An interview with Lieutenant Artur Wosztyl, Flight Captain on the YAK-40 whose landing preceded the mysterious crash of Flight PLF101 that killed Poland's president Lech Kaczynski, and 95 others on April 10, 2010. Captain Artur Wosztyl, was a member of the 36th Special Aviation Transportation Regiment, SPLT [Pol. 36 Specjalny Pułk Lotnictwa Transportowego].
Above: Captain Artur Wosztyl
Q: The “Gazeta Polska” article entitled “The family doesn’t believe in suicide” revealed the content of depositions given by key witnesses in the investigation of the mysterious “suicide” death of your colleague, [ensign Remigiusz Muś] and the investigation that ensued. The family of Remigiusz Muś complained about the behavior of our government and its military institutions. How do you interpret their statements?
A: After the [April 10, 2010] crash [of the Polish Air Force One Tu-154M, near Smolensk, Russia] we [the pilots] were simply left abandoned. We neither received support from the military, nor from our national institutions. We were not given any counseling. We were not given an opportunity to continue serving [our Nation] as members of its military, but rather, we were forced to leave. At the same time, not only were we thrown out on the street, and became like piranhas, but we were forbidden to make any statements about the crash [of Flight PLF 101] to the media – hence, becoming its proverbial prey; not to mention, that General Majewski accused us of breaking the law.
Q: Did this event mark the beginning of what appears to be the vilification of the entire crew of the Yak-40 [that landed in Smolensk on April 10, 2010, shortly before the crash of flight PLF 101]?
A: It was surely strange, because on June 10, 2010, the [the 36th Special Aviation Regiment’s] spokesman, Lt. Col. Robert Kupracz released a statement to the PAP [Pol. Polish Press Agency – Polska Agencja Prasowa], which stated: “The April 10, 2010 landing procedure of the Yak-40 aircraft was the subject of an official inquiry. The Commission ascertained that the weather conditions at the time permitted for the [safe] continuation of the flight [and landing].” Lo and behold, on December 23, 2010, however, general Majewski issued a [contradictory] statement via a facsimile, stating that the crew of Yak-40 was to be reprimanded for some reason. It was based on alleged, and baseless allegations found in annex 1 to this inquiry, that in no uncertain terms, stated that 9 minutes prior to landing (at 07:06 Warsaw time), visibility was 2,000 meters, and cloud cover was 150 meters; and that 11 minutes prior [to the Yak-40 landing] the visibility was 1,000 meters, and cloud cover was at 100 meters.
Above: Yak-40 piloted by Capt. Wosztyl in Smolensk, Russia
Later, they shoved a document in our faces, demanding that we were all to sign it, stating that we should all “voluntarily” admit to some sort of phony guilt. I told them, that I will never sign such rubbish, because [on April 10, 2010] I approached [the Smolensk airfield] by the book - via NDB for this airfield; the air-traffic controller relayed to us that the “visibility was 1,500 meters”, and not even once, did he say that there were any sort of adverse weather conditions, and similarly, adverse cloud cover. According to this airfield’s permissible NDB landing instructions, the visibility was at 1,500 meters. Similarly, an NDB+RSL approach at the time was 1,000 meters, with the cloud cover at 100 meters. From this moment on, they began to inflict (the proverbial) pain on us, because Gen. L. Majewski wanted to very quickly get it all done and over with. When we refused [to sign this phony admission of “guilt” statement], they began to intimidate all of us. They told us that we will never be allowed to fly again, that they will revoke our pilots’ licenses, and that they will send us so far - that it will be years and years before this case will ever be solved - and in the end they will simply kick us out of the military. Since this case was never to be resolved, by order of the [new] Commander and Chief of the [Polish] Air Force, I was precluded from piloting any VIP flights, and was demoted from the rank of Flight Captain, to the rank of Second Pilot.
Q: Did these pressures have an adverse effect on you, and your colleagues? Did you ever think that [your friend, and YAK-40 crew member] Remigiusz Muś, would commit suicide?
A: This witch-hunt had undoubtedly affected us all negatively. I spoke with Remek [Remek is short for Remigiusz in Polish] one week before his death. I called him because one of the families of the [Flight PLF 101] victims invited the entire YAK-40 crew to take part in a press conference. While speaking with him, I didn’t notice anything that would indicate that he was under any psychological duress. [To the contrary], he communicated to me that he was going to start his own business, and that he had a number of appointments with his prospects that he had followed up on. This [slew of “suicides”] is a real mystery to me.
[Translator’s Note: After the unexplained “suicide” of Ensign Remigiusz Muś, a key witness in the investigation of the crash of Flight PLF101, the Antoni Macierewicz Parliamentary Commission investigating the causes of this crash, requested that Flight Captain Wosztyl be placed in protective custody. Its request was denied by the Polish government.]
"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.
Remigiusz Mus, the flight engineer on Yak-40 whose landing immediately preceded PLF 101 and whose testimony implicated the Russian flight controllers, died of suicide.
This rounds out the death of the entirety of key witnesses whose testimonies could prove that the flight controllers bore at least partial responsibility for the mysterious crash that killed the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others near Smolensk, Russia, on April 10, 2010.
Suicide. So says the Polish Prosecutors office under the administration of Donald Tusk, Bronislaw Komorowski, and the Civic Platform party (Platforma Obywatelska, PO) - the people who came out on top following the disaster of Flight PLF 101. The position of the Prosecutors office is that the autopsy indicated death by hanging with no defensive wounds and and alcohol level of one permille (.01%).
General Konstantin Anatolyevich Morev, chief of the Federal Security Services (FSB), successor to KGB, office in Tver, who interviewed the Russian flight controllers, died at the end of August 2011. His body was found in his office. The official cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound from his service revolver.
Not a single member of the Special 36th Aviation Transportation Regiment who testified before the Poland’s Military Prosecutor’s office said anything disparaging about the crew of the TU-154 or General Andrzej Błasik. To the contrary, the sworn testimonies of the deposed airmen praised the late Air Force commander and the crew for their professionalism.
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