Areas of investigation for Ukraine Airlines crash

By Scott Hamilton


Jan. 8, 2020, © Leeham News: Some news reports of the Ukraine Airlines crash yesterday in Tehran linking the event to the Boeing 737 MAX crisis are irresponsible.

Ukraine Airlines Boeing 737-800. Source: Wikipedia.

The Ukraine airplane is a 737-800, a highly reliable aircraft with thousands in service around the world.

Drawing any conclusions about the crash at this stage and under the unique circumstances of open, armed conflict in the region is also irresponsible.

None of the news reports LNA has seen so far indicates possible radio communication from the pilot. The flight and voice recorders apparently have been recovered, but no information has been released of what information these contain. It’s unlikely any information has been downloaded at this point.

Here’s what investigators routinely consider in a crash investigation:

Areas of investigation
  • As a matter of routine, crash investigations should include, in no particular order:
    • Pilot error.
    • Maintenance error.
    • Technical error.
    • Outside factors, such as weather, terrorism and in this case, erroneous military action.
    • With knowledge from previous accidents/incidents—notably Southwest Airlines in which one passenger died—the CFM 56 engine has a history of uncontained failures that must be considered.
    • Foreign object ingestion upon take off.
    • Bird strike, either during takeoff or shortly after (think US Airways 1549).


199 Comments on “Areas of investigation for Ukraine Airlines crash

  1. Initial pics clearly indicate shrapnel from the outside to the inside on various parts of the olane. The sudden loss of comms also indicate a catastrophic event, not an engine fire. The question is, was it a US, Iranian missile or someone elses missile.

    • @Mark: You may be right in the end but at this stage don’t rule out a catastrophic, uncontained engine failure.

      • Scott, that is what I read early this morning on the South China Mail Post, a Chinese news site.

      • I discount an engine explosion because there are both outward and inward penetrations of the engine casing, so projectiles went into the engine and caused it to disintegrate. The sudden loss of comms and transponder would also indicate a missile. I doubt there will be voice or data after the sudden event.

        • I am looking at very widely scattered wreckage.

          That typical of an in flight breakup and they were not that high at 5000 feet roughly. Listed is 8000 ft but you have to subtract the local altitude (330o feet)

          In the pictured I have seen the engine casing has a outward blow out, but as noted, as they come apart that is likely.

          It clearly did not go straight down nor a short scattering

      • The Iranian government has now admitted it shot down the aircraft.

        Never before have those who leapt to conclusions been vindicated so fast.

        So now Iran joins the club of nations whose armed forces have downed an airliner, along with the USSR, USA, Russia.

      • Burnt cables take time, fire alarms would be sounding as latest gen aircraft have it in the holds, lavs. Coms would be open issue to local control.

        On board fire takes a good 20 minutes to take an aircraft down.

        Sans that, its a complete structural in flight failure, a bomb or a missile.

        No 737 has suffered total structural failure.

          • No it does not.

            A deliberate set fire takes 5 minute to ramp up, I have been and was certified to fight fires (and have done so)

            I know what fire behaviour is.

            This is not an on board fire.

          • Do read of PW501 and the earlier airborne version of that in Britain – engine piece through casing punctured fuel tank.

    • Those flight radar sites dont get their data from official sources , you can have a small computer receiver in your own home to pick up the signals for onwards transmission to their servers.
      There is many reasons for not getting all the data before the plane is destroyed , including descending to low level is out of line of sight reception of signals

  2. If the video is real, and I had to make guess, I could see a starboard engine fire reaching a fuel tank just before it hits the ground.

  3. What will be interesting is who the Iranians trust to help them analyse the black boxes.

    I understand that they have already ruled out Boeing / the USA.

    It would be problematic asking for Russian help due to the fact that the aircraft is a Ukraine International Airlines 737 NG.

    Would they trust the Canadians, the French or perhaps the Dutch ? It seems unlikely they would ask the UK to help as they view the UK as being too close to the USA.

