Polish president dies in plane crash during heavy fog

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:06 PM GMT on April 10, 2010

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Always obey your air traffic controllers. That's the cardinal rule of of aviation, and one apparently violated by the pilot of the aircraft carrying the Polish president and dozens of the country's top political and military leaders, which crashed in heavy fog this morning near Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people aboard perished. According to the New York Times, air traffic controllers had recommended the president's jet land in nearby Minsk because of bad visibility, but the crew decided to land anyway. The Polish news channel TVN24 reported that moments before the crash, air traffic controllers had refused a Russian military aircraft permission to land, but that they could not refuse permission to the Polish plane. Russian media reported that the airplane's crew made several attempts to land before a wing hit the treetops and the plane crashed about half a mile from the runway.


Figure 1. a large patch of fog covers the Russian city of Smolensk and regions to the east in this visible light image captured by NASA's Terra satellite between 08:00 - 11:15 UTC Saturday, April 10, 2010. Image credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response System, visualized using Google Earth.

At 10 am local time, near the time of the crash, the Smolensk airport reported heavy fog with visibility 0.5 km (3/10 of a mile). As seen in the satellite image taken near this time (Figure 1), a large bank of fog covered Smolensk and neighboring regions of Russia and Belarus.

Jeff Masters

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RandrewL wont be around for long.
Comes and goes, like toothache. Unpleasant while it lasts though...
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i see you are your wunderful self

lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting Randrewx:



I'm sorry for your personal hurt Tampa.
But I also know how dissilusioned you now are regarding the Portlight operation on here.
Presslord has once again shown his colors and yet Dr. Masters continues to bang the drum in support of these ...whatevers.



Press is a great man, he's done so much for so little especially after the wake of Hurricane Ike and in Haiti.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
your way off and thats all i have to say about that
I don't think so but I won't argue with you. Sure sounds like it to me but maybe you know something I don't.
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Earthquakes have been in the news a lot so far in 2010. What I don't see anywhere is what is actually considered "normal". We know the average # of hurricanes & tornadoes for an area so what is Regional & Worldwide averages for various categories of earthquakes?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Heads up. Randrewx is JFV. Again, another alias.
your way off and thats all i have to say about that
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Heads up. Randrewx is JFV. Again, another alias.
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Quoting kmanislander:

Hi Pottery, wonderful to see you too. I just posted a reply but my wifi went out for a sec so this may double post.

The threat of an above average season is on the cards so we may be busy here come the peak months.


I truly hope not. But the signs are not looking good.
Keep well. Looking forward to your clear analysis again this season.
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I posted this link a few days ago but if anyone did not see it and has an interest in following the undersea expedition that just discovered the black smokers in the Cayman Trench you can go here for daily updates.

Cayman Trench Expedition Reports From the Ship
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Quoting pottery:
Well well well...
Hello Kman.
The 'season' must be approaching.LOL
Good to see you.

Hi Pottery, wonderful to see you too. I just posted a reply but my wifi went out for a sec so this may double post.

The threat of an above average season is on the cards so we may be busy here come the peak months.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Since TampaSpin had someone close to him die before their time a few days ago, I'd give him some slack. Just sayin'


SSIG i appreciate that, but What happened tonite was eye opening to many just not me. And thank you everyone for all the emails and kind words on my blog. It really is easy to see who your friends are in trying times! Thanks.

I would advice anyone that has not read my blog to do so. It might save yourself or a loved ones life. Unreal what happened.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
don't surprize me those trenches are some of the deepest in the world those hot vents will have some strange life down there in the depths

good kman how have ya been this winter


Not too bad thanks and trust you have been well. The summer heat began in earnest about 5 days ago and coupled with the dusty dry conditions it is most unpleasant here until the rains begin. That should happen in the next 4 weeks or thereabouts.

