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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Quoting Drakoen:


"A top Russian military official said air traffic controllers at the Smolensk airport had several times ordered the crew of the plane not to land, warned that it was descending below the glide path and recommended it reroute to another airport."

NY Times
Both are a copy/paste of a news report. I don't copy/paste. When I KNOW something, I'll forward it...
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477. beell
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476. beell
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Guys we need the rain really bad no I hope we get some of this in the GOM
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
474. beell
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
LOL...you regulars get off the main topic and you lose your area of expertise and we get to this. Jeff Masters, if you have any questions about my original post, I welcome your comments, and , no Sir, I don't expect them on the main blog. Once the blog goes back to the primary topic, I will keep my promise.


With you expertise you haven't responded to post 450 and you can also take a look at 470 as well. I haven't seen you back up your information with links.
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Air France Airbus flight 296, controlled flight into terrain

"Yeah,..watch how good the Puter flys it at 50 Ft, ,..Here,Ill throw da switch,..let go the yoke"..


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Good explanation Sky, but especially in the gulf I would guess the larger the storm the more upwelling of water. I think Camille was a small fast storm that did strengthen all the way to the coast. Also around Fl. the Gulf Stream and water temp. is very high late season.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
"Polish media said that air traffic controllers had advised the pilot not to attempt to land at the airport, suggesting that he turn around and head for Minsk, the capital of neighboring Belarus, as the military aerodrome lacked the necessary navigational equipment to receive planes in heavy fog."

Link
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Quoting Drakoen:


All that's speculation at this point
LOL...you regulars get off the main topic and you lose your area of expertise and we get to this. Jeff Masters, if you have any questions about my original post, I welcome your comments, and , no Sir, I don't expect them on the main blog. Once the blog goes back to the primary topic, I will keep my promise.
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Quoting JetManDo:


Press, what are you trying to say, that you could be Dead Right???


Bingo!
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Quoting presslord:
it means that while you may have the right of way, the big ship can kill you


Press, what are you trying to say, that you could be Dead Right???
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I am reminded of the saying, you can be dead right but your still dead.
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465. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting troy1993:
Hey why is it that when hurricanes are approaching their landfall..most of them tend to weaken up until landfall like Katrina and instead of intensifying up until landfall such as Charley and Andrew?


The small ones (smaller diameter) like Andrew & Charley tend to be the ones that strengthen on landfall. They are small in area, when the edge hits it tightens up in the short time before landfall, many times making it more intense. Especially true if it has a decent forward speed..14mph or 15mph I want to say is prime speed for a small intense storm to become more intense on landfall.

The big ones like Katrina experience frictional drag at a greater rate & length of time on the edge of the storm, compared to the center, as it usually does a lumbering landfall. Though Katrina had some dry air issues at landfall..once again size & not being a tight little storm lets these weakness over take quicker.
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Presslord im not to familiar with the law of gross tonnage.


The BIG GUY wins !!! LOL
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it means that while you may have the right of way, the big ship can kill you
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Presslord im not to familiar with the law of gross tonnage.


Go to your local all-u-can-eat buffet. There's some awful gross tonnage there.
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
Commercial pilot, helicopters, single engine land, multi-engine land, instrument helicopter, instrument airplane, 5500 hours total time, 4000 hours pilot in command, 2500 hours instrument time, 650 hours combat time...any other questions Sir?


All that's speculation at this point
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Quoting Drakoen:
Also NttyGrtty what are your credentials as a qualified pilot?
Commercial pilot, helicopters, single engine land, multi-engine land, instrument helicopter, instrument airplane, 5500 hours total time, 4000 hours pilot in command, 2500 hours instrument time, 650 hours combat time...any other questions Sir?
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Presslord im not to familiar with the law of gross tonnage.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Well troy1993 it depends on the shear, dry air and many other things like katrina when she was coming ashore there was dry air that was disrupting her core and caused her to weaken and charley had a favorable enviroment sizziling water tempratures in the upper 80s and even 90s little shear and little dry air. but im just an amatuer so this my not be correct.
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
Drak, it's a landing in fog blog. I didn't suggest or pick the topic. Jeff Masters is a PH.D. Met...used to fly as CREW as a met. He is not qulaified to make the opening statements he made. I'm making my opinion known on this particular blog as a registered blogger. This itty bitty landing in fog blog won't last long, but as long as it's here, I happen to be VERY qualified to comment on it. I, as always, look forward to all opinions on my posts. Yes, I am qualified to refute Jeff Masters on the current blog topic.


What are your credentials?

