Crash of the Polish Air Force One, 2014 Status Report By Maria Szonert Binienda, J.D.
IV. Russian Investigation
C. Lack of Cooperation with the Polish Side
The total lack of cooperation with the Polish side by the Russian authority during the investigation process has been already described in Chapter 1 in connection with the violations of Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention. The withholding of a complete set of satellite pictures as well as the video recording from the Severny Airport from the time of the crash was discussed in Chapter 2. Disregarding the Polish Response by the Russians in their final report is discussed in Chapter 5 below. However, other examples of lack of cooperation with the Polish side in the investigation of the Smolensk Crash should be mentioned as well.
Russian officials seized all black boxes and other recorders at the crash site and ignored the request of the Polish Ministry of Defense not to open black boxes without the presence of the Polish officials. The Russian investigators conducted preliminary investigation of the black boxes on their own, while telling the Polish officials otherwise.
The key data from the flight data recorder ("FDR") was either not provided to the Polish side or presented in unreadable format. One of the black boxes K3-63 is officially listed as missing. This armored K3-63 analog recording device precisely documented many key flight parameters such as altitude, speed, and most importantly the crucial G-force, i.e. record of any shock against the airplane.60 Essential reports, including a detailed survey of the crash site, description of airplane debris, a toxicological analysis of the remains of the victims were not provided to the Polish side by the time the Russian Report was released. The Polish representatives were barred from taking part in the rescue operations, fly-around survey of the crash site, depositions of flight control group members, and were prevented from conducting the autopsies of the victims in Moscow, just to name a few examples.
60 “Lost in Action; Mysterious Story of K3-63 Recorder,” Freepl.info, January 17, 2013; http://bit.ly/1mCkvj1 (retrieved March 17, 2014).
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