Naciski wyparowały wraz ze smoleńską mgłą (english version)

Pressure Evaporates along with the Smolensk Mist

The latest analysis by Polish specialists on the Jerzy Miller committee revealed that the transcripts from May and June 2010 included by the Russians in their official report differ significantly from those deciphered by Polish investigators from the transcripts of the conversations in the cockpit of Tu-154M.
The words, introduced by the Russians into the report in May 2010 and which were reported in the media for nine months, had the aim of suggesting pressure being applied by the passengers of the plane. However, the Polish analysis of the transcripts of the MARS-BM CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder) showed conclusively that no evidence exists that pressure was brought to bear on the crew by any member of the passengers of Tu-154M. This was mentioned in the Polish comments to the MAK (Interstate Aviation Committee) report, yet these points were ignored and the final report contains unconfirmed theories about passenger pressure. This is now admitted by Major Michal Fiszer who previously supported the Russian version.

“The Navigator of the Polish Tupolev was not concerned during the flight to Smolensk whether President Lech Kaczynski will ‘get mad’, and the Captain never asked the Minister Mariusz Kazana to ‘ask the boss what [he] should do”. Contrary to the Russian report, these exchanges are absent from the recordings presented on Tuesday by the Polish Committee. In the segments of the transcripts which to the Russians constituted proof of passenger pressure, our specialists heard different exchanges to the MAK report. Their analysis undermines the Russian theory of pressure exacted by passengers” – Major Michal Fiszer told TVN24 in January 2011.

In the Russian report, disseminated so widely by the media, the following sentence was included in the transcript:

08:38:00,4 – 08:38:02,2 Anonymous: “He’ll get mad, if (undeciphered).”

This phrase was used in the Russian final report, translated into English as “he’ll go crazy”.

No such phrase exists in the transcripts! The actual Navigator’s sentence is:

08:38:00,4 – 08:38:02,2: “Confirm that we’re a mile away.”

A similar discrepancy occurs at the time 08:30:54 and the Captain’s question: “And what’ll be of us, Basiu?”. Together with other non-existent excerpts from the transcript, this served the purpose of suggesting to observers of the official MAK report that the crew was afraid of their main passenger. “And what’ll be of us, Basiu” also does not exist in the transcripts!

The Russians’ final report not only used non-existent sentences and phrases, it also manipulated the formations of sentences and individual words to imply acquiescence on the part of the Captain. In truth, the picture of the Captain and his crew that emerges from the real words is significantly different to the one presented by the Russians. The Polish comments on the Russian report clearly state that the psychological pseudo-analysis of the Tu-154M crew is not based on any kind of evidence and has no basis in reality.

After the presentation of the Jerzy Miller Committee findings, during which the Polish specialists’ deciphering of the CVR transcript and Polish comments on Russia’s handling of the disaster were revealed, the situation became absurd. Sections of the Polish media which had supported the Russian findings for nine months alleging passenger pressure on the crew now claimed that the pressure was... a lack of pressure to land...

Yet the same media forgot or chose to forget two facts:

- secondary airports had not been ratified by the Poles (the job of ministers Bogdan Klich, Jerzy Miller and Marian Janicki);

- from the presentation of Minister Jerzy Miller and the corresponding audio transcripts from the air traffic control tower in Smolensk airport it is clear that the Russians were in no way prepared to direct flight Tu-154M to a secondary landing location - one of the reasons for long and inconclusive communications between Smolensk air traffic control and their superiors in Moscow, during which the tower in Smolensk was given a clear order to bring the plane in on their runway. The flight controller in Smolensk at no point received confirmation of any other airports to which he could direct flight Tu-154M.

The presentation of the Polish analysis of the CVR transcript recorder also draws attention to the absence of the only issue relating to the Commander of the Polish Air Force General Andrzej Blasik, which is missing from the Russian version of the transcript at time 08:39:07:

08:39:02,2 – 08:39:08; Navigator: Cockpit. Front landing gear steering activated. Wings set.

08:39:07,5 – 08:39:10,7; Anonym: Wing control passed on to [undeciphered] [voice in the background– Gen. Blasik].

According to the Russians this confirms the presence of Gen. Blasik in the cockpit. At this point in the presentation of the MAK report the Russians cut it short and maintain the version of events which place the General in the cockpit, despite not having provided any evidence. The MAK report differs, again significantly, from the analysis provided by the Jerzy Miller Committee. The section concerning the wings, which according to the Russians was voiced by General Blasik, in the Polish analysis is shorter, and instead voiced by the navigator and the co-pilot.
(NB: all the times in the Jerzy Miller transcript are reduced by five seconds)

08:37:57,4 – 08:38:00,2: Navigator: Tell me there’s a mile left.