Time to crank up the a/c.
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Well well well...
Hello Kman.
The 'season' must be approaching.LOL
Good to see you.
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Quoting kmanislander:
World's deepest undersea vents discovered in the Cayman trough
don't surprize me those trenches are some of the deepest in the world those hot vents will have some strange life down there in the depths

good kman how have ya been this winter
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Since TampaSpin had someone close to him die before their time a few days ago, I'd give him some slack. Just sayin'
Agreed.
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Thanks for the info on the medium term forecast for Texas weather. Have bookmarked the site. Sigh... even drought tolerant plants need lots of water when they come back from the roots (as this year), so there goes my goal for getting water usage down for yet another year (planted about 150 bushes and cut another 100 +/- down to the roots... still waiting for 12 to come back).

Did you know windmills cause droughts (just kidding :) ). One of the more interesting "questions" I got while speaking on energy conservation and AGW was "don't you know it is all the windmills in West Texas that is causing the drought there". Seriously. Took me back for a second (anybody who is interested can google search this) but there are folks who are saying this (like, renewables are causing AGW?). Took me a second to comment on it but then if one is removing energy from the system (the weather system, that is), the second law of thermo still hasn't been repealed :). Windmills will produce cooling, not warming. Perhaps they might produce something akin to the urban heat island effect with local consequences, but removing energy (first law, thus heat) equals cooling.

Variation argument as with CO2 AGW... yah, simulation is garbage (I am a master at it myself but say that to shock folks since simulations are only as good as the physics that go into them), but at the end of the day CO2 is a GHG that will trap energy in the system ergo the temperature will go up.
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Quoting HURRICANECAT5:
ARE THE CARRIBBEAN WATERS REALLY COOLING?
If they are IDK because the buoys are showing water temps at 28C
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555. Skyepony (Mod)
It's cause the only thing out there to watch is a hail storm in TX.. Not a swirl in the world. Ya'll deserve a climate change abstract but I can't even find a recent one of those:)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
judge not least you be judged
My favorite quote and one not used often enough.
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Waning Crescent, 6% of the Moon is Illuminated
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125587
ARE THE CARRIBBEAN WATERS REALLY COOLING?
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All this discussion on plane crashes reminds me of the American Airlines flight that landed half way down the runway and crashed December 2009 in Kingston, Jamaica. Thank God no one died. Still haven't heard a word about a "final report" on the incident.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/american-airlines-flight-311-overshoots-runway-jamaica-dozens/story?id=94 08329

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Melodramatic much? Presslord was just being Presslord adding some levity to the blog; you can't ask for much more than that.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
judge not least you be judged
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting Randrewx:
NO MORE PORTLIGHT SPONSORSHIP efforts from me!


Sounds smart to me.



UNREAL!!! HOW DARE SOMEONE make laughs and jokes about such a horrible thing that killed 96 lives because of human error.

I would hope that Dr. Masters would end all sponsorship to such thinking and post as well.
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Cargo Transfers Continue From Leonardo to Station
Sun, 11 Apr 2010 09:57:49 PM EDT

The crew of space shuttle Discovery awoke at 9:51 p.m. EDT to “Because We Believe” by Andrea Bocelli for Commander Alan Poindexter.

The space station crew will focus on transferring items from the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module to the International Space Station, while Discovery’s crew enjoys some off duty time. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Naoko Yamazaki and Soichi Noguchi will talk to Japan’s Prime Minister at 6:41 a.m. and an English interpretation will be played on NASA Television at 8 a.m. The crews also will conduct interviews with reporters from ABC, MSNBC, FOX and KUSA TV in Denver. Late in the day, Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson will “camp out” in the Quest Airlock to rid their bodies of nitrogen in preparation for Tuesday’s third spacewalk.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125587
Quoting TampaSpin:
515. Drakoen 1:55 AM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting presslord:
Q "How far do you think we can fly in the fog?"

A "All the way to the crash site..."


lol?



We are making jokes and laughing about death. Are you all kidding. WOW!

better to laugh then cry
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting Randrewx:
NO MORE PORTLIGHT SPONSORSHIP efforts from me!


