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MH17 down near Donetsk

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MH17 down near Donetsk

Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:01
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To summarize: answers to some questions stil being bandied about here
As to whether the plane was brought down by an SAM
from Angels
A Buk launcher has been seen in the locality from where the missile was fired. Look back on this thread, there are pictures, one from a reputable news agency AP), also video. Today a Buk launcher, minus at least one missile, is seen being driven from the vicinity towards the Russian border along a route Russians have used before. See my earlier post.
Additionally every square meter of this area is covered by military spy satellites 24/7; not only is Washington firmly convinced it was a SAM but Moscow has not offered any alternative theories so likely they are also certain.

As to who:
MAINJAFAD with the experience with these mobile SAM systems has explained very clearly in two posts that the system is highly automated and does not require highly sophisticated personnel to operate it -it is a mobile field system, thus that makes the eminent sense (IMHO)
it is very likely that there are plenty of ex Soviet / Russian / Ukrainian armed forces personnel about on the rebel side who could operate this system to a standard that would allow an aircraft at 33,000 ft to be engaged.
So the separatist/rebels likely being run by the GRU and why? Because they could, they only knew it was a plane and being an undisciplined group of likely not very bright wannabe 'warriors' it never occurred them that before you shoot something down it would be the very good idea to determine if it was civilian or military -and whose I might add; they might have just as easily shot down a Russian plane.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:39
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sampublius:

Max speed of AN 26 is somewhat- a lot less than 777 at cruise
max altitude of AN 26 is at least 15K LESS than MH-17

Both have two engines OK but An26 has props 777 does not

So why claims of confusion ??
The origin of this seems to have several aspects:

- A new toy in the hands of inexperienced operators
- A "point and shoot" targetting system
- Little analysis by the operators other than the direction the aircraft was coming from
- No visual due to height
- A combination of wanting to destroy materiel belonging to the other side, plus fear of bombing runs
- <i>Maybe</i> an escort by fighters which would have seemed suspicious on radar (large return flanked by smaller returns) - though this has gone quiet over the last few hours
- Little or nothing to be gained by deliberately shooting down a plane in no way connected to the conflict.

I personally go with the cock-up theory here. That isn't to say that someone isn't responsible, but not beginning warlike rhetoric seems to be a good response.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:39
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? EU, EASA, Etc... where were you?

This mess was completely preventable! And why the officials, specifically who, did not take any action beforehand to mandate reroutings around this area - that is the question we should all demand to get an answer for!
jstflyin: welcome to the kingdom of the fonctionnaire -it never occurred to them.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:40
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Is there not one single person in all of our government's offices up to EU level who is not under "commercial pressure" and therefore thinks "Hey, let's postpone implementing the specifics of e.g. single engine piston airplane certification and, for a change, issue some form of official communiqué to the airlines about the events in eastern Ukraine!"
jstflyin, nail squarely hit on head.

Politically the western powers have been banging on about Ukraine being in Europe - what in hell's name is EASA there for?
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:43
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SAMPUBLIUS, the crew of the Vincennes mistook an A-300 for an F-14 fighter and at the time, the Vincennes had the best radar and electronic equipment that the U. S. Government could buy, and a supposedly highly trained crew.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:48
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Even if a NOTAM list is a chore to read it should be read. It may contain information which is very important to the safety of the flight.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:54
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Originally Posted by SLFplatine
not only is Washington firmly convinced it was a SAM but Moscow has not offered any alternative theories so likely they are also certain.
They may have not offered any alternative theories for Western consumption, but their internal state media openly discuss a theory that it was shot down by an Ukrainian fighter plane.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 22:56
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Even if a NOTAM list is a chore to read it should be read. It may contain information which is very important to the safety of the flight.
ATCNetwork,

Surely something all professional pilots would do as a matter of course?

The challenge can be sorting the irrelevant dross (e.g. cranes near the airport) from the vitally important.

