The 2010 Katyń Families Association

On the 28th of March 2012 the European Conservative and Reformists Group together with the The 2010 Katyn Families Association organised in the European Parliament in Brussels a public hearing on the causes of the Smolensk presidential plane crash of April 10th 2012. The public hearing focused on the latest work of the Parliamentary Group looking at what really happened in Smolensk - revealing new facts and evidence. It was an opportunity for the international public at large to find out how inadequate the investigation and evidence examination has been to-date.


Press Release:


American and Polish experts forming part of the Parliamentary Group under Antoni Macierewicz have reconstructed the course of events during the last seconds of the flight in which 96 Poles died, including the President, his wife and the supreme commanders of the Polish armed forces.

The public hearing held in Brussels set out results of parallel tests carried out by American and Polish experts. The conclusions reached by the scientists in Poland and the United States working independently from each other are in agreement. Prof. Wiesław Binienda and Dr Kazimierz Nowaczyk played a leading role in the American investigation. In Poland, this role was played by a group of physicists who, at present, prefer not to disclose their names. The presentation, which summarises the scientists’ findings, puts forward a completely different picture of events than that proposed by the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee and the Polish Jerzy Miller commission. The experts’ research calls into question the official version of the disaster, which stated that the Tu-154 hit a birch tree, lost part of its left wing as a result of this collision, then span round 180 degrees and crashed to earth.

From an analysis of data from the TAWS system and from the on-board computer (altitude at specific times and geographical location) as well as flight parameters given in MAK reports and in the Miller commission report (load factors and angles showing the aircraft’s banking and inclination), it appears that:

1. There was, in fact, no contact between the aircraft and the birch tree close to the nearer radio-beacon or the birch tree that is claimed to have cut off part of the wing. The Tu-154 was flying about 14 m above these trees.

2. The aircraft lost part of its wing 69 m after the birch tree, at an altitude of 26 m. The experts showed that this section could not have broken off against the birch tree and then be found 111 m (!) away from the tree (as claimed by the Russian experts and by the Miller commission), as the computer simulation demonstrated that, following such an impact, the section would have fallen to earth within 10-12 m of the tree.

3. Even if the Tu-154 had hit the birch tree, it would not have lost a section of wing from that impact. This was demonstrated in a computer simulation carried out by Prof. Binienda using specialist LsDyna3D software. To convince any sceptics, Prof. Binienda carried out the experiment several times, increasing certain parameters in excess of the situation at the time (density of timber, diameter of tree, etc.).

4. At the same time that a section of the wing broke off (which, we should repeat, occurred at an altitude of 26 m), the aircraft was rocked by two impacts, which were recorded by the flight recorder (flight data). It was at this point that the Tupolev changed course.

5. Two seconds later, when the Tu-154 was approximately 15 m above the ground, the aircraft lost power and the on-board computer ceased functioning and its data were frozen. Data obtained from the computer by the American computer manufacturer constitute the source of the analysis presented by Prof. Binienda and Dr Nowaczyk. The machine was located about 60 m before the place where the aircraft first hit the ground.

The significance of the presentation prepared by both scientists is enormous. The analysis carried out by the experts of the Macierewicz Parliamentary Group is based on objective data using specialist software.

‘The presentation is given much greater weight by the fact that two different teams, one Polish, the other American, using different methodologies while testing two different fragments from the same aircraft – one team investigating the trajectory, the other the breaking of the wing – came to the same conclusions. They established that the aircraft was flying at an altitude where it could not have hit the birch tree and that it lost the wing at an altitude of 26 m. Of course, as we are dealing with a scientific analysis, we are aware of the fact that there will be certain tolerances in the data obtained. When Prof. Binienda spoke of the wing breaking off from the aircraft 69 m after the location where the birch tree is standing, then one has to accept that this may have occurred a few metres earlier or later. Our presentation precisely reflects the flight data in the flight recorders and in the TAWS and FMS systems (on-board computer) and utterly and completely undermines the baseless argument that the aircraft span round and lost a section of wing after hitting a birch tree,’ said Antoni Macierewicz, Chairman of the Group for the investigation of the Smolensk plane crash.

The PiS Member of Parliament laid emphasis on the two impacts recorded in the flight data recorder, which came at the same time as the wing breaking off and the change in the aircraft’s flight path and before the interruption in the operation of the on-board computer.

‘Although the cause of these violent impacts is unknown, one thing is certain: there is no natural cause that could have brought this about, just as there is no natural cause for the loss of a section of the wing at an altitude of 26 m,’ said Antoni Macierewicz. One has to remember that this is also a consequence of the public statements made by the Prosecutor’s office, including the declaration made on 26 July 2011 that the aircraft lost power at a height of 15-17 m above the ground.

The latest work presented to the Group showed what really happened in Smolensk: Captain Protasiuk was coming in to land in the manner generally accepted until, as he had anticipated earlier, it was necessary to use the autopilot to circle the airport again. He began this manoeuvre. This process is reflected in the flight trajectory recorded in TAWS and FMS data. At all times, the aircraft was flying at a safe altitude and did not, at any time, descend below the landing path. As the aircraft was beginning to gain altitude (about 69 m past the location of the birch tree) and when it was at a height of 26 m, there were two severe shocks, the wing broke off and the disaster began to unfold, with the loss of power being a key event.

Translated from source: Leszek Misiak, Grzegorz Wierzchołowski - Gazeta Polska 29.09.2011