Sounds smart to me.



you guys are over-reacting here...
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...moon phase check, please...
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Quoting Bordonaro:


About 30-45 minutes ago we had a bright flash here in Arlington, TX. We all saw it from inside the house, no lightning or thunder here, just Pt Cloudy and mild. Was the meteorite very bright as it traveled across the skies


Interesting. Not particularly bright. Would not have noticed it if I was not sitting outside on a lounger. This was about 2 hrs ago, so big time diff. too.
Maybe, 'they' are comin' in tonight! From beyond......
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Ramp strikes are not usually survived, bolters normally get to try it again.



"U betcha"..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125587
I cannot believe what i have seen posted tonite from someone that is suppose to be a big time humanity person. WOW! Very disappointing to see the thinking and position of someone that is suppose to care so much about human life.
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Quoting Patrap:
Well..if one had a lil Knowledge one would never land short of a carrier in my estiamte..LOL

And Landing Middle Cable is preferred,but thats why one hits full Power at Contact,..

But you knew that?
Didnt,ya?

LOL


There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.
James A. Lovell


Ramp strikes are not usually survived, bolters normally get to try it again.
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Quoting pottery:
Saw an incredible Meteorite this evening, south-west to north-east.
Left a trail of scarlet stuff behind and I thought at the time "...I should be able to HEAR that!
Pretty sight.


About 30-45 minutes ago we had a bright flash here in Arlington, TX. We all saw it from inside the house, no lightning or thunder here, just Pt Cloudy and mild. Was the meteorite very bright as it traveled across the skies
Action: Quote | Ignore User

Pat...maybe you oughta check on the ISS...
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Quoting Bordonaro:

The Polish government was probably under pressure from their own superiors on board the plane to land the plane and not divert to another airport. It appears to just be a tragic accident, their pilots were probably very good pilots, but misjudged the situation.


Good post. Also, with that level of Passengers on board, there would have been all kinds of issues with Meeting Parties, Security, Transport arrangements etc.
The Crew made a decision, and it went bad.
We do NOT know as yet, what exactly happened to cause the crash. And maybe never will.
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Quoting pottery:
Saw an incredible Meteorite this evening, south-west to north-east.
Left a trail of scarlet stuff behind and I thought at the time "...I should be able to HEAR that!
Pretty sight.


About 30-45 minutes ago we had a bright flash here in Arlington, TX. We all saw it from inside the house, no lightning or thunder here, just Pt Cloudy and mild. Was the meteorite very bright as it traveled across the skies
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I think it's probably human nature if you're a pilot to defend the pilot, so it's not surprising to see some of these posts.

Here's the thing, though... You have heavy fog, an airport without instrument landing systems or lights. (Yeah, not even landing lights, just a lit antenna tower nearby.) The controllers are ordering the pilot to stop descending and land elsewhere. There have already been three unsuccessful attempts to land, and the lives of the pilot's most important military and political leaders are at stake.

It's extraordinarily unlikely that any experienced pilot would choose to attempt another landing under these circumstances unless they were told to do so by a superior. Add to that that Kaczynski had a history of pressuring pilots to land, so even if the pilot was not ordered to land, he might have felt pressure to do so.

It's tragic all the way around.
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Quoting presslord:
The disturbing thing, I suspect, is not that I'm laughing at death...but that I'm laughing at stupidity...

The Polish government was probably under pressure from their own superiors on board the plane to land the plane and not divert to another airport. It appears to just be a tragic accident, their pilots were probably very good pilots, but misjudged the situation.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting TampaSpin:
NO MORE PORTLIGHT SPONSORSHIP efforts from me!


heheheheh, Weirdness on a Sunday night.
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531. Skyepony (Mod)
Some hail over TX/OK..floater 1 is on it.
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Quoting presslord:
The disturbing thing, I suspect, is not that I'm laughing at death...but that I'm laughing at stupidity...


What a revelation
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.