Friday, April 23, 2010

Did the pilots ignore the warnings of the Polish plane crash

My first question when I heard about the polish plane crash in Russia, was the Tupolev 154 beneath its glideslope? Based on published reports, this is what makes sense to them, the plane did not cause the crash, the aging Polish airforce 101 was an old design. The three engine aircraft dates back to 1968, this airplane that crash had its first flight in 1990, its fleet did not accumulate blemishes on its record. Most birds of the brood accomplished there missions, or else type and model wouldn't have such a long career. PAF 101 didn't fall out the sky. What stopped it from reaching its destination was being flown into a stand of trees. Apparently the cause of crash wasn't the airfield, either although it was a contributing factor. The field had one draw back: In bad weather, it could not provide vertical and lateral guidance, the Instrument Landing System (ILS) was not compatible with the PAF 101's Western-style system. The pilot's relied on an older system based at the field, essentially a transmitter near a threshold of the runway, called a non-directional beacon (NDB). The flaw needn't have been fatal. There are many ways of landing an aircraft in sloppy/low visibility conditions. Planes land every day using NDB's, including a few that landed in the same airfield that same day the Polish plane crashed. Heavier work loads were placed on these pilots because of flying on a half decent instrument approach. NDB's are rarely used so these pilots most likely didn't have that much practice, maybe a few here and there in their student days. NDB's give no vertical guidance for landing operations, pilots require better weather than for the safe use of more sophisticated systems. Whos to blaim?