Edw. Boertjes: Tu-154 crash in Germany

Dear Editor,

The statements of PRAVDA.Ru in "Blames on Russian Tu-154 Pilots" (12:56) are not only incorrect but heavily insulting.

It is mandatory to follow the instructions of the aircraft controller because ground control has access to much more data and also was previously informed of the flightplans. A captain of a ship also has to follow the instructions of a harbor pilot. Although it turned out that the reliability and quality of Swiss flight control leaves much to be desired, the procedures are clear.

The Russian captain initially had to make a choice between conflicting instructions and decided to obey ground control. The other plane did not respond in time to its own warning system, but reacted only 14 seconds before impact. The Russian crew could notice that on their warning system's panel and must have concluded that the other's automatic system and communication failed. Otherwise, the Swiss flight controller would not have interfered and given his instruction to the Tu-154 to descend, which proved to be fatal.

You can follow the status of the investigation yourself (and read what the flight controller actually said !):


Regards, Edw. Boertjes