The big carriers have their own priority systems which do this but smaller operators do not and crew report times have been pared to the bone to facilitate longer duty days which arguably leaves inadequate time for a crew to brief prior to departure.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:04
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All true, and sometimes the filters don't work, for instance last week one of the notams in our briefing pack was reminding us of the new regulations for north sea helicopter operations. We fly fixed wing.

The flight plan comes from the company and as a crew you read the notams to be aware of whats on route and any potentially dangerous issues, but I think the point is, would you then object as a crew and refile the plan with a 500 mile detour when the notam is for FL320 and below, and everyone else is routing that way?
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:05
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I would imagine with EFB's becoming commonplace this should be something that will become a lot easier also. Only the significant NOTAMS displayed for the planned route.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:14
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copied from another forum, hard to argue with this :

"It's quite possible the separatist have been given enough knowledge to operate the system but that the trainers never foresaw the possibility of a civilian airliner in a war zone and didn't bother to teach all of features contained in the system. The operators may have carried out procedures they were trained for but lacked the competence to use the system to it's fullest capability. Or there may have been one former member of the Ukrainian army instructing separatist that wasn't up to the workload and misidentified the target. I can think up several scenarios that don't require this to be an intentional attack on a civilian aircraft or direct responsibility. I don't think we currently have enough information to make a determination."

The Dutch Royal Marines are quite capable of securing the entire crash area and as a full NATO member they would have overwhelming support and I'm assuming the blessing of the Ukrainian government. I certainly wouldn't allow the remains of my citizens to rot in a field while the "rebels" posture.
huh, this is real life not a movie...there are thousands of fully armed rebels with combat experience antitank weapons heavy artillery and as it seems anti-air support, it's not some african al qaeda village...
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:27
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It seems most threaders are interested in giving their views on what happened and why but I see no mention to the possibility of the demise of a great airline that has suffered 2 tragic events in 4 months with the loss of over 540 lives. Where does Malaysia go from here? What will happen with the aircrew and ground engineers?
The aircraft crashed and it doesn't matter how much hypothesis and assumptions are made, it wont bring them either aircraft back or make it any easier for the losses.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:37
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They may have not offered any alternative theories for Western consumption, but their internal state media openly discuss a theory that it was shot down by an Ukrainian fighter plane.
The willingness of Russia's Government to state, with impressive conviction, the seemingly absurd is hardly unprecedented. "There are no Russian troops in Crimea" was once their mantra. Meanwhile rolls of film showing Russian troops, speaking Russian, wearing Russian uniforms driving Russian'-registered APCs were shown around the world.

As with so many of these tragic events, the most likely scenario is usually proved correct in time. Conspiracy theories simply don't have legs in the modern world where every hole in a theory is found and exposed. The chances of a Ukrainian fighter jet knowingly shooting down a civilian jet are a million to one. The odds of it being fanatical rebels probably more like two to one.
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:39
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They may have not offered any alternative theories for Western consumption, but their internal state media openly discuss a theory that it was shot down by an Ukrainian fighter plane.
hamster3null: And your point? Moscow's internal state media is tasked with supporting the Kremlin narrative that Kiev has been taken over in a coup d'etat by a bunch of western supported degenerate fascists intent on doing harm to the noble orthodox god-fearing Russian people. That what they disseminate internally they do not try to sell to the global media is a very clear indication that they know it cannot pass the straight-face test outside of Russia. inside of Russia of course is an entirely different story. Consider, they even attempted to float the suggestion that inasmuch as Putin was flying back to Moscow from Brazil the very same day the Ukrainians where intent on shooting down his plane but mistakenly shot down MH17. The Russians are xenophobic, they dislike and distrust the west intensely, this stuff goes over big in Russia

Last edited by SLFplatine; 18th Jul 2014 at 23:43. Reason: typo
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Old 18th Jul 2014, 23:42
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found on twitter from bobik_57

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Old 19th Jul 2014, 00:09
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Why would Putin want the Buk launcher in Russia

If the Ukraine gov't has a complete inventory including serial numbers of the missiles and launchers seized by the rebels, Putin would definitely not want a launcher short a missile unless it's on its way to be dropped down a certain hole in the Yamal peninsula

Bits and pieces of the missile with any serial numbers will be urgently sought. If found by the rebels, any such pieces may be on their way to a blast furnace.

