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.” 58 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.
54 58 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://bit.ly/1d9qpF8
"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.
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