Initial report details Polish Boeing 767 gear-up landing

December 1, 2011

The Polish State Commission for Investigation of Air Accidents released an initial investigation report detailing the gear-up landing of a LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 on November 1.

The airplane operated on a regular passenger flight from Newark (EWR), USA to Warsaw (WAW), Poland. After take off, while retracting the landing gear and flaps hydraulic fluid began to leak from the central hydraulic system (installation “C”), what consequently led to pressure drop in this installation.  After completing the QRH procedure and consultation with the operator’s operations centre, the  flight crew decided to continue the flight to Warsaw.

During approach for landing at Warsaw the flight crew performed the QRH procedure which was connected with using the alternate landing gear extension system. The landing gear did not come down. A holding pattern was entered while the crew tried to lower the gear  in the  gravitational way, which was also unsuccessful. A Polish Air Force F-16 fighter flew by and confirmed the gear was up. Because the airplane was getting low on fuel, a safe emergency gear-up landing was carried out.

Initial investigation results indicate that on the P6 panel on the flight deck, the circuit breaker C829 BAT BUS DISTR (on A1 position) was in the position „Off”, while the circuit breaker C4248 LANDING GEAR – ALTN EXT MOTOR (on F6 position) was in the position „On”.

The circuit breaker C829 (BAT BUS DISTR) indicated on Photo 5 protects several airplane systems including the alternate landing gear extension system. The „Off” position of the circuit breaker was not recorded or indicated by the airplane systems (FDR – Flight Data Recorder and EICAS – Engine Indications and Crew Alerting System).

After connecting the ground power unit, setting C829 (A1) BAT BUS DISTR circuit  breaker in the position „On” and activation of the alternate landing gear extension system, the landing gear was extended and the airplane was recovered.

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Polish ATR-42 takes off from taxiway at Wroclaw

November 18, 2011

On November 15, an ATR-42 passenger plane inadvertently took off from a taxiway at Wroclaw, Poland according to a report by Polish news channel TVN24.

Eurolot Flight 012 took off from a closed taxiway at Wroclaw-Strachowice Airport (WRO/EPWR), Poland. Visibility was poor (400 m) due to fog at the time of the incident. Wroclaw has a single runway (11/29) with a parallel taxiway. The taxiway was NOTAMed closed.

Weather reported at the time of the incident (06:00 UTC / 07:00 local):
METAR EPWR 150600Z VRB01KT 0600 R29/0800 FZFG OVC002 M00/M01 Q1027=
METAR EPWR 150630Z VRB02KT 0150 R29/0350 FZFG OVC002 M00/M01 Q1027=

Following the incident the following NOTAM was issued:

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Poland disbands air transport unit of air force following Presidential crash

August 4, 2011

Poland’s government disbanded an air force regiment and fired some high-ranking officers as a consquence  of findings in a Polish investigation into the  plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others.

The 36th Special Regiment of Aviation Transport was a special aviation regiment of the Polish Air Force established in 1945. All of its aircraft were for national public use, the most important being transport of Polish politicians, officials and forces commanders.

The Polish investigation concluded that:

The immediate cause of the accident was the descent below the minimum descent altitude at an excessive rate of descent in weather conditions which prevented visual contact with the ground, as well as a delayed execution of the go-around procedure. Those circumstances led to an impact on a terrain obstacle resulting in separation of a part of the left wing with aileron and consequently to the loss of aircraft control and eventual ground impact.

Relating to the 36th Special Regiment, the report concludes:

  • incorrect training of the Tu-154M flight crews in the 36 Regiment;
  • ineffective immediate supervision of the 36 Regiment’s flight training process by the Air Force Command;
  • failure by the 36 Regiment to develop procedures governing the crew’s actions in the event of:
    a) failure to meet the established approach criteria;
    b) using radio altimeter for establishing alarm altitude values for various types of approach;
    c) distribution of duties in a multi-crew flight.
These findings prompted the decision to disband the regiment. Government flights will now be handled by Poland’s national commercial airline, LOT.
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Polish Presidential Tupolev 154M crashes at Smolensk

April 10, 2010

A Tupolev 154M passenger jet, operated the Polish Air Force, was destroyed when it crashed on approach to Smolensk Air Base in poor visibility. All on board were killed in the accident, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

The airplane departed Warszawa-Okecie Airport (WAW), Poland, carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, several Members of Parliament, President of the National Bank of Poland Slawomir Skrzypek, Chief of General Staff Franciszek Gagor, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrzej Kremer and a number of passengers and crew members.
The Tu-154 struck trees and broke up. All 88 pasengers and 8 crew members were killed in the crash.
Russian sources report 132 people were on board the plane.
Weather reports at 08:00 CET indicated a temperature at Smolensk of 1°C, Dew Point:1°C, wind from 140 degrees at 6 knots, Pressure: 1026 hPa, heavy fog.

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