I guess a flight “accident” can’t stink much more than the one that today killed Poland’s president and dozens of the country’s other leading figures. And to think that these suckers had packed themselves all into one single plane when they were going to attend a memorial event for those murdered at Katyn in Russia of all places is just beyond belief.
Anyway, BBC helpfully reports that:
the head of Russia’s Aviakor aviation maintenance company told Russian TV the plane was airworthy, after his plant fully overhauled it in December.
Yeah, sure, or more likely they made sure the plane was prepared to have an “accident” whenever they got an order to arrange one. I’d say the odds are at least 100 to 1 it was not an accident.
I have also quickly browsed some comments from the general public in the Finnish mainstream media and noticed that a rather surprising number of them made a big deal about the “fact” that supposedly the flight controllers had told the plane to land on another airport since the airport at Smolensk was surrounded by fog. And this supposedly indicates that human error rather than sabotage was the most likely cause of the “accident”.
Are those commentators either morons or part of a deliberate propaganda effort? You know, the people who supposedly received that warning to avoid that airport are dead now and there’s of course no reason to trust the russkies too much. The truth may well be that they simply redirected all other air-traffic to other airports and told the poles to then “safely” land using all the automation that enables planes to land even in foggy weather. And then they just pulled the trigger. The rest is bloody history.
Update 27.4.2010: I haven’t seen much mainstream coverage on the aftermath so far but Jane Burgermeister reports on her blog some things of interest which raise for example the possibility that they might have created artificial fog to surround the airport. I certainly would think that is well within the realm of what’s feasible these days.
Mainstream news sources also quickly reported after the crash that the military airport at Smolensk did not have the necessary equipment to support modern Autoland used by passenger jets. However, stuff like that could easily be disinformation as obviously military keeps its secrets. In any case Burgermeister reports:
The airport is also equipped with signal beacons that can be seen from a long distance even in reduced visibility and dense fog. The first beacon is located one kilometer from the runway, the second 4 kilometres away and the third 6 kilometers way allowing pilots to ascertain their position and the location of the runway.
So far I haven’t read much about what the black box recordings reveal but after learning about those fake Bin Laden tapes and fake phone calls on 9/11 I probably wouldn’t trust them too much anyway as surely they can fake such recordings these days using voice morphing technology etc. if necessary.