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. 59
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.” 60 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. 61 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.
59 TAWS serial number 237 and FMS serial numbers 291, 1577.
60 IAC Final Report, English translation, pp. 105-107.
61 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://bit.ly/1d9rMnm. 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.
"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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