Crash of the Polish Air Force One, 2014 Status Report
By Maria Szonert Binienda, J.D.
V. Russian Report
C. Manipulations and Misrepresentations
Many presented facts, allegedly based on data from the black boxes, Cockpit Voice Recorder, etc., were manipulated or misinterpreted. The analog black box K3-63 was allegedly never found while data from digital black boxes was presented in the illegible format, time scales on charts presenting data from black boxes were arbitrarily changed. The location of debris on the crash scene was manipulated; CVR read-out was inaccurately interpreted to fit the political message of blaming the President of Poland, Commander in Chief of the Polish Air Force, and the best Polish pilots.
Problems with Flight Data Recorders
Although there were five data recorders on the plane, the Polish side does not have any reliable data from the last seconds of the fatal flight. The main flight data recording system MSRP-64 made in Russia consisted of the catastrophic tape recorder MŁP-14-5 installed in the tail of the airplane and operational data recorder KBN-1-1 installed near the cockpit. This MŁP-14-5 recorder found by the Russians on the day of the crash showed signs of being subjected to high temperature even though it was recovered outside the fire zone. ATM QAR quick access data recorder was made in Poland and collected the same data as the Russian MSRP-64 recorder plus additional engine data. MARS-BM was a digital 4-channel sound data recorder. This CVR recorder was found near the marks of the first contact with the ground on the day of the crash. The K3-63 recorder located in the center of the airplane to record speed, acceleration and altitude data, was the only analog recorder. Out of the five, this data recorder allegedly was never found.
The Russian Report is based on the data obtained from the data recorder KBN-1-1 made in Russia. A Polish copy of this recording ends several second short of the last minute, thus becomes useless in the analysis of the last phase of the flight. The most important last half second of the data obtained from a quick access data recorder ATM-QAR/R128ENC made in Poland was deleted and replaced with additional 2 seconds of poor quality data from the catastrophic data recorder MŁP-14-5. As a result, the only data available to the Polish side from the last seconds of the flight is that from the catastrophic data recorder MŁP-14-5 of very poor quality. 67
. (right) Recorded left roll from parallel recorders. Source: K. Nowaczyk
Data recovered from some of the aircraft’s recording devices have been subject to arbitrary alterations and some of the data from FMS and TAWS logs have not been included in the Russian analysis at all. Figure 15 shows an example of significant differences between recorded values by Russian KBN recorder (red) and Polish QAR recorder (blue). Both recorders are collecting data from the same sensors.
The grey area at the bottom of the graph in Figure 15 indicates a place where the Russian analytic program WinArc32 used by IAC removed “uncertainly” data points.
Hidden TAWS#38 – “Event Landing”
The Russian Report omits TAWS #38 event landing completely. See Figure 16.68 The blue line (TAWS baro-altitude) does not contain any explicit information from TAWS #38 or any of the FMS logs. The last mark on the blue line indicates TAWS #37.
. (right) No TAWS 38 in the Russian Report
Data from the aircraft’s Flight Management System (FMS) and Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS”) have been recovered by a team of experts working for the US instruments’ manufacturer – Universal Avionics Systems Corporation based in Tucson, Arizona. The decoded logs from these devices were made publicly available by the Polish Investigation Committee on September 5, 2011.
The Russian Report only mentions these logs without releasing their contents. It does not even mention TAWS log No. 38 or any of the Fault Logs. But TAWS 38 located 115 meters in straight line after the birch tree proves that the aircraft could have not collided with the birch tree blamed for causing the crash. Thus, the omission of this indicator made the official scenario of a collision with the birch tree possible.
Furthermore, according to recovered FMS data, the moment when the central memory system stop recording any further data occurred when the aircraft was at the altitude of 17 meters and its geographical position was about 50 meters from the area of initial impact with the ground.
Vertical Acceleration Ignored
. (right) Vertical acceleration from Russian and Polish black boxes. Source: K. Nowaczyk
Figure 17 shows a vertical acceleration chart from the Russian Report (red line),69 and the same data from the Polish QAR recorder (blue line).
Both graphs show two peaks occurring in very fast succession, on the order of one tenth of a second. They both occur before TAWS #38, around 200 m before crash site. These strong changes of acceleration must have been caused by a powerful downward-acting force but are not explained in the Russian Report.
67 See: Marek Dąbrowski, “Podsumowanie i kierunki dalszych badań nad zachowaniem samolotu. Dane, możliwości i problemy badawcze.” II Konferencja Smoleńska, October 21-22, 2013; http://bit.ly/1mCpuQO, (retrieved March 28, 2014). Limited data was available to the Polish investigation. File MLP-14-5B did not contain data from April 10. File MLP-14-5A contained flight data from April 7, 8 and 10, but the critical data of April 10 was of poor quality, so no useful data could be extracted.
68 Figure 16 corresponds with Figure 46 of the Russian Report.
69 Figure 17 corresponds with Figure 45 in the Russian Report.