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Update on the MH 17 Shootdown

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COMMENT: Supplementing information presented in FTR #803, we learn that a website catering to global business travelers presented information pointing to Ukrainian military personnel as the “perps” of the shootdown of MH 17.

The last minute change of course of the doomed plane was confirmed by an Air India aircraft nearby.

We will present more about this subject in the next For The Record Program.

“Ukraine Air Traffic Controller Suggests Kiev Military Shot Down Passenger Plane”; eTN Global Travel Industry News; 7/17/2014.

 ETN received information from an air traffic controller in Kiev on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

This Kiev air traffic controller is a citizen of Spain and was working in the Ukraine. He was taken off duty as a civil air-traffic controller along with other foreigners immediately after a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine killing 295 passengers and crew on board.

The air traffic controller suggested in a private evaluation and basing it on military sources in Kiev, that the Ukrainian military was behind this shoot down. Radar records were immediately confiscated after it became clear a passenger jet was shot down.

Military air traffic controllers in internal communication acknowledged the military was involved, and some military chatter said they did not know where the order to shoot down the plane originated from.

Obviously it happened after a series of errors, since the very same plane was escorted by two Ukrainian fighter jets until 3 minutes before it disappeared from radar.

Radar screen shots also show an unexplained change of course of the Malaysian Boeing. The change of course took the aircraft directly over the Eastern Ukraine conflict region. . . .

“Air India Flight Was 90 Seconds Away When Missile Struck Malaysian Airlines Flight MH117” by Manju V.; Times of India; 7/20/2014.

. . . . An Air India Dreamliner flight going from Delhi to Birmingham was in fact less than 25km away from the Malaysian aircraft, a distance covered by a Dreamliner or Boeing 777 in about 90 seconds, when the latter was hit. Because of this closeness, the Dnipropetrovsk (local Ukrainian) air traffic controller asked the AI pilots to try and establish contact with pilots of the Malaysian aircraft who had stopped responding to its calls.

Minutes before the crash caused by a missile strike, the AI pilots had also heard the controller give the Malaysian aircraft MH17 what is called “a direct routing”. This permits an aircraft to fly straight, instead of tracking the regular route which is generally a zig-zag track that goes from one ground-based navigation aid or way point to another. “Direct routing saves fuel and time and is preferred by pilots. In this case, it proved fatal,” said an airline source. . . .

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