewhere [else].

10:25:55,1:
2P: According to them, it's about 400 visibility, 50 metres base.
A: How much?
A: 400 metres visibility, 50 metres base (incomp.)
A: (incomprehensible)
2P: No, they made it.
2P: He also said, that the fog (incomp.)
A: (incomprehensible)
KVS: Mr. director, there's fog...
KVS: At the moment, in the present conditions, we won't be able to set down.
KVS: We'll try to approach, we'll make one attempt, but most likely nothing will come of it.
KVS: If it turns out that (incomp.), what should we do?
KVS: We don't have enough fuel for this (incomp.).
A: Well, then we have a problem... {director Kazana}
KVS: We can hang around for half an hour and fly to the reserve.
A: What reserve?
KVS: Minsk or Witebsk.

10:27:45,9:
KVS: Ask Artur, if the clouds are thick.
2P: I don't know if they'll be there, that... If they're still there.
2P: Ok, I'll transfer.
2P: Artur, are you there?
A: (incomprehensible)
044: I'm Remek.
2P: Oh, Remuś, ask Artur, whether... Or maybe you know, are those clouds thick?
A: (incomprehensible)
A: (incomprehensible)
2P: How many?
KVS: 9-9, hold.
2P: 9-9.
A: (incomprehensible)
044: About 400-500 metres.
ST: Stay on course?
KVS: No.
ST: About 400-500 metres.
2P: But is that the thickness?
A: Visible.
044: Are you there?
2P: But is the thickness of the clouds 400-500 metres??
044: As far as I remember, at 500 metres we were still above the clouds.
2P: Ah... At 500 metres [you were] above the clouds... Good, good, thanks.
044: Ah... One more thing... The APMs are about 200 metres from the edge of the runway.
2P: Thanks.
2P: The APMs are there.
2P: 200 metres from the edge of the runway.
KVS: Ask if the Russians have landed yet.
2P: Have the Russians landed yet?
A: (incomprehensible)
022: They approached twice and I think they flew somewhere else.
2P: Ok, I understand, thanks.
2P: Did you hear that?
KVS: Great.

10:30:10,2:
KVS: Korsaz, Polish 101, holding 1500.
D: Ahh... Polish 1-0-1, according to pressure 7-4-5, descend 500.
KVS: According to pressure 7-4-5, descending 500.

10:30:32,7:
A: At the moment, there's no decision from the president about what to do next. {director Kazana}

10:32:58.8:
KVS: We're making our approach. In case of a failed approach, we ascend on autopilot.

10:34:45,2:
Signal at F=500 Hz.
A: 6.
D: PLF (incomp.) 500 copy?
KVS: We've descended 500 metres.
D: 500 metres, have you landed at a military airport before?
KVS: Flaps 15.
A: Lit.
KVS: Yes, of course.
D: Lights on the left, on the right, at the start of the runway.
KVS: Understood.
B/P: Captain, board ready for landing.
KVS: Thank you.

10:37:01,4:
044: Arek, the visibility is now 200.
KVS: Flaps.
A: (incomprehensible)
KVS: Thank you.

10:39:50,2:
Signal at F=845 Hz. Outer marker.

10:40:04,7:
TAWS:TERRAIN AHEAD.
D: 4 and on course.

10:40:32,4:
TAWS:TERRAIN AHEAD.
ST: 200.
KVS: Turned on.
ST: 150.
D: 2 and on course, on glideslope.
TERRAIN AHEAD, TERRAIN AHEAD.
A: 100 metres.
ST: 100.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
TAWS:TERRAIN AHEAD, TERRAIN AHEAD.
ST: 100.
(2P): In the norm.
ST: 90.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
ST: 80.
2P: Go around.
Signal at F=400 Hz. (Decision height).
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
ST: 60.
ST: 50.
D: Horizon 101.
ST: 40.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
ST: 30.
D: Height control, horizon.
ST: 20.
Signal at F=400 Hz. Autopilot disconnect.
Signal at F=800 Hz. Inner marker.
Signal at F=400 Hz. Autothrottle disconnect.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
TAWS:Signal at F=400 Hz. ABSU.
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL UP.
TAWS:Sound of hitting trees.
2P: F*cking hell!
TAWS:PULL UP, PULL
D: Abort to second approach!
A: Screaming F*ckkkkkkkkkkkk.....
END OF TRANSMISSION