Monday, May 03, 2010

Polish Prosecutor Looks for Clues on Weather Forecasts, Briefings and Notifying Pilots on Changing Weather Conditions

Here is a translated article.

One of the hypotheses that the military prosecutor examines the reasons for establishing the presidential Tupolev crash near Smolensk, is a bad organization and security of flight, including abnormalities of the Polish and Russian ground staff. According to Rzeczpospolita prosecutors seized documents from the Centre for Hydrometeorology of the Armed Forces (CHSZ).

Who should warn pilots

Military Hydrometeorology Centre, which is responsible for informing the pilots about weather conditions, with poor visibility due to fog in the vicinity of the airport Smolensk-Siewiernyj learned just minutes before the crash (if we assume that the Tu-154 crashed into the ground in the chair. 8.41) - fixed " Rom.

Dispatch Synoptic Okecie Airport was alarming: "visibility in Smolensk to 500 meters, the sky invisible."

Meanwhile, the presidential Tupolev pilots from 96 people on board the last message of the weather conditions in Smolensk received just prior to departure from Okecie of 7.27. Came from the chair. 5.00 and - as it turned out - was long obsolete. She talked about the good visibility in Smolensk. There were no warning about having to come thick fog.

Another telegram arrived Polish after three hours. Approximately 8.25 meteorologist on duty Okecie Airport Okecie handed controller information from dispatch of civilian synoptic meteorological station in Smolensk, a very dense fog with visibility to half a kilometer. These data came from the chair. 8.00. Tu-154 for over half an hour he was in the air. But no one warned the pilots.

Who should do it? In addition to the Hydrometeorological Center of the Armed Forces also Air Operations Center (COP), which according to the instructions of the Head of Defense is responsible for overseeing the security of flights of aircraft designated as "Head" (the most important person in the Republic - the so-called. VIP).

Why not alarmed Tu-154 of the dramatically worsening conditions and ordered him not landing on the aerodrome?

This is not practice

The reason for the lack of procedures. For when the Polish services already knew about the bad weather conditions in Smolensk, the presidential Tupolev approached the airport Siewiernyj. He was thus in the Russian zone and that air service to its conflict should be informed of the change of weather conditions. This is confirmed by Lt. Col. Robert Kupracz, a spokesman for the Air Force.

- Information at the request of the crew provide area control of air, which at the moment there is an aircraft or airport controller Smolensk-Siewiernyj - he says.

Nowadays it is not known whether the Russian controller and how did it sounded Polish pilots transmitted messages. Perhaps this explains the record of the black boxes. The head of the committee to investigate the causes of the disaster George Miller, Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration, refused to "Government" to provide such information.

However, the Centre for Hydrometeorology and the Armed Forces, and Air Operations Center can provide such information to the Tu-154 with radio communications.

- There is a technical possibility, but did not practice - explains Lt. Col. Kupracz. And reserves: - weather conditions for landing did not specify Hydrometeorological Center of the Armed Forces, but the airport controller Siewiernyj Smolensk, which gives them the crew.

How to grant anonymous military pilot, this could be changed, but you have to introduce appropriate regulation. - In case of such flights or how to Smolensk CHSZ or COP have no ability to respond, to prohibit the landing and driving to other airports. Procedures must be, because nobody, not even the head of the COP, not the command releases an "lądujcie not." Reason? - Immediately lose position - he explains.

Data every three hours

In addition, meteorological data Hydrometeorology Center receives ongoing communication from all major airports in the list of ICAO. But as is clear from the information "Rom", data from the Smolensk-Siewiernyj airport are not available in the international network for the exchange of meteorological data. This means that the meteorological data are not transmitted every hour, but every three. There are also more limited, for example, does not send the warning information. In addition, the Smolensk-Siewiernyj airport does not have a meteorological station, which makes the measurements.

The controller sets so that the conditions prevailing at the airport were the Eye - on the runway visibility is determined according to the benchmarks, including poles, trees, waist.

- If the airport does not have such bases in the world, the site also should be our man, who przekazywałby latest information about the weather or the state of the airport runway - says one of the military pilots. - But that does not happen.

Why? - Always it comes to savings, and where to send that person to the place you would have to pay a diet after all - says our informant. - Besides, there is a perception that the pilots we always manage.

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