Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Efforts Were Made to Cover Up Causes of Flight MH17 Disaster in Ukraine, Report States

An emergency services worker photographs debris from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 18, 2014 in Grabovka, Ukraine. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
 
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Providing so called rebels with an anti aircraft missile is hardly a surprise even if it was done through the back door.  Then using it required only one trigger happy fool.  assuming any of this was planned beggars the imagination.


Let us call it what it truly was.  It was an avoidable lapse in discipline that could almost be characterized as an accident just like when your four year old turns on the ignition.  Today we have safeguards.


It is also a reminder that hot pilots also play chicken and need to be managed carefully.


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Efforts Were Made to Cover Up Causes of Flight MH17 Disaster in Ukraine, Report States
Victims heard missile blast before their deaths 


More than a year after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, investigators with the Dutch Safety Board released its report on the incident, saying a Russian-manufactured Buk missile downed the plane.

The highly anticipated report suggests that attempts were made to cover up the causes of the crash, including evidence that metal fragments from the missile were deliberately removed from the captain during the autopsy. His body had undergone “an external and internal examination to remove foreign objects,” according to a section of the report.

The investigators detailed what it may have been like on board the plane, which was going from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014, before it was hit by the missile. As a result of the impact, the three crew members were killed instantly and a “large number of fragments from the warhead were found in their bodies.”

The blast sent hundreds of shrapnel pieces into the plane with a great deal of force, the safety board report stated. “Several bone fractures and other injuries that were observed in the captain’s body were judged to be related to the impact of metal fragments traveling at a high velocity,” the report stated, adding that the apparent attempts to remove all the shrapnel weren’t successful. Two pieces of discovered shrapnel were in the shape of a bow tie, which the board found to be a characteristic of a particular type of Buk missile.

The Russian manufacturer of Buk, Almaz-Antey, has denied that those types of fragments were found, and it has insisted an older Buk model was used, which was no longer used by Russian armed forces.
The Dutch Safety Board said that the pressure wave caused by the exploding missile warhead produced “deafening” sound that was likely audible “to everyone on board.” The passengers were suddenly exposed to an airflow of more than 550 mph. The board added that Hurricane Katrina, responsible for devastation in New Orleans in 2005, had an airflow of around 175 mph.  They also suffered sudden loss in air pressure and a lack of oxygen at an altitude of approximately 33,000 feet.

The investigation revealed that the missile approached the aircraft almost head-on. 

, Dutch Safety Board
The plane was shot down over an area controlled by Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. The rebels for several days refused to allow access to the crash site.
However, the Dutch report did not assign blame.

With the reconstructed cockpit displayed behind, Tjibbe Joustra, head of the Dutch Safety Board presents the board’s final report into what caused Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to break up high over Eastern Ukraine last year, killing all 298 people on board, during a press conference in Gilze-Rijen, central Netherlands, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)


With the reconstructed cockpit displayed behind, Tjibbe Joustra, head of the Dutch Safety Board presents the final report during a press conference in Gilze-Rijen, central Netherlands, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Pro-Russia rebels have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine since last year. Western powers, including the United States, blamed the rebels while the Russian government has insisted Ukraine brought down the passenger jet.

“The investigation revealed that the missile approached the aircraft almost head-on, in the direction of the upper left-hand side of the aeroplane,” the report added. “The warhead exploded to the left of the cockpit. This is evident from the aeroplane’s damage pattern, which shows the highest number of impacts on the left-hand side of the cockpit.”

The Buk system has been part of the Russian arsenal since the early 1970s, but older versions are no longer deployed. The safety board did not say what generation of missile was used to bring down MH17, and they stressed it’s the responsibility of a separate criminal investigation, which is not scheduled for completion until next year.

The board’s chairman, Tjibbe Joustra, added that Ukrainian authorities failed to close airspace over eastern Ukraine despite armed conflict in the area, a finding that was seized upon by Russian officials. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement that analytics provided by Russia’s aviation authority submitted to investigators were disregarded.

“We were barred from the investigation under various pretexts. And all of a sudden, Russia’s cooperation became necessary after the Dutch Safety Board published the report with ‘ready’ conclusions,” Zakharova said in a statement published by Russian state-run media reports.

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