    Unless the investigation is carried out in an open, and transparent manner, there will be many conspiracy theories.

    If the accident was due to uncontained engine failure, and this alone brought the aircraft down, it could have major implications for 737s currently flying, and potentially the grounded MAX.

    In the interests of flight safety globally, politics cannot be allowed to play a part in air crash investigations.

    It seems that reports are that the aircraft had very recently passed inspection, so other areas of investigation could include what was done during the inspection, was anything missed, was anything incorrectly re-assembled etc.

    This seems an unlikely cause, as the aircraft had done a number of flights since the inspection, but it should be verified.

    Regarding the videos posted above, they appear to have been taken from similar positions, but appear to be different angles of the same event, i.e. two cameras. In the video with the music, I think I can hear the comments of the person that is heard much more clearly in the other video.

    • Given that the second highest casualties were Canadian, I would think the pressure would be high from Trudeau to ensure a credible analysis. France, perhaps?

      • Canada is a bit close to the US but plausible

        I would more think France or Germany.

        If it was a missile then they will drag it out.

      • Trudeau has no credibility at home, there’s no reason to think he has pull internationally. Ask the Swiss to investigate.

        • Swiss do not have the equipment to read the recorders. Only a few do.

          Trudeau is not Canada.

          More likely France or Germany due to relations.

          • In the case of Ethiopian MAX crash Germany was asked but declined claiming they did not have the needed experience. I think it went to France.

    • Jak:

      A few comments.

      Global Politics: Just what will stop this being a factor? 100s of thousand of people are dead in the ME just form this current conflict. Its empty phraseology.
      Boeing has amply proved just corporate politics can kill people all to easily.

      Maint Checks: The worst service time for an aircraft is when it comes out of an maint, more so for a D check. Usually they don’t unbolt the wings so that is not an issue.

      If they cooked the books on maint work then you will never know sans a crash investigation and will the Ukrainians be allowed to do that on Iran territory.

      The recorders will be the first clue (if they can be assessed) and then politics raises its ugly head as to Iran where the crash took place vs competent investigators (which are limited even in the rest of the world and Iran has an awful track record )

      So its all about politics and which hand the Iranians decide to play.

      The Russians will have their hands trying to leverage this as they do all issues.

    • I would suggest Japan or China are the most likely candidates to assist in the data but beyond a sudden event there will be no data or CVR due to loss of all liklihood.

  4. Interesting question is who will take the investigative lead. Normally US agencies and Boeing would be very involved in the investigation of a Boeing aircraft, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps France will lend expertise to teams from the Ukraine and Iran?

    • No . Its the country in which the crash occurs that takes the lead. The manufacturer is only involved by invitation

      • Sorry, lead was the wrong word. Of course the “host” country assembles the report. But rather who will provide technical guidance, and review the FDR etc. For example even in the recent Cuban accident the US NTSB provided that expertise. But not likely here. In the Ethiopian accident France analyses the FDR after Germany demurred claiming they did not have the expertise.

        • US NTSB providing that expertise seems to have buoyed “pilot error” over other issues in some cases.
          And even the NTSB reports are often much less straightforward than what has been implanted in public perception.

          • Like when they recommended that Boeing change the Auto Throttle?

            Quite straight forward

            You are in ignorance of what the NTSB position is in the area is.

            They investigate, they make recommendations, they DO NOT implement.

            They also are not responsible for assessing economic impact.

            You may not like our system but you should present it correctly. Argue on the merits or the lack there of.

          • @TW
            Spare the screed.
            Try to understand what I wrote.
            Go for an on topic response.
            Top it off by making it a sensible one.

          • Sorry that you don’t express yourself clearly.

            I think that comes from having agendas of anti US rather than an interest in the field.

  5. My background is military not aviation so my comment may be of little value: But any anti-aviation missile system I am aware of from those available to Iran leaves a very visible and sustained track. Surely if witnesses observed (or claimed to observe) a flash or flames from the plane a missile track would have been obvious – especially as the scene was visible from a settled area. In this respect it differs significantly from the Ukraine shoot-down of the 777.