And see post 450
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you'd be amazed how many times I see sailors try to invoke that rule...they are technically correct...but the Law of Gross Tonnage takes precedence...
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Quoting Drakoen:


I don't see what the point of you refuting Jeff Masters and then asking for comments. You reject posts by either telling people they are not qualified to comment or telling them it's all speculation at least anything outside your subjective point of view.
Drak, it's a landing in fog blog. I didn't suggest or pick the topic. Jeff Masters is a PH.D. Met...used to fly as CREW as a met. He is not qulaified to make the opening statements he made. I'm making my opinion known on this particular blog as a registered blogger. This itty bitty landing in fog blog won't last long, but as long as it's here, I happen to be VERY qualified to comment on it. I, as always, look forward to all opinions on my posts. Yes, I am qualified to refute Jeff Masters on the current blog topic.
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At the end of the investigation..I would hedge a bet to say that it was a CFIT incident.

Controlled Flight into Terrain.

...Or the "O,$%#@" Moment...as its also Known by sometimes.
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The 30 day SOI index keeps climbing,now up to +2.9.

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Quoting presslord:
If a 9 ft sailboat under sail encounters a 500ft fully loaded freighter....Who has the right of way?
I would think the sailboat does?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting NttyGrtty:
We don't know that...ATC does not recommend not landing...they recommend other options and clear you to make the approach (attempt landing)...the local tower controls the runway


"A top Russian military official said air traffic controllers at the Smolensk airport had several times ordered the crew of the plane not to land, warned that it was descending below the glide path and recommended it reroute to another airport."

NY Times
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Hey why is it that when hurricanes are approaching their landfall..most of them tend to weaken up until landfall like Katrina and instead of intensifying up until landfall such as Charley and Andrew?
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yes...but the Law of Gross Tonnage still applies...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting MissNadia:


ATC has nothing to say in the landing decision.. up to the pilot and pilot alone !!


This is true. If the field is open and you have minimums, you can shoot the approach.
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Also NttyGrtty what are your credentials as a qualified pilot?
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Quoting presslord:
If a 9 ft sailboat under sail encounters a 500ft fully loaded freighter....Who has the right of way?
The sailboat.lol
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If a 9 ft sailboat under sail encounters a 500ft fully loaded freighter....Who has the right of way?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting NttyGrtty:
We don't know that...ATC does not recommend not landing...they recommend other options and clear you to make the approach (attempt landing)...the local tower controls the runway


I don't see what the point of you refuting Jeff Masters and then asking for comments. You reject posts by either telling people they are not qualified to comment or telling them it's all speculation at least anything outside your subjective point of view.
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Quoting presslord:
MissNadia....I didn't know that....I know that a boat Captain has sole discretion in all matters....but I would have thought airplane pilots had to defer to ATC......learn sunmpin' everyday...
The term "Captain" came from the water but the authority is the same...military calls it "aircraft commander" but the same authority applies...there is no rank once the gear is up
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Quoting pottery:


send some to Trini please.
Enjoy the showers!
I believe you will get more rain.
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If this was posted im sorry in advance but spain had a 6.2 magnitude earthquake today.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting Drakoen:


Again misinterpretation, I mean the ATC's recommendation that the plane not land
We don't know that...ATC does not recommend not landing...they recommend other options and clear you to make the approach (attempt landing)...the local tower controls the runway
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Sorry weatherwatcherci i have a feeling this week will be the week!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Hey guys just came back home after a wonderful day out in the town with my parents. so did grand cayman get any rain today?
No.
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MissNadia....I didn't know that....I know that a boat Captain has sole discretion in all matters....but I would have thought airplane pilots had to defer to ATC......learn sunmpin' everyday...
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Quoting beell:
Without the particulars, excellent video, but I'd call that 3/4 mile vis at least...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
that report is incorrect that has been posted by . stormwatcherCI there has been no earthquake detected in that area

I copied and pasted that from MSNBC6.8 2010/04/11 09:40:31 -10.913 161.130 60.2 SOLOMON ISLANDSThis is from the USGS
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Quoting indianrivguy:
What matters is the pilot, despite having the responsibility of the passengers which included his President, choose to disregard the advice of an air traffic control team that was actually familiar with the airport and weather. It killed them all.
We don't know any of that...it's all speculation at this point
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It is always entertaining to watch the clueless discuss something they have no knowledge of or experience in.
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Hey guys just came back home after a wonderful day out in the town with my parents. so did grand cayman get any rain today?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
429. beell
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Quoting Drakoen:


How often do they try to land in quarter mile visibility despite the ATC telling them not to
ATC does not tell you not to. They tell you the conditions and, maybe, suggest another option. Today, a bunch of airplanes and crews that are capable of landing 0/0 (that's zero visability and zero ceiling...if you've ever been on an airline that made one of those, you know it), practiced by letting the airplane land itself in better than 0/0 conditions. You're putting way too much on this. It happens EVERY day. One went bad...we'll see why soon.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.