Crash of the Polish Air Force One, 2014 Status Report By Maria Szonert Binienda, J.D.
II. Air Navigation - Overview
 Photo (left): Air Traffic Control Tower at Severny Airport in Smolensk on April 10, 2010
The work of the Flight Control Group ("FCG") is one of the most significant and most controversial aspects of the Smolensk Crash. The FCT is frequently identified as directly responsible for the Smolensk Crash because the actions and decisions of the FCG led the Polish crew to their death by falsely and repeatedly assuring the Polish pilots that the airplane was on course and on glide path.
Furthermore, the eastern direction for the approach to the Smolensk ‘Severny’ runway chosen for landing of the Polish Tu-154M should have never been allowed since this direction of the landing approach was specifically forbidden for this particular runway in fog and bad weather conditions.20
Despite a series of fundamental problems with the performance of the FCG at the Severny Airport on April 10, 2010, including obvious violations of Russian Federal Regulations, the Russians found no errors, irregularities or violations of law in the operations of the FCG.21 Various analyses presented in the Russian Report address a number of ancillary issues but disregard the most important analysis of the FCD performance.
21 According to the Russian Report (p. 116), the Flight Control Group actions during the approach did not contribute to the accident. Professional level of the FCG of Severny Airdrome in Smolensk complied with the regulations. The FCG, using the available equipment informed the crew on the aircraft position on approach down to the established decision altitude. The operation of the navigation aids and lighting equipment and the runway condition did not affect the accident causes.
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