    • David: Like Scott, I think its just best to see what hard evidence shows up.

      That all depends on how the Iranians handle the wreckage, access to it and if they keep civvies away, and the data recorders.

      We will have some idea latter today or tomorrow I think.

      The hope is with the world watching they will want to put on a show of above board and hand off to competent parties.

      • This assumes its not a missile.

        I looked at the airport location as well as where it was when it went down.

        Airport is 19 miles out of Tehran, no a huge population in the area.

        And it was 12 KM to the N.W. and had passed a Mastiff (group of local mountains). It would have been screened from most views.

        Now its just suspicion but if I had missile batteries, they wold be located on top of that mountain.

        Anchorage AK had a Nike Missile and radar site on the mountains that overlooked the city.

        Best location and radar has terrific view.

    • David,

      I too have a military background. If it was MANPADS, it’s possible that a visible, and sustained track wouldn’t be seen at night. Once you have detonation near the aircraft, an observer may be alerted to the aircraft, and would then follow it fairly easily due to visible flames.

      I have fired a fair few RPG-7s (anti-tank, and anti-personel not MANPADS) at night, and you can only really see the rocket exhaust from directly behind (helps that you know where to look as you’ve just fired it).

      The only true MANPADS I had my hands on was a SA-7. I never got to fire it though. The SA-7 could reach a 737 just after climb out, up to around 7000 feet. A Stinger has a little more range/altitude, and if I remember Stingers were around in the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988.

      My view: If it was MANPADS, there wouldn’t be much TV coverage, no-one would be able to get near the site, the Iranian authorities would make very sure of that. The scene wouldn’t be like what is shown at
      You can see a black box in one of the photos.

      I hope that the true facts come out. You never know it could be just some nervous first time flyer throwing a bunch of coins into the engine for luck.

      • I note that available photos so far do not show tail section or any significant major sections of fuselage other than a portion of fuselage skin. No significant frames, wing box, wings, spars, etc.

        Hard to believe an in flight ” breakup” even due to a engine fire- explosion of one wing or trailing fireball would NOT leave major portions of other wing, tail, gear, etc.

        perhaps a bit of censorship involved ?

      • MANPADS tend to have very small warheads. They tend not to lead to a sudden destruction of the aircraft and are often survivable. Unless they are of the British style guidance (CLOS like Blowpipe or laser beam riding like Javelin or Starstreak) they would have infrared homing that would impact on an engine or wing near the engine. I don’t think this is a MANPADS for that reason. It could be an accidentally fired SAM given tensions are high but I doubt it as the conflict was not ‘hot’. There is the infamous case of the USS Vincennes firing an AEGIS missile into an Iranian Airlines Airbus A310 that had a faulty transponder. Rather flabbergasting given they had carrier born fighters in the area to carry out an interceptioj but this also happened over the Ukraine/Russian conflict zone at the time with MH17.

        • William:

          Last night was as hot as it gets. They had no idea what Trump reaction would be (note Ii say Trump and not US)

          Clearly if its shoot down it was a mistake, as noted, ala Vincennes (though why anyone would route civilian airlines though that area with the tension is beyond me – they did the same thing in Ukraine ironically )

          First it was technical issues based on no communication and now its dead (literally) silent.

          • Best to leave the Trump Derangement Syndrome and partisan politics out of it. Please resist the urge. Personalising this issue in terms of your current president along partisan lines does nothing to provide understanding of this complex issue. This conflict goes back to before the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis in the Carter era. Much of both sides of the congress are far more hawkish on this than your current president and even his cabinet irrespective of the sanctimious sound bites we are hearing. Compared to the previous Madam Secretary he is a moderate. I note a certain defence force’s F35I has been accused of using civilian traffic to hide its attacks on targets in Syria which may explain skittishness. of Iranian defences.

    • IMU it was still dark in Teheran.
      one could have seen the engine fire plume ( from rear only? )
      but not the lingering smoke trail.