The Russians have lots of Buks and I would not be surprised if a couple Buks of similar vintage get new serial numbers and reinstalled on the launcher.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 00:21
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According to ABC News:

At a June 30 Pentagon news conference, NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said Russia had been providing air defense training to Russian separatists on its side of the border with Ukraine that focused on “vehicle-borne” surface-to-air missiles.

* * * *

“What we see in training on the east side of the border is big equipment, tanks, APCs, anti-aircraft capability, and now we see those capabilities being used on the west side of the border,” Breedlove said at the time.

He added that the anti-aircraft capability training focused on larger vehicle-borne missiles instead of portable MANPADS.

“We have not seen training of MANPADS,” Breedlove told reporters. “But we have seen vehicle-borne capability being trained.”
NATO General Warned of Russian ?Anti-Aircraft? Training for Separatists - ABC News


If that June 30 date is accurate it supports the contention some 'separatists' had recent training in vehicle-borne systems and access to them, and at some level Russian military/intelligence knew it as well.

It may also fuel the debate on why airlines continued to traverse that area. Would only NATO members specifically be advised of the increased risk to commercial aviation? Would the decision-makers at some airlines even understand the significance of vehicle-borne missile systems versus MANPADS?
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 01:24
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A good point indeed , the real concern for Malaysia is the impact this bad luck/bad karma has in their main, ie Asian market , where such things are taken very seriously indeed.
I spoke to a friend who is a tour operator. This is extremely unfortunate for MAS. They were still reeling from the MH370, how they handled it (the Shaman dance display), going down in history for the most mysterious air disaster. In order to gain back some market share (already a non-profitable airline), they had slashed prices to the bone marrow. Now with another incident of this magnitude and worse still, in Europe, it might be the nail in the coffin for MAS. My friend is already seeing customers asking for refunds or changing carriers not so much because they worry about another accident, but they are worried that MAS will be defunct before their travel.
This is akin to the 'run on the bank' but it does not stop there. I suspect pilots and crew will also start to flow out. Being a national carrier, it would be a very hard decision for the Government. I reckon that it will be at minimum be a rename, redesign of the logo or paintwork. Something to give the airline a new image. One thing for sure is, tickets will be real cheap in the coming months.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 01:30
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Another tragedy on another level

This war crime is awful on so many levels. One of the world's leading experts in HIV was on the plane en route to the World AIDS conference in Australia, together with a few other researchers. Joep Lange was one of the eminent researchers in the field (not mine), heavily involved in development of novel therapies. As one person on Twitter wrote: "The solution to the AIDS pandemic may have been on that plane..."
Not to mention the 80 or so children. Sad,sad days.
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Old 19th Jul 2014, 01:50
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I've often wondered just how much attention the run-of-the-mill pilot pays to a NOTAM. This is based on years of experience with amateur rocketry, where we are required to file for a waiver and get a NOTAM for our launches (anything over 3.3 lbs. and/or 4.2 oz. propellant). We often joke that NOTAM is really code for "something interesting, go take a look" because I can't recall a launch where we didn't have to suspend launch activities due to an aircraft within the NOTAM/waiver area/altitude.
More than once, the offending aircraft have actually orbited our location before apparently becoming bored and continuing on - this is with waiver altitudes as high as 40k (some events have waivers over 100k).
Usually, the offending aircraft is GA, but just a few weeks ago at a launch in Oregon, the offending aircraft was a 747-8i on a delivery flight (I verified the aircraft with binoculars, then double checked when I returned to work )
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