A long overdue update on the Smolensk airplane "accident" that destroyed the heart of the pro-Western Polish leadership in April 2010 on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet massacre of 20,000 Polish officers known as the Katyn Forest Massacre. (Some earlier coverage here, here, here and here.)
The shocking news this week is that a snapped rivet was found during an autopsy of one of the recently exhumed victims of the crash. This evidence bolsters growing evidence for an alternative explanation of the crash, which the new Polish government and Russian authorities insist was a matter of pilot error and heavy fog. The alternate theory, increasingly borne out by evidence and testing, is that there was an explosion on board.
A snapped rivet has been found during post-mortem examination of one of the exhumed Smolensk’s crash’s victim’s body. Waclaw Berczynski, a Boeing constructor and engineer gave an opinion that torn away rivets prove there was an explosion onboard Tu-154 on 10 April 2010.
The rivet has been found on one of the autopsy tables. “I have to demand from the prosecutors to secure it as an important part of the evidence. They asked me: “what for?” but in the end they took decision to affix it” – told Gazeta Polska daily an advocate, Stefan Hambura, representing Anna Walentynowicz’s family.
Months ago, during one of the Parliamentary Committee investigating into the Smolensk’s crash hearings, Waclaw Berczynski stated that “only explosion could cause tearing away hundreds of rivets joining the TU-154 wing’s parts”.
„:From the point of view of reconstructing catastrophe’s conduct of events finding the rivet might have been an important part of the evidence leading to establishing what had happened” admits Antoni Macierewicz, the Committee Chairman. ...
To recount some of the recent findings:
In April 2012, a University of Akron professor made his scientific dispute with the official "accident" findings known via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
The 2010 jet crash that killed Poland's president, first lady and dozens of dignitaries during a politically sensitive visit to Russia couldn't have happened the way official investigations say, a University of Akron engineering professor's analysis shows.
Wieslaw Binienda's findings, based on computer modeling software that NASA used to analyze the space shuttle Columbia's destruction, are causing ripples in his native Poland, where there is simmering distrust of the formal rulings that the crash was accidental.
Russian and Polish government teams determined that errors by the jet's Polish military flight crew caused the aircraft to clip a tree, lose part of its left wing, flip over and crash short of a runway at fog-bound Smolensk Airdrome two years ago. The April 10 incident killed all 96 aboard.
But the tree impact that supposedly precipitated the crash wouldn't have caused enough wing damage to down the plane, said Binienda, a well-regarded expert in fracture mechanics who heads the university's civil engineering department.
Instead, Binienda's computer model shows the wing would have lopped off the tree top "like a knife." The collision would have caused relatively minor damage to the wing's leading edge – not enough to seriously impair its lift capability and flip the jet.
"It's absolutely impossible that the wing sheared and then it crashed the way [government investigators] described," Binienda told The Plain Dealer in his first U.S. interview....
It is a lengthy piece and well worth reading. Then there is this:
Binienda's simulation also showed that, for the wing tip to have landed where it did, the break must have happened at a higher altitude and closer to the runway than where the birch tree was located.
That seemed to fit with a more sinister crash scenario being advanced by two other Polish researchers who also are working with the Polish parliament inquiry – that two explosions during the landing attempt brought down the jet.
Kazimierz Nowaczyk, a University of Maryland physicist, and Gregory Szuladzinski, a mechanical engineer and expert in blast effects, base their theory on several pieces of evidence:
•Two sudden, sharp changes in the jet's altitude, as recorded by its ground-collision warning equipment. The violent jolts, according to Nowaczyk's analysis of the ground-collision readouts, took place when the plane was 226 feet past the birch tree. That position coincides with where Binienda, working independently, calculated that the wing tip must have come off. An explosion could explain the wing separation, Nowaczyk has testified.
•The contrasting positions of the jet's fuselage pieces. The front portion landed upright while the rear was upside-down, suggesting an internal explosion that separated the pieces in mid-air.
•The large amount of debris and dismemberment of passengers' bodies. "Shrapnel equals explosion, and there was plenty of it," Szuladzinski said in an email, declining to comment further until his report to the parliament committee chair is released in May.
By June 2012, the explosion theory was gaining further, more definite support from Boeing designer and engineer Waclaw Berczynki, who declared: "Only an explosion could cause the destruction of several dozen rivets at the canopy of government's Tupolev. Via Kavkaz Center:
Engineer Waclav Berczynski, resident of the United States, drew attention to dozens of rivets on the metal canopy. Each of them could withstand a load of not less than 150 kg. In analyzed photographs, taken shortly after the crash, dozens of empty holes from torn-out rivets are seen.
The expert pointed out that only an explosion could create such a force, under the influence of which the lining was torn, but not the crash of the plane. In addition, evidence of an explosion is seen in torn surfaces (top and bottom) of the wing, which, according to official Russian and Polshevist reports, hit the birch (according to the official Russian report, the birch had to be stronger than reinforced steel - KC).
The expert categorically stated that this type of the break of the wing with the structure consisting of three beams and three ribs, is only possible as a result of an internal explosion. Such destruction will not be caused even with ignition of fuel tanks.
- This part of the aircraft can withstand the force of many tons, so the explosion was supposed to be very powerful. The explosion is also confirmed by the nature of the destruction of many internal parts of the aircraft. Such a destruction would be impossible due to the collision of the plane with the ground, because the plane flew at low speed with small volume of remaining fuel, said engineer Berczynski.
His research confirms the expertise of a US Air Force expert Dr. Grzegorz Szuladzinski who repeatedly pointed out that the plane could not have been destroyed if crashed from low altitude (about 20-30 meters) at a speed of 250 km / h, as happened with Tu-154M.
- This is simply not possible - also confirmed engineer Berczynski.
- Engineer Berczynski designed the wings, similar to those on Tu-154M. He was familiar with the detailed plans of the aircraft and detailed photographs of the left wing with traces of torn rivets.
- It was the analysis and not empty allegations in the spirit of Edmund Klich (the Polshevist pro-Russian Polish government expert, accredited to the KGB Moscow MAC Committee - KC) who claimed: "If hit, then broken", said Anthoni Macierewicz, chairman of the Polish parliament's group on investigation of the cause of the Smolensk crash.
Mr. Macierewicz pointed out that the new discovery was a big step forward in reconstruction of the events and the mechanism that led to the Smolensk disaster.
Engineer Dr. Berczynski, Prof. Kazimierz Nowaczyk from Canada and Prof. Wieslaw Binienda from the US, along with other experts from parliament's group research team, are going to come to Poland in October to take part in a conference on technical aspects of president Kaczynski's plane crash.
This will be the first major scientific conference on the Smolensk tragedy ".