      I’d be interesting to know about the reason for the delayed start.

      • Because they found green men on the moon and are trying to sort them out from the green with polka dots?

  6. I was quick off the mark making clear neither MAX crashes were terrorism.

    This one is different. I don’t believe a single word Iran says. Not one word.

    • Agree on Iran and a grain of salt.

      Its going to go seriously dark if it was a SA missile and they screwed up.

      Just seeing how they handle this will tell a lot.

      But the US has the same issue with certain unnamed individuals who have credibility (if you can even say that word in their regard) that is so in the negative numbers as to make the bottom of the Marianna’s trench look like a high point on the planet.

    • Most leaders in most Countries lies, thats why democraties have a free press that can but some limits to it. Once you get in power and your selected administration is responsible you want to hide and deny the terrible truth as approx 23-50% of decisions it makes are wrong or corrupt.

  7. I am seeing absurd comments that Iran will not give the Black Boxes to Boeing.

    The US Authority for air crash investigation is the NTSB, not Boeing.

    I don’t blame them if they elect not to give to NTSB for obvious reason, but it shows how out of reality the press is that they think Boeing is the final arbiter of this area.

    The hope is Ukraine is given the black boxes even if its conditional and not allowed to go to the US. France and German do have some neutral standing and both are capable of dealing with the black boxes.

  8. What crossed my mind, was the Metrojet Airbus A321 crash in the Sinai Peninsula back in 2015. The investigation pointed to sabotage by a ground crew worker — But each country involved did not like the other’s assumption.

    But it is much too early to go in any direction with conviction yet. It is a little like the A300 crash so shortly after September 11, 2001. Everyone thought: They must be connected…

    • Agreed, but for it to be that sudden a drop off, there are only a couple of explanations for that, aka missile and per the Metrojet, sabotage no matter what the source.

      If it is sabotage is going to be bizarre as that has not occurred in Iran we know of and targeting of a Ukrainian Airliner?

      But as I have noted in the past, throw the Maiden in the volcanoes and it quits is a hard on the maidens (cause and affect not linked)

        • Duke:

          I have a very good understanding.

          If you acualy read the comments its based on it disappearing from Coms as well as local (reported) radar and the scatter pattern of the wreckage (complete in flight breakup)

          Its a pattern you only see with a bomb or a SA missile strike in the larger BUK/Hawk class.

          • No one knows what the full flight profile was, the only information comes from the flight tracking sites who dont use airport or ATC radar outside US/Europe.
            This is how ‘other comments’ who have picked up on the limited information from the flight tracking not knowing its limitations. Misinformation repeated – even by the NY Times- still is misinformation.
            This has come up with ET302 where there was discrepancies over the profile from Flightradar and that published from the cockpit FDR – which differed from 737 L and R sensors as well!

            I have seen in my country ‘ghost flights’ created by a flight tracking site as you see on screen two flights on the same route at slightly different times ‘flying together’. A closer look shows they are same flight with different flight numbers from the operator and the larger airline whos livery the prop plane is flying in.

          • Duke:

            When you are proven wrong, just admit it and go on with life.

  9. Data is coming out,

    It reached 8,000 feet. Airports is 3300 ft, so 5000 AGL

    It was about 12 KM from the Airport

    There is a large Mastiff to the North of its flight path.

    All reports are the cessation of flight was sudden.

    A bomb or a missile. Even an un-contained engine loss is not going to do that.

    Easily could be either one. If I have an inclination/speculation its a missile. Simply due to the heightened tension and people with fingers on hair trigger.

    • Yes, early speculation based on the original reporting and data that has trickled in had one reporter on MSNBC asking specific questions about acts of foul play. With the casualty being on land, and the data boxes recovered they should have a pretty good idea of what happened. I presume they would let European authorities in on this.

    • “All reports are the cessation of flight was sudden.”

