Frank Del Gandio
of Air Safety Investigators
Dear President Del Gandio,
In your conference program there are two presentations by Polish speakers, one by Maciej Lasek entitled “International Accident Investigation for Military Plane Crash: Smolensk Case,” and the other by Piotr Lipiec, entitled, “Political Dimensions of the Smolensk Accident Investigation.” These two lectures cause considerable concern.
Both presenters are government officials who previously participated in the official Polish investigation of this 2010 crash. As you undoubtedly know, the crash took the lives of Polish President Lech Kaczyński, the First Lady, and much of the government elite, including top military leaders of the Polish Armed Forces. It was unfortunate that the official investigation simply echoed the Russian conclusions rather than provided original analyses. The Polish commission (State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation SCAAI) investigating the Smolensk crash, also called the Miller Commission, did not investigate the airplane wreckage, crash site, original black box recordings, basic documentation of Smolensk Airport, airdrome surroundings, and did not participate in the autopsies of the victims. Most importantly, the last 10 seconds of flight, where dramatic events took place, were practically ignored. In all these matters, the Polish side relied on Russian claims without independently verifying these findings. As a result, the Polish report, like the Russian report, blamed the Polish pilots for causing the crash.
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The office of Polish Prime Minister established a special committee led by Dr. Lasek to disseminate and explain to the Polish public findings of the Miller Commission. This committee was organized three years after the Smolensk crash when it became apparent that some evidence in the Smolensk investigation was falsified. Working under the auspices of the government as a subsidiary body of the Office of Prime Minister, this committee is promoting the Russian version of events adopted without proper investigation by the Miller Commission. This new task force consists exclusively of members of the Miller Commission, all its members receive salaries from the Polish government.
There has been concern that ISASI is being used to further one-sided governmental pronouncements. Chair, Dr. Maciej Lasek, attacked on his official websites Frank Taylor, an accomplished independent investigator of airplane crashes, who is a member of ISASI. Mr. Lasek has tried to undermine the credibility of Mr. Taylor. The real reason for Mr. Lasek’s attack on Mr. Taylor was his critical remarks about the Russian MAK report and the Polish Miller Commission report regarding the Smolensk investigation.
Dear President Del Gandio, we urge that you assure an open evaluation of the Smolensk case. Many accomplished investigators disagree with the Russian version of event that was repeated without appropriate critical analysis by the Polish government. Please note that on August 21, 2015, the main legal expert of SCAAI, Professor Marek Zylicz, publicly appealed for reopening of the investigation into the Smolensk crash, taking into account the new evidence unearthed by the Parliamentary Committee that has investigated independently the Smolensk crash and considered opinions and analyses of a variety of preeminent international experts.
In this context lectures by Mr. Lasek and Mr. Lipiec should be viewed as political propaganda rather than professional analysis. It would be unprecedented to have your annual assembly used as an opportunity for dissemination of political propaganda and disinformation rather than free and open inquiry. We urge you to hear multiple viewpoints, presented by participants of three consecutive conferences devoted to Smolensk Crash. All three conferences were organized by professors from the largest universities in Poland. Dr. Lasek and his collaborators were invited to participate in all three conferences but they declined the invitation to avoid open discussion. We also urge you to listen to international experts, particularly such experts as Frank Taylor, Glenn Joergensen, Bogdan Gajewski, Wieslaw Binienda, Wacław Berczyński, Grzegorz Szuladziński and Kazimierz Nowaczyk. At the same time we can guarantee that all materials produced by the Parliamentary Committee headed by Antoni Mcierewicz MP and its experts in the course of their investigation into the Smolensk crash will be available to you and the ISASI. The Parliamentary Committee consists of 145 Members of Parliament and Senators from across the political spectrum and reaches out for the expert opinion worldwide.
Thank you for your consideration.
Wacław Berczyński, Ph.D.
Wiesław Binienda, Ph.D. F.ASCE
Glenn Joergensen, MSME
Kazimierz Nowaczyk, Ph.D.
Grzegorz Szuladziński, Ph.D.