In short about the blog:
On November 23 2001 an airplane crashed with 14 passengers on board, 2 passengers had died. The captain of the airplane was blamed for the crash. The trial has been going for the last 8 years and is still not finished.
During the 8 year trial , it became clear that the investigation was conducted using the data from a different airplane crash. A decision to make a second investigation and a new flight-recorders decoding has not been reached and the trial continues in spite of the facts:
The Polish company ATM AVIONICS, that performed the decoding, confirmed that the “black box” decoding from the crashed Estonian airplane on Hiiumaa has been done with the data from another airplane. (More details in the article “8 year in court” or “Data from Venezuelan plane crash…“)
The CD with the data from the black box in the accusation has a file with a data diagram from a crash in Venezuela of a different airplane M-28 that happened on 12 July 2001. The creation date of the file is 16.08.2001, 3 months before the Hiiumaa crash. (More details in the article “8 year in court” or “Data from Venezuelan plane crash…“)
It was found out after the crash, that the plane was de-icid by “ELK Airways” employees with the de-icing Fluid “Arktika” that has past its expiry date a year before the crash. The Fluid froze on the airplane before the takeoff of during the takeoff. Anti-icing fluid experts in the trial are also “ELK Airways” employees. 35% of “ELK Airways” shares belong to the Estonian government. (More details in the article “Atmospheric icing.”
- Non of all 5 Government investigation committees members is an expert in decoding or analysis of the data from the flight recorders
- The moment when the plane passed over the marker beacon (LOM) OZ is missing from the paper version of the government committees data charts, but is visible in the computer source files. Possibly the beacon was removed on purpose, to distort the trajectory of the flight. The trajectories of the airplane in the investigation and in the indictment do not match and both don’t fly over the OZ beacon. And both don’t match with the data from the “black box”. (More details in the article “accusation”)
The flight ELK-1007 belonged to the airline «ELK Airways».
«ELK Airways» was the flight operator, sold the tickets, and was performing the ground services. 35% of “ELK Airways” belonged to the Estonian government.
«ELK Airways» leased an aircraft from a company «Enimex» along with the crew to perform the flight. Soon after the ES-NOV plane crash “ELK Airways” went bankrupt, all the employees and the property was transfered to the company «AIREST». “ELK Airways” or «AIREST» did not pay any compensation to anyone, all the financial responsibility was transfered to the company «Enimex» and it’s employees.
Former “ELK Airways” CEO is now the Head of the licensing Department at the Estonian civil aviation authority.
After the airplane crash in 2001 a government committee was set up to investigate the causes of the accident. 4 from the 5 members in the the government investigation committee must not have taken part in the investigation according to the THE EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL Directive 94/56/EC of 21 November 1994. Because they are directly linked with the national aviation authorities responsible for airworthiness, certification, flight operation, maintenance, licensing, air traffic control or airport operation.
From the COUNCIL Directive 94/56/EC obligatory to all EU member states:
“Each Member State shall ensure that technical investigations are conducted or supervised by a permanent civil aviation body or entity. The body or entity concerned shall be functionally
independent in particular of the national aviation authorities responsible for airworthiness, certification, flight operation, maintenance, licensing, air traffic control or airport operation and, in general, of any other party whose interests could conflict with the task entrusted to the investigating body or entity.”
Tthe Council Directive 94/56/EC establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents. Full text:
In Estonia adopted in 18.10.2001 (1 month before the crash) according to the Estonian State Chancellery website. Came into force 01.01.2002 (the committee presented it’s final report 1 month later. 31.01.2002)
Members of the government investigation committee:
Tõnu Naestema – the chairman of the committee – Deputy Secretary General to the Ministry of Transportation and Communication,
Toomas Peterson – the vice-chairman of the committee – Director General of the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration.
Tõnu Ader – head of accident investigation department of the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration.
Tanel Kulbas of Aviation Service company (Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS)
Jaan Milvek – head of civil aviation department of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication.
The trial ended 1 hour 11 minutes after the beginning. 2 days were originally planed for the trial.
During the trial 13.10.2010 the judge have given to the prosecute and the defending lawyer a copy of the additional expertise, that was ordered by the court on the 20th of July 2007 to find out the conditions of the airplane crash in Kardla on the 23rd of November 2001. 5 experts were assigned to be the members of the committee (2 from estonia, 1 person from Finland, 1 from Sweden and 1 from Ukraine) but the expertise was done and signed only by 2 members from Estonia. No new decoding has been done or any new examination. Only the data and the conclusion of the first committee was used.
The trials scheduled for 19.10.2010-21.10.2010 were canceled.
The accusation of the pilot, examined by the court, is based on the conclusions of the government committees investigation. The conclusions are absurd, preconceived and don’t correspond with the true facts.
All the “quotation” are taken from the government committees investigation, and are the basis for the accusation in court. Every “quotation” is compared with the data from the black box decoding done with the correct calibration sheets – ES-NOV calibration sheet and it’s analysis by the independent experts.
Causes of the accident in the accusation:
«The accident was caused by the inadequate evaluation of the situation for approach by the Captain of the aeroplane and, resultant from this evaluation, erroneous piloting techniques which lie in the following: Transition from the initially planned instrumental approach to a visual approach with active descent, in order to bring the aeroplane out of conditions of intensive icing».