      The airline tracking sites use private individuals with receivers at their home or office – you can get one too. If the plane goes out of line of sight ( behind a hill say) of the station no more data can be received. The plane is still transmitting till it hits the ground. This is exactly the point about jumping in with limited knowledge , you dont know what you dont know.

      • Duke, I looked at the radar tracks of that same flight number (PS 752) from earlier days. There was no drop-out, the data are continuous for every flight.

        So there is in fact a sudden loss of data for the accident flight, at around 8,000 feet, which would indicate the loss of data was because the transponders stopped working then, rather than for other reasons.

        But obviously we need to see the preliminary flight data before drawing conclusions about what happened.

        • Previous flights didn’t crash. The crash means the plane began to descend not climb like ‘previous flights’.
          A relief map of the area from the airport and the crash site ( yes Google maps) shows a range of hills rising out of the general plains around Teheran. Some people mention ‘a massif’…sounds like a steep hill to me.
          This sort of thing came up way back with the Germanwings crash , that mountains block reception, the receivers have buffers for the data, and the servers extrapolate the data if there’s gaps.
          One thing we do know , it’s not a verified airport radar feed they are using.

          • Duke:

            Actually read all the previous comments then post.

  10. High on the list of causes to rule out is terrorism. Two months ago Ukraine arrested a very senior ISIS officer – Al Bar Shishani – the deputy minister of war plans. We also know that ISIS has cells inside Iran (carried out terrorist attack in Tehran in 2017) and ISIS has access to US made Manpads that it acquired in Syria. If not an act of terrorism an uncontained catastrophic engine failure would be high on the list. I cannot imagine that an Iranian missile defense system locked onto the aircraft and shot it down. In that case we would have seen evidence of it by now (not sure how much evidence a Manpad leaves) . Another avenue to explore is whether explosives were put on board the aircraft – again by terrorist groups. Aside from ISIS the formerly designated terrorist group “M.E.K.” (which the US now supports – Rudy Giuliani & other top GOP are paid to lobby for them in DC) could be behind such an attack so as to discredit the Iranian government. As with MH17 this is not going to be your typical accident investigation.

    • Umar Al -Shistani, previously Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili a georgian national has been reported killed many times. I doubt hes arrested by Ukraine either.
      “We continue to take out senior ISIL leaders and commanders. This includes ISIL’s deputy minister of war, Basim Muhammad al-Bajari; a top commander in Mosul, Hatim Talib al-Hamdani; and, in yet another significant loss for ISIL, its minister of war, Umar al-Shishani.”
      Whitehouse 2016/08/04/ Press Conference

      • Different person – this guy was arrested in November – don’t know if I can post link but here is text from the story

        Associated Press NOVEMBER 15, 2019 — 10:35AM

        MOSCOW — The Ukrainian Security Service says it has arrested Al Bar Shishani, one of the top commanders in the Islamic State group.

        The service, the SBU, said in a Facebook statement Friday that Shishani, a Georgian national, was apprehended near the Ukrainian capital Kiyv. The CIA and the Georgian police participated in the operation, it said.

        Since 2012, Shishani had served as a deputy to Abu Omar al-Shishani, the “minister of war” in IS, who was declared dead in 2016.

        • Ok .Thats right.
          “Both men were born in the mountainous Pankisi region of Georgia home to most of Georgia’s ethnic Chechens, known as Kists. Shishani is an Arabic transliteration of Chechen.”

          It could be a possibility of that connection if there is established it was a missile shootdown.

          This russian manpad has been used by many groups including Chechens

          People expecting a flame trail for the missile rocket forget they can have a very short burn time ( some models)

          • Very interesting info regarding the Igla Manpads. This builds on my theory. I see the Igla was (is?) being used by rebel groups in Syria and Iraq. Logistically it shouldn’t be that difficult to supply ISIS or other terrorist cells within Iran with this weapon.

          • Extremely unlikely that a manpads would do this.

            The vast majority are infrared or similar bands of one type or another and they go for the engine.

            This in turn means an engine out but not a crash and certainly not one with such a immediate cutoff (the flight if fatal is much more prolonged).

