The Tu-154 crew fulfilled the last order by the Skyguide ground control to change flight trajectory although this very order doomed the airliner to collide with the Boeing cargo aircraft. An independent aviation expert in an interview with the Swiss TV and radio information service has disclosed this information. The conversation dwelled on recently disclosed results of an investigation into the July 2nd tragedy. The investigation is being held by the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation /FBU/ in conjunction with Russian experts.
The Skyguide's order was transmitted 44 seconds prior to the collision and was subsequently repeated. This order contradicted data obtained by air collision warning system /TKAS/, which warned the crew about the danger. In line with the Skyguide order, the Russian pilot began a descend manoeuvre. The Boeing's pilots obtained a similar warning and hence, commenced the same manoeuvre. several seconds later, the two aircraft collided at an 11,000-meter altitude.
The expert believes that in this case, "it is the Skyguide ground control service that ought to bare the responsibility since the on-board emergency warning system is only an auxiliary device." As it has been previously reported by the Swiss Dimanche weekly, "ineffectual actions" of the air controller on duty were the last link in a chain of mistakes committed by the Skyguide company in the night when the Tu-154 and Boeing collided.
An emergency warning system, which was to warn personnel of the Zurich ground control about a hazardous approximation between the aircraft in the Skyguide's zone of responsibility, had been shut down. Three out of the four telephone lines in the centre were out of order. In this critical situation, German air controllers in Karlsruhe were unsuccessfully striving to warn about the inescapable collision the only controller-on-duty whose attention was totally absorbed by another aircraft, which at that moment, was landing in Fridrihshafen /Germany/.
Switzerland still has not offered its condolences to Russia in spite of the fact that it was a Swiss air controller whose mistake resulted in the death of more than 50 Russian children and the jet's crew. Moreover, during the investigation, the Swiss ground control centre would resort to scurrility and lies trying to put the blame on the Russian pilots.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia