About the author: Dr. Szuladzinski received his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology in 1965 and Doctoral Degree in Structural Mechanics from University of Southern California in 1973.
1966 to 1980: He worked in the United States mostly in the fields of aerospace and nuclear industries. The major employers were Northrop Corp. (structural design/analysis of Boeing 747 fuselage) Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena (Viking spaceship) Parker Hannifin (helicopter control mechanisms) and Aerojet General (nuclear plant structures and postulated accidents).
There were a number of small projects taken up on consulting basis and relating to aerospace structures. He has done extensive work in computer simulation of seismic events and other dynamic conditions, as related to nuclear plant safety as well as military hardware. See complete technical profile here.
Report No. 456
SOME MECHANICAL AND STRUCTURAL ASPECTS OF THE SMOLENSK AIR CRASH
by Dr. Gregory Szuladzinski, MSME
Independent Technical Advisor to Parliamentary Committee
for Investigation of the Catastrophe of the TU-154 M on April 10, 2010
The incident took place in the Russian Federation on April 10, 2010, when the plane, a Tu-154M, owned by the Government of Poland attempted to land in Smolensk. On board there was the President of Poland, Dr. Lech Kaczynski, with his wife and many VIPs, a total of 96 people. Most of them were his closest staff, commanders of Polish armed forces, president of the central bank and leaders of Sejm, the Parliament of Poland. All of them including the flight crew died as a result of this accident.
In view of the known facts the purpose of the following analysis is to determine the physical reasons that lead to the catastrophe. The available data are: The number and the size distribution of the fragments found after the crash along with some navigation data. Most of the information and photographs were made available by the Polish Parliamentary Committee for Investigation of the Crash and from Dr. Kazimierz Nowaczyk and Dr. Wieslaw Binienda, experts of the Committee. A substantial amount of data was provided by Marek Dabrowski, MSAE. A quantitative analysis of the spread of the debris is not undertaken in this report.
Summary of Results
The destruction of the plane was initiated while it was still airborne, approaching landing. One explosion took place in the left wing, at about one-third length from the fuselage. This had a strong local effect on the wing, causing its split into two parts. A secondary effect was partial damage to other major structural connections. A second explosion took place inside the fuselage. It caused massive destruction and fragmentation of the fuselage into several major parts and hundreds of smaller pieces. The landing itself (or fall) in the wooded area, no matter how adverse, and at what angle, could not in any way result in fragmentation to the documented extent.
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