            They can shoot a plane down but they are limited warhead size and usually they damage an large aircraft and or its a much slower process.

            This has all the hallmark of a BUK class missile which can bring a VLA immediately .

          • I think the info coming out shows how abused i is to jump on a TFH.

            Philip has his same sort of off the reality on the MAX and stability.

  11. I also see that the pilots were experienced and that the aircraft is vintage 2016. It did just undergo a maintenance check but the thing I keep thinking is why 3 experienced pilots wouldn’t be able to put it down in some resemblance of 1 piece if it was a plane systems/engine/fire. Even valujet flew for longer and had numerous smoke transmissions before going down. Looking at the pieces of wreckage it literally fell to the ground, with a glowing fireball for effect. This speaks to me as some type of foul play just given the altitude and degree of wreckage damage. I sincerely hope that an international authority can get to that black box and CVR before they’re destroyed. Prayers to those onboard this tragedy.

    • Foul play is not necessary, simply someone screwing up.

      It could be a bomb, that would be out of the blue but high up there.

      The fire trail is not what you should be looking at, its the wreckage pattern.

      That is a complete in flight structural disintegration . Only two common causes are SA missiles and bomb.

      There can be other causes, Laud Air 767 would be the same.

      737 has never completely disintegrated in mid air despite some seriously awful structural failures in the skin and they still held together.

      Loss of control is a very localized crash site

      This is crash is very scattered along an axis.

      • Don’t know where you get get your crash debris conclusions from.
        This was the data/video released by NTSB for the Atlas Air 767F crash in the bay on the outskirts of Houston
        “released on 25 February, shows a wide swath of wreckage strewn about what appears to be marshland and shallow water.”
        Your conclusions about ‘complete inflight structural disintegration’ are unfounded
        It would be nice when you can say you got it wrong.

        • In video we can almost see that plane under fire almost touches ground. If felt in parts my guess would be it was a “few” meters above a ground. My stance is to just wait for a preliminary report instead of exciting stories.

          • We saw there was not much of touching down, rather explosion. And last seconds of flight can’t be seen.

          • Duke:

            I guess you argue the sun comes up in the East with people as well?

            You truly are grasping at straws. The debris filed on that 767 was confined.

            You used to have some good comments, I have not seen anything other than lame arguments lately. I now have to put you in the TFH group.

    • This is OT:
      Hiding under a maple leaf flag is popular with Americans.
      CIA, other ??? agency extracting their assets?
      The disparity in reported nationalities would indicate a bunch of Iranians with CAN 2nd passport.

      • Ewe:

        You will often find Martians using Canadian passports as well.

        • Ewe : That is soo old. Try something new 🙂

          Those martians smoke weed, have big eyes, ….
          easy to discern.

          I do wonder if some spelling aid would be of help to you.

          • Uwe: Typo. My most humble apologies.

            You are not in a dictionary nor would I have you inhabit the realms of my computer if it were

            Computers acts strangely enough without the aid of Tin Foil arching out the system.

      • You’re assuming Iran shot the plane down?

        The reason I mentioned nuclear and rocket scientists is because for a time (until the nuclear deal) it has been standing practice to work together with the Mossad to stall and disturb the Iranian nuclear program in any way. For instance by murdering scientists, blowing up centrifuges (to be more exact, spinning out of control by changing the software), uncovering or creating dirt that can get people working on the program in to trouble (either to turn them or get rid of the more capable people on the program).
        Iran declaring they’re pulling out of the nuclear deal makes it likely that practice is being reinstated.

        Wikipedia’s info is rather mild and incomplete but a good start to read:

        • Julian:

          I have yet to see any agency take down an entire aircraft to get at one person (well there is North Korea)

          Why would you do this out of Tehran when your so called target is going to the easily infiltrated Ukraine?

          While I do not rule out a bomb, its highly unlikely, though it would be second.

          Your reasoning (or more accuracy lack) is much like the Sun Rose in the East, therefore I am going to get a million dollars.

