Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashes in Ukraine near Russian border


I wonder how common it is for commercial aircraft to fly over active conflict zones? One more thing to check when I’m planning trips in the future, I guess.

Still, I get in my car every day and that’s statistically way more likely to kill me, so I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about it. :slight_smile:


I can’t believe some one setup a flight path over a shooting war where several planes have been shot down.


It’s the anniversary of TWA800, too.


Yeah, the claims are coming that it was shot down (wouldn’t be surprising).
How horrific.


Hadn’t heard about the Donetsk folks claiming responsibility prior to reading BB’s post about it. I hope the attackers, whoever they might be, have a short, brutal life, and I hope their conscience is strong and greatly upset with this terrible deed.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case with us humans of late. Sad.

Example of a mishap. (A real mishap. An instructive example that people when suitably primed will all see a descending plane squawking “I am a fighter” instead of a rising “I am a civilian flight” one when they expect to see it, despite the screens all showing the latter.)

It would be kind of amusing if this Malaysian one would turn out to be a bog-standard mechanical failure.

What’s certain is that a swarm of conspiracy theories is already gathering.

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My Ukrainian co-workers are saying that Russia is denying even 2nd hand responsibility and blaming Kiev (big surprise). They also say that pro-Russian “rebels” posted facebook accounts of shooting a plane down right after it happened, but once it became apparent it was a passenger plane they pulled the posts–though screen caps evidently are being shown in Ukraine media. They also took credit yesterday for a military plane that went down, and up to today, at least, bragged about the ability to take down high flying aircraft. The social media stuff may well be a “smoking gun” here, proving the so called rebels shot it down.

In any case, it does sound like a mistake on the rebels part–not deliberate terrorism. They’ve been shooting or trying to shoot down military aircraft lately, it seems likely that pro-Russian rebels with Russian-supplied equipment took down the plane thinking it was a military jet.

That said, the expected conspiracy-comments are already rolling in on various sites to speculate that 1.) Kiev did it themselves to foster sympathy, or 2.) The US did it to further isolate Russia.

If it continues to pan out that this is indeed Russian backed rebels using Russian supplied equipment, hard to see how the shooting down of this flight, which originated out of the Netherlands, is not going to cause serious sanctions from Europe on Russia.


By far the most likely scenario is that the “Rebels” mistook it for an AN-26, because they’re basically just well armed thugs who just got some new toys and don’t follow proper IFF procedures.

Russia has been spewing out disinformation at an impressive rate over this incident, but I don’t think it’s going to stick. There was no Ukranian jet fighter that shot it down and was then shot down by the Rebels. Ukrane didn’t sneak their own AA missiles into the region and hack the social media of the leaders just to discredit the rebels. This was some poorly trained asshole given too much power and screwing up.


Pretty dumb blunder for commercial flights to continue to pass over the area when there’s a known conflict taking place and there’s been reports of planes being shot down.

I find it hard to believe there’d be absolutely zero emergency alert system in place, with all the surveillance governments are doing someone should have maybe figured sending something out would be appropriate.

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Just hours after the crash was first reported, observers are questioning how the government of Ukraine could run an impartial investigation.

What’s the UN doing? Shouldn’t they have peacekeepers and investigators on general standby for just this sort of thing? Especially when there’s been this much lead up into a conflict?

Then again, it took them forever to do anything about Kosovo, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised if nothing has changed in twenty years?

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I’d like to see what route you would choose to go from Europe to the Middle East that doesn’t fly over contested areas.

Normally airliners are reasonably safe. Most insurgent groups can’t get anything better than a MANPAD, and those won’t even get close to shooting down a cruising airliner. Actual SAM hardware is expensive enough that generally only trained operators working for major governments have access, and they usually don’t shoot down airliners.

This particular screwup is especially embarrassing because the AN-26 is a smallish turboprop transport aircraft. The 777 was flying well above its service ceiling and faster than the maximum speed of the aircraft. The 777 is also much larger and is visually distinctive. A properly operated SAM system would have a guy with a pair of binoculars out there verifying the target before you pull the trigger, especially in a busy commercial corridor. These guys saw a blip on the radar and immediately hit the big red button because they are idiots.

It will be interesting to see if the west and especially Europe take a closer look at this conflict now. I’m guessing maybe some more economic sanctions and some public condemnation and not much else.

Looks like the Rebels have recovered the black box and are sending it back to Moscow. Official cause of crash: Pilot Error.


I agree it was a mishap. None of the possible parties in that conflict have anything to gain by targeting a civilian, foreign-flag aircraft.

I guess I just surprised that despite the separatists bragging that they had medium-range Buk SAM systems (SA-11 to former combat flight sim geeks like me) since late June, commercial aircraft continued to overfly the area.

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The separatists have been bragging about their missile capabilities since June though, that comes off like willful ignorance to me.

The “we didn’t reroute because it’s hard” argument is not a good argument at all.

Russia has several divisions of elite peacekeeping troops. ready to deploy into areas of the ukraine, should the need arise. They continue to monitor the Kievan bandits closely.


The “we didn’t reroute because it’s hard” argument is not a good argument at all.

Yeah. Probably no more than a hundred flights per day need to be rerouted.,


Yesterday Putin warned the West of massive troubles if they didn’t back off sanctions
Today Russia moved a column of air to surface missile vehicles into the area

Putin has a lot to gain. The Russians have form in this game - Korean Airliner - and this would absolutely put the cat among the pigeons

Before you blame the victims, know that there were no specific warnings by the ICAO to avoid the specific area. Even the FAA didn’t consider Donetsk when nixing flights over Crimea a few weeks ago.


If you’re avoiding flying over “war zones” then you have to avoid:


When an entire region is prone to constant low level warfare it is just not feasible to reroute every time a brush fire breaks out. Generally people don’t shoot at foreign commercial air traffic anyway because it is political suicide. Redoing routes is expensive. It throws off the schedule which affects all connecting flights, it also may not be possible if the plane on the route is already near its maximum fuel load for the route.


Mod note: No victim blaming.