2011 Independent Crash Investigation Update
IAC Investigation Conducted in Violation of International Agreements
Three days after the Smolensk Crash, the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation entered into an agreement to proceed with the investigation of the Smolensk Crash in accordance with the Chicago Convention. The parties agreed to proceed in accordance with Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention that governs aircraft accident and incident investigation (“Annex 13”). Accordingly, the Russian Federation as the State of Occurrence was in charge of conducting the investigation while the Republic of Poland designated its Accredited Representative to participate in the investigation in accordance with Article 5.18 of the Chicago Convention.
In the course of the investigation, the Polish Government acting through its Accredited Representative filed numerous motions and requests with respect to the investigation in accordance with Article 5.25 of Annex 13. Specifically, the Polish side submitted 222 inquiries for information to the Russian Federation. Only 34 inquiries were answered. The Russian Federation ignored or refused to acknowledge 169 inquiries, and partially answered 19 inquires. As a result of this lack of cooperation from the Russian side, the Polish Accredited Representative and his advisers were unable to fulfil their responsibilities under Annex 13.
Among the motions ignored or refused was a request for information regarding the assessment of the minimum airdrome conditions at the Smolensk airport, a request for video recordings of radar display readings by the Chief Air Traffic Controller on April 10, 2010 with respect to landing approach of the following flights: Il-76, Yak-40, Tu-154M, a request for photographic documentation from the crash scene, a request for data of the fly-around performed soon after the crash, and requests for inspection of communication and navigation aids. The Polish side did not receive any technical expertise of the wreckage debris or any data of two failed attempts of Il-76 landings prior to the crash of PLF 101. A motion to authorize the Polish Accredited Representative and two specialists to take part in the fly-around procedure was denied. A protest against this refusal was ignored as well as the protest against the refusal of the inspection of the RSP-6M2 radar system in Smolensk.
The Republic of Poland as the State having suffered fatalities of its President, First Lady, nine generals and the top leadership, was denied access to the relevant factual information with respect to rescue, first aid, survival data and autopsy examination in direct violation of Article 5.27 of Annex 13. As a result, the Polish side was unable to provide its response to vitally important parts of the IAC Final Report, including sections 1.13 Medical Tracing Examination, 1.14 Data on the Survival of Passengers, Crew Members and Others of the Aircraft Incident, and 3.1. Findings. In particular, the Russian side failed to provide to the Polish side the following information:
1) documentation of forensic examination of the crew of the aircraft, together with the results of toxicological and identification examination;
2) report of the inspection of the site; the Polish side has no knowledge as to where the specific inspection areas were located and how they were marked.5
The IAC Final Report provides no information about the rescue actions taken at the scene of the accident. The Polish side has not received any transcripts of communication or situational plans, reports of participants of the rescue and fire fighting teams, photographic documentation, including film footage, which is essential for proper assessment of the security level of Smolensk “Severny” airfield regarding fire fighting services, rescue operations and medical security. The Polish side was not given access to the protocol of surveillance of the location of the occurrence thus was not able to reply to Finding 3.1.67.
Similarly, the Polish side was not in the position to respond to Finding 3.1.68 of the IAC Final Report that the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Air Forces General Andrzej Blasik was present in the cockpit at the time of the impact with the ground. Furthermore, the Polish Side was not in the position to respond to the statement that the coronary examination revealed 0.6‰ of ethanol in the blood of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Air Forces. Results of testing the concentration of alcohol in the blood of the Polish Air Force Commander Blasik cannot be independently verified because of the unavailability of the source documentation. No authorized toxicological data and information as to when and how the material was secured for analysis was provided to the Polish side.6
All requests of the Polish side regarding the information with respect to smoke present in the vicinity of the airport on the day of the crash were denied. Regular citations made by the meteorologist from 4.00 a.m. UTC indicated the presence of smoke. The Polish inquiry as to the source of fires and smoke in the area surrounding the airport at the time of the crash and its adverse effect on atmospheric conditions was ignored as well. No information about the rescue and extinguishing of fires was provided. No reports regarding testing for traces of explosive materials were provided. Testing for non-conventional explosions were not made.
Only 19 full post-mortem reports were provided; the remaining 77 are either grossly inaccurate or not provided. Medical and pathological reports for some victims contain descriptions of organs that had been surgically removed from the victims long before the crash.7
The list of 169 Polish requests unanswered by the IAC as of December 19, 2010 remained unchanged after the official presentation of the IAC Final Report on January 13, 2010. In August 2011, the Polish side officially confirmed that no additional information regarding the outstanding 169 Polish inquires has been received from the Russian Federation.8
5 The Polish Response in English, p. 60.
6 The Polish Response in English, p. 143. In January 2011 IAC published on its website a document nr. 37 dated April 11, 2010 that purportedly represents testing of Gen. Błasik's blood. Medical experts point out that a natural alcohol is produced in the body within 24 hours from death and can reach even 1 percent. Therefore other tests are required to verify such findings. However the Russian side did not produce any other tests and did not present supporting documents.
"Ekspert: Błasik niekoniecznie pił" here: http://bit.ly/1ml9vXh and http://bit.ly/1mlaZRo and http://bit.ly/1mlb3Ao
7 See also:
"Rosja nie przekazała pełnej dokumentacji dot. sekcji zwłok ofiar katastrofy" http://bit.ly/1mlb6fK and
"Parulski: Kompletne materiały z sekcji tylko 18 ofiar" here: http://bit.ly/1mlbb2U
8 Official Statement of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs of August 2011.