          Reading cause and affect into random events is what primitives used to do and throw maidens in Volcanoes and such.

  12. In EU newspapers they show an amateur video @ISNA_FARSI/Twitter of a nighttime burning aircraft sinking pretty steep until hitting ground and explode, they claim it is the UIA 737-800. It is a fully developped fire with one or both wing tanks burning. Locks like 3 Engine surges smoke balls from one engine close to the end.

  13. “I sincerely hope that an international authority can get to that black box and CVR before they’re destroyed.”

    Destroyed ? Iran has an extensive experienced aviation and aerospace infrastructure. There’s a well educated, civilized population. E.g. 70% Of Iran’s Science And Engineering Students Are Women and many own businesses. This is not Saudi Arabia, our ally.

    They’ll probably work closely with Canada, because many victims were Canadians. Maybe Swede or Germany too.

    Initially I thought engine problem as main suspect. But others say few engines failures, even uncontained ones lead to loss of control and such a persistant fire. Usually fuel cut & extinguishers do their job. This aircraft was still low / heavy, so had little time. But likely had the second engine working. Odd. Waiting for the FDR, CVR’s.

    • For a wing fire induced by failing powerplant parts you can look at the British Midland Flight 92 where a part of the Engine punctured a refueling panel on the wing underside causing a fuel leak and fire.
      Since the UIA fight speed and altidude is a bit similar to Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 a possibility for nacelle breakup and structures puncture exist.
      Hopefully will the FDR give answers.

      • On the 737-800, the center fuel tank extends almost out to the engine pylons. So if the perforation or ignition occurred there, it could provide a path into the fuselage, which would maybe explain the loss of communications, or explain loss of control.

        The center tank should have been mostly filled as it’s the largest tank. So not a flash like TWA800.

        I agree it’s best to wait for the data.

          • Not sure, some reports are that it was fully fueled. The 1,500 mile distance to Kiev is about half the 3,000 range of the 737-800, so most likely the center tank was partially full. I would think at least half-full to have some reserve.

      • Claes: Flight 92 did not break up in the air, it ran into a berm trying to emergency land after a significant time peirod time and cockpit hash up.

        The wreckage is in a tight compact area.

        It did not leap walls and building and scatters for thousands of yards.

        • I just wanted to point at the possibility of a failed engine part setting a fuel tank on fire. Engines are designed to contain failed blades not rotating disks, spools or major rotating seals (the Life limited parts). Anyone of those LLP’s in the CFM56-7B would penetrate the engine casing and continue thru any aircraft structure in its way. It normally takes some time for a fire to spread like on the Concorde in Paris, but if an engine disk hits an almost empty center tank the event might evolve much quicker like on TWA800. Still the limited data available does not point to a mid air explosion with aircraft disintegration but rather a massive fire from one or more fuel tanks.

          • The so called limited data points to two missile strikes.

            The Midlands crash had nothing in common with this one and is a very very poor reference if not outright out of the Gulf as it were.

            Lots of aircraft have engine failures , some shed turbines, they don’t quit com, they don’t break up and spread themselves all over the landscape.

            You look at details and you can get a good idea what occurred. This is classic missile or bomb.

    • Keeje:

      I don’t think you are that naive to think that a Dictatorship (religioius in this case) would not do anything to ensure they are not held accountable.

      The ramifications are huge. Including the one about the Vincennes being a deliberate shoot down and not a tragic mistake in a hot war zone.

      One Iranian Minister announced “Its scientifically impossible for us to shoot down an aircraft by accident”.

      Wow, there are a lot of things that are impossible but certainly not this one let alone science, because it is all too possible, we have seen it deliberately and by mistake.

      Well unless the Iranians have achieved some god like capability and I have seen no evidence of that.

        • Well, as we have seen, sudden experts emerge from the roadbed every day!

          (and I will admit some guilt there but I do work at it hard not to)

          As I noted before though, variation on going dark is to try to divert.

