FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) expert Grzegorz Makowski questions the credibility of the official Smolensk crash investigation. An interview with Grzegorz Makowski, FAA Expert
Grzegorz Makowski, FAA Expert
Q: What areas of aviation do you specialize in?
Makowski: I feel uncomfortable speaking about specific areas in which I specialize. I would rather talk about my competencies and experience. I will mention just a few of them. As the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) inspector, I participated in the creation of four air-crash accident reports. This signifies that I possess the necessary knowledge of the procedures carried out by the NTSB as well as the FAA regarding such incidents. These include analysis and observation of the debris, wreckage, and their context, as well as the analysis of communications, and communication systems aboard air vessels.
I also worked for the United States Department of Defense where I utilized various technologies. Because of that I had opportunity to familiarize myself with the effects and characteristics of operation of numerous types of explosives, weapons, and ordnance.
I created computer models for viewing many systems used in civilian and military aircraft engines, including shafts, discs, compressors, turbines, airfoils, etc.
Simply put, I don’t like to speak about myself.
Q: Which air crashes did you investigate?
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
Q: Did you follow developments in the Smolensk crash in the context of your professional expertise?
Makowski: Yes, I followed it as much as I could, but in 2010 my vision deteriorated considerably, and I had to undergo a surgery on my right eye. This fact limited my abilities at the time. I even remember that one of my friends asked me to analyze images of TU-154 engines after 10.04.2010. Although, I really wanted to do that, I was not able to do so because of my vision. I followed these developments as much as I could at the time. However, almost from the very beginning, I knew that Poland would never receive any data, or data systems from [the crashed] Tu-154, not to mention the wreckage itself. I knew that a normal investigation procedure of this air crash would never happen. For these reasons I stayed away from discussing these issues with “trolls”, or the official representatives of Poland’s current government, because it would not result in anything of real value anyhow. If these people were ever interested in facts and facts alone, they would have never accepted [premeditated] destruction of evidence, withholding of the black boxes, or the wreckage itself; or better said, whatever is left from it. Truthfully, this is really both the beginning and the end of any serious conversation about the 2010 Smolensk crash - at least from a professional perspective. I am reluctant to mention the official “accident” reports published by the Russian Federation that is formally ruling Poland, because all that they are, is one big scandal.
Q: Do you know of any credible investigation that was ever conducted without access to the black boxes or the wreckage?
Makowski: No. In each and every instance, unobstructed access to the onboard computer systems [black boxes] and to the wreckage was necessary and expected.
Q: I already know that you reject Anodina and Miller’s versions of the crash. To what extent do you doubt the accuracy of what these reports tell us?
Makowski: The very fact that Russians took possession of everything virtually disqualifies everything. Because, all that followed was a slew of lies and manipulations. One only has to follow the many statements, announcements and retractions that followed, or to compare the documents; even the official ones. Does one even have to be an expert to see through this? I don’t think so. What about the details - you may ask? It is difficult to say anything not having either the black boxes or the wreckage. But, having access to the analysis and available materials, I can tell you that this crash was not caused by the weather, or by a pilot’s mistake. If that were the case, the wreckage, black boxes, and all onboard systems would have been returned to Poland a long time ago. Don’t you agree?
Q: Despite insurmountable difficulties with access to the evidence, the Antoni Macierewicz’s Parlimentary Commission, and independent scientists who are part of the “Smolensk Conference” group forge forward in their independent investigation. Their findings, in particular as of late, suggest a hypothesis of at least two explosions onboard. How do you assess probability of such explosions onboard?
Makowski: All that the Parliamentary Group of Antoni Macierewicz has accomplished is something extraordinary, and at the same time encouraging. After all these “small” details analyzed by them are in many respects all that we have that is of any value. The crash-scene photographs are all-inclusive in what they tell us; if this was an ordinary accident these photos should depict something different. Let us not forget about the surviving parts of the wreckage at the crash scene that were moved [by the Russians] so that they would fit into their “official fairytales”. Need I say anything else? It is regrettable that we don’t have public access to the satellite photos that Poland received form the U.S. government shortly after the crash. I am sure however, that we will see them at some point. It is unfortunate that having access only to the materials that were publically published by the Russians and those who govern Poland presently, obstructs the Macierewicz Parliamentary Group from carrying out its investigation. For me personally, these [official report] documents deal with everything except the facts concerning the 2010 Smolensk crash.
Q: However, this somewhat contradicts what you said earlier, as you also say that there are things that can be analyzed. You are an expert, among other things, in aircraft engines. Several months ago, Antoni Macierewicz’s Parliamentary group released to the public information that the Polish Government TU-154 engines failed before the alleged impact with the so-called “Armored Birch”. These findings were reached upon analysis of the so-called “Polish Black Box”, indicating increased vibration in the engines. These very vibrations are attributed, by the Lasek’s government experts, to the tree branches that found their way into the engines. Which scenario do you consider more likely?
Makowski: Again, I must repeat: Without the wreckage it is hard to say 100% what happened to the engines, although what the Parliamentary Group presented is far more probable. However, I will not comment on the “tree branches discovered” by the Lasek’s group, because it is a waste of time.
Q: The Nasz Dziennik reported recently that the Miller’s Commission experts brought Video-endoscopes to Smolensk. They were to be used to examine the interior of the wreckage elements, including the engines. They were not used however, allegedly because the engines were dirty. One would think that it is silly to expect the crash remains to be sterile. Are you convinced by this argument?
Makowski: This is not an argument. This is a joke. Video-endoscopes as well as Bore-scopes are used, among other things, to locate FOD [Foreign Object Debris] during manufacturing, repairs, or crash disasters, and many others. I have nothing more to add to this.
Q: In your assessment, what can be done with the Smolensk crash investigation after the present government, and the political climate in Poland changes?
Makowski: Above all, what is necessary is to continue doing what the Parliamentary Group of Mr. Marcierewicz has been doing all this time. I also have in mind what 1Maud said on her blog: “The role of the people engaged in finding the causes [of this crash] is to force the Polish government to establish a credible commission to investigate it. It is necessary to engage credible international experts. The government can be forced to do that once its lies, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies in the official reports (or, gaps in the Prosecutors’ Office investigation) are exposed.”
Many people are doing just that; many incredible and smart people are doing it, and each one of them, even those lacking formal [technical] backgrounds, are capable of recognizing and identifying many glaring contradictions. At one point, these studies, analysis, comparisons, and conclusions will help us to fully understand the “Smolensk 2010 events”. I say “events” on purpose, because without the wreckage and black boxes it is difficult to prove that it was an “accident”. Similarly, it is difficult to corroborate other conclusions as well. There is one more thing: We have to invest in informing international public opinion about all of this nonsense promoted by [Russian] MAK, and the “temporary” purveyors of power in Poland. Money is often a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous people, but at the same time it can be a weapon in the hands of the people who seek the truth. This truth exists, because if it did not we would not have science.
Thank you for speaking with us.
This interview was conducted by Cezary Krysztopa in Blogpublika.com
"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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