Here all the pressure evaporates... Nobody is getting mad! Further, the navigator’s clear readings of the distance from the runway are excluded by the Russians, and a phrase is changed, which in reality reads:

08:38:15,0 – 08:38:17,1: Navigator: Half a mile left.

This last communication regarding a distance of half a mile was made by the navigator fifty seconds before the air traffic controller’s communication of “10km, on course and flight path”, which signals that the plane is aligned to land. Presented in the analysis of Jerzy Miller and his committee, the navigator’s clear countdown of the distance completely exposes the lie presented in Moscow by MAK, which stated that the plane entered the landing path too late.

The Russians also excluded this excerpt:

08:38:56 – 08:38:58 Mjr. Protasiuk: Procedures please.
08:38:59 – 08:39:00 Mjr. Protasiuk: Read.

The navigator’s statement in the Russian version beginning with the word “Cockpit” from the very beginning indicated an exchange over the intercom or a manipulation of the transcript. However the aforementioned sentences from the June transcripts along with General Blasik’s words do not exist. The real exchange is as follows:

08:39:02 – 08:39:03 Navigator: Wings set.
08:39:03 – 08:39:04 Co-pilot: Wings set. 08:39:04 – 08:39:06 ATC – Smolensk: [Flight]101, distance 10, enter flight path.

The presence of Gen. Blasik in the cockpit and overall pressure on the flight crew existed only in the Russian version of the transcript. In the course of proceedings, the only Pole accredited to the MAK investigation to hear the original CVR recordings of the black boxes of flight Tu-154M, Edmund Klich, as late as May 2010 reported that he did not hear a single voice on the recording that was not one of the crew. He only changed his mind when he received a piece of paper from the MAK Committee in May 2010 claiming that the voices were there.

And so evaporate the pressures of a piece of paper and the presence of General Blasik as quickly as the Smolensk fog descends.


Theories claiming passenger pressure on the crew are false; the Russians inserted into the official MAK report statements which don’t exist in the audio recording or were manipulated, in order to justify the pressure theory. The Polish corrections to the final report stated clearly that there is no evidence that any passenger brought pressure to bear on the crew of flight Tu-154M. The Russians justified their conclusions with non-existent or manipulated dialogue from the CVR. They falsified the Captain’s words to support the theory of his alleged acquiescence; the audio recording proves that he was not under the thumb of his passengers. Polish analysis of the findings also contradicts Russian claims of acquiescence on the part of the crew while also rejecting the Russians’ psychological pseudo-analysis of the crew, which was not conferred on with the Polish investigators.

Also worth adding is that General Blasik’s body was found over 24 hours after the crash. Russian claims that Gen. Blasik’s sobriety can be questioned over the presence of alcohol in the blood in a concentration of 0.6 grams per litre are spurious, considering it is medically noted that a body can posthumously and endogenously produce up to 1.0 grams of alcohol, thus conclusions based on 0.6 grams per litre alleging that General was not sober are abusive. The procedures used to determine this alcohol level were also in breach of procedures normally used to obtain such readings.

Also spurious are the claims that the body of General Blasik was found in the cockpit of the wrecked plane; first of all, there was no cockpit – it was obliterated. Secondly, the section which encompassed the cockpit also encompassed the presidential suite and two VIP cabins; Gen. Blasik was sitting in one of these cabins, and was therefore found where one could expect to find him in the event of a crash.

And so history has come full circle. Just as notorious German newspapers were placed by Russian Burdenki Committee agents in 1941 in the pockets of Polish army officers murdered in 1940 to deflect blame for the murder of the Polish elite away from Russia/Stalin, so papers placed by the MAK Committee into the hands of Edmund Klich and some Polish-language media (I purposely do not call them Polish) were once again supposed to deflect blame away from Russia.

Kajetan Marzec

The author, taking advantage of his experience of military and civilian air traffic control, has been conducting an independent investigation of the facts of the Smolensk tragedy for many months. He is in constant contact with pilots, physicists, mathematicians, engineers and other persons, who with their experience are struggling to preserve the honour of the Polish soldiers and the dignity of those who died on April 10, 2010 in the catastrophe which befell the Polish Tu-154M.

English translation Mateusz Fenrych

Wersja polska