Military - Polish Air Force Flight PLF 101

Military - Polish Air Force Flight PLF 101Saturday April 10, 2010
The military jet crashed and was destroyed while attempting to land in dense fog and poor visibility. The crew requested permission to carry out a trial approach to a decision height of 100 m and told the controller to expect a go-around. A few seconds before impact, the autopilot and autothrottle were disconnected in order to execute a go-around. The airplane impacted upsloping terrain at a distance of about 1,100 meters from the runway and 40 m to the left of extended centerline. The immediate cause of the accident was the failure of the crew to make a timely decision to proceed to an alternate airport although they were not once timely informed of the actual weather conditions at Smolensk, which were significantly lower than the established airport minima. Descent without visual contact with ground references to an altitude much lower than minimum descent altitude for a go-around, in order to establish visual flight. No reaction to the numerous TAWS warnings which led to controlled flight into terrain, aircraft destruction and death of the crew and passengers. Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife were among the dead.

Crash Details

DateSaturday April 10, 2010
LocationSmolensk, Russia
Aircraft TypeTupolev 154M
OperatorMilitary - Polish Air Force
Flight OriginWarsaw, Poland
Flight Destination Smolensk Russia


Smolensk, Russia
Military - Polish Air Force
Tupolev 154M