Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev 154 – the truth

What really happened to the Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev 154, which collided two weeks ago with a DHL worldwide express Boeing 747 at 36,000 feet over Germany, killing 71 people?

Experts have tried to reconstruct the last seconds of the fateful journey undertaken by the Tupolev’s Captain Gros. He received a message from his TCAS (Automatic Collision Avoidance System) telling him that he was on a collision course with another aircraft. The system issued an RA (Resolution Advisory measure) to captain Gros and Captain Phillips of the Boeing. Captain Phillips was told to descend and Captain Gros to climb.

Almost simultaneously, a Swiss Air Traffic controller, noticing two bubbles on his screen, panicked and told Captain Gros to descend, pointing him into the path of the Boeing. Captain Gros obeyed the order. 71 people died.

Since both aircraft were fitted with a transponder to detect traffic at a distance of 40 nautical miles and since both pilots were highly experienced, and given that the TCAS system only issues vertical TAs (Traffic Advisory messages) to pilots on collision course to climb or dive, one up and one down, it would appear that in following the orders of the man and not the machine, Captain Gros sealed the fate of 71 people, through no fault of his own.