The transition does not brake the rules of landing approach in Kärdla and can not be the cause of the accident because:
- The plane got into a strong wind shear, when it was on course and on glideslope, during the final stage of the landing. (after flying over the marker beacon (LOM) OZ)
- When landing with an instrumental approach plane has to fly over the OZ beacon at the height of: 253 meters with NDB approach and 198 meters with PAR. Flight recorders decoding shows that the plane was over the the marker beacon (LOM) OZ at the hight of 248 meters (Radar altimeter 251 meters). The plane was at the required height. So the a type of landing system does not matter in this case, because the heights matche with the Instrument landing system.
The moment when the plane passed over the marker beacon (LOM) OZ is missing from the paper version of the government committees data charts, but is visible in the computer source files. Possibly the beacon was removed on purpose, to distort the trajectory of the flight. The trajectory of the airplane in the investigation and in the indictment do not match and both don’t fly over the OZ beacon. And both don’t match with the data from the “black box”.
The moment when the plane passed over the marker beacon (LOM) OZ
“Ignoring the possibility of encountering complicated meteorological conditions when preparing for landing and, once being struck by these conditions, failure to start a go-around or a turn-back evolution”
1)Why is there an accusation of not doing a go-around is impossible to understand. From the flight decoding it is clear that the go-around process was started 23 seconds before the collision with the ground. Barometric altimeter= 127 meters radar altimeter 75 meters. The engines were put into full power in 3 stages, to prevent the plane from stalling. The engines were at full power for 4 seconds before the crash.
The airplane flight manual states that a go-around is performed with the engines at the nominal power, full power is used only if one engine fails, and a go-around on one engine is needed. Even with 2 engines at full power the plane still lost altitude and hit the trees, besause the plane got into a downstream wind at the height of 118 by barometric altimeter and 40 meters by radar altimeter. Simple calculation shows that to successfully perform a go-around the plane would have needed 5 engines working at full power.
2)To foresee the wind shear that the plane got into was impossible, because at the time of the crash Estonia had no equipment to measure vertical wind shear for the aerodromes, and the aerodrome Kardla had no météo observation. Using the flight recorders data and Kardla approach charts it is possible to calculate, that the average speed of the airplane relative to the ground after passing the OZ beacon, from 48 second to 32 second before the crash, was 308 kilometers an hour ( average dashboard speed 159 kilometers an hour). Strong tail wind. From the 32nd second to the moment of the crash the average speed of the airplane relative to the ground was 56 kilometers an hour (average dashboard speed 135 kilometers an hour). Strong headwind. Such strong change in wind detection and speed means a strong wind shear that the plane got into at the height of 166 by barometric altimeter and 115 meters by radar altimeter. The airplane АН-28 flight manual has no recommendations concerning a wind shear. In case of an АН-28 airplane stall unavoidable loss of height is 100-150 meters.
The engines are put into full power. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the secondary causes of the crash was a strong atmospheric icing. It became clear from the documents examined in the court, that the expiry date for the anti-icing fluid, that was used for anti-icing the airplane before the takeoff, had passed a year before the crash, and that it was a type 1 deicing fluid. I can only be used for removing icing from the airplane surface, and for prevention of atmospheric icing for a very short time, for the actual weather in Tallinn that evening – 6-11 minutes.
Deicing has to be done once. Before the takeoff the deicing was done 3 times, possibly because the fluid that was supposed to deice was freezing. In spite of an obviously bad quality of the fluid, the fluid was not changed, the deiced was done again and again.
It is like the plane was prepared for the crash on purpose. But the government committee states that the icing was strong but it could not have been the cause for a fundamental worsening of the planes flight characteristics. And the captain is accused of devoting too much attention to the operation of the anti-icing systems of the airplane during the flight. Though attention is not surprising, because the airplane was fling in the conditions of strong atmospheric icing (“icing” warning signal activated almost right after the takeoff, and was active during the flight and before the crash).
In court the employees of “ELK Airways” started to claim that the plane was anti-icing with the fluid “ARKTIKA DG”, though there had been statement, examinations, evidence and many more documents for “ARKTIKA”. This can mean that people responsible for the anti-icing understand their connection with the crash and are trying to hide it. No documents for “ARKTIKA DG” have been submitted. 35% of “ELK Airways” shares belong to the Estonian government.
Now in detail.
An interview with the captain of the airplane that crashed on Hiiumaa in 2001. Translation from Russian.
Original version at http://www.dzd.ee/?id=308499
Polish company ATM AVIONICS confirmed that the “black box” decoding from the crashed Estonian airplane on Hiiumaa has been done with the data from another airplane.
Passenger plane AN-28 that belonged to the company Enimex crashed on November 23rd 2001 on the island Hiiiumaa, not making it to the runway a mere 1.5 km. As a result of the crash 2 people have died: one died instantly, second, a 10 year old boy, died later in the hospital.
Government committee and the investigation blamed the captain of the airplane for the crash, pilot Alexander Nikolaev. Though the person responsible for the first Estonian crash was named to the general public soon after the crash, the court still haven’t to pronounced a verdict. Why? Pilot Nikolaev agreed to answer that and other questions for the readers of “DD” Read the rest of this entry »