    • > Iran has an extensive experienced aviation and aerospace infrastructure.

      Not correct for “Aviation” at least. Under embargo the infrastructure inherited from the US 40y ago has suffered greatly and has not seen much investment. Why: no need. There are very few modern planes left, aside from the very very quickly shipped ATR-72s after the 2015 deal. Many old Russian planes with a catastrophic safefy record.

  14. Thursday, Noon, January 9th, 2020. The media (NBC) is reporting that the 737-800 was brought down by an Iranian missile.

  15. While I belie that is the most likely cause, US outputs in those areas no long have any credibility.

    [Trump] is saying it as well. I suppose you spew enough words you accidentally hit on reality once in a while. Variation of the Monkey on the typewrite.

    [Edited as violation of Reader Comment rules.]

    • I guess we need some more editorial detail. As the hair is orange as is the skin coloring and the conduct is quire Representative of a certain field of endeavor where people do odd hair colors and facial painting I would think it would be considered an accurate description?

      • Man give it a rest. Your political rants bring nothing to the topic at hand.

        • I believe they are pointed comments unless you really think the Orange one is just fine.

          so now, Scott certainly can edit me if he chooses but you won’t

    • Picture emerging of the front section of a missile.

      While a Hoax is possible, its not widely known that the front of the missile is not the warhead, it has the guidance system in it.

      Warhead (no longer right description ) is behind the nose and is a cylinder with rods and or bearings that created the lethal blast pattern (like a shotgun but due to where it is much more sophisticated to get the shutdown affect)

      The nose I believe has to separate so it does not mess up the pattern.

  16. The crash path is not remotely indicative of a turn back as the Iranians are saying.

    Right along the flight track if it had continued.

    More and more it looks like a cover up operation. They can’t keep the Ukrainians out, they can hid wreckage.

    Ukraine is specifically including missile investigators in the group they are sending.

  17. The more lies and prevarication the more certainty it is a SA missile of the BUK type

    They have more than adequate types that could easily do this.

    Tor, Hawk, S-300 and a plethora of Iranian mfg or knock offs.

    Path of flight passed right by Parandak Garrison, location of the 23rd Division (Divisions will have their own SA missiles and the base would be well protected)

  18. Too many greedy airlines learnt nothing from MH17.
    There were missle srikes in Iraq and they keep flying.
    FAA didn’t allow flights over Iraq/Iran. Was it before the crash too?

    • Leon:

      Right or wrong, this was a flight from Kiev to Tehran and back.

      Not the same as crossing flights in a War Zone though clearly a risk.

      Now should Iran be totally removed from air traffic? Good question.

      How about Iraq? Syria (of course ask the Russians). Turkey? Ukraine?

      How many countries can’t control their active missile systems?


      Its not an easy situation nor a decisions and do you blame Ukrainian Airlines or the Iranian’s who shot the plane down?

      An approved/scheduled flight out of your country and you can’t manage to not shoot it down?

      • “How many countries can’t control their active missile systems?”

        Possible shootdowns of civil airliners includes USS Vincinnes- by accident
        And Ukraine missile shot down a Russian airliner over the Black Sea- by accident in 2001

        There are disputed claims about an Irish Viscount over the Irish Sea near a UK missile testing site Aberporth in Wales. It was 1968 and still unclear what happened which is strange.

        This Italian one seems to be clear but still disputed

        As we can see , its not the first time different versions of what happen play out in public. The Vincennes shootdown couldnt be denied but a false story about diving planes was put out by US to ‘divert’ from the more prosaic reasons and blame the other side.

        • Duke:

          You ignore of course this is the second time the Iranian’s been responsible for a Civilian Aircraft shoot down in a war zone they created. Rant all you want, its no a US Problem.

          I assume you prefer the Russian approach that has killed virtually every man woman and child in Chechnya? Or the 100s of thousand the Iranians have killed in their proxy wars?

          This time the Iranians have shot themselves not only in the 737 but the foot.

          The first time they ran a civilian (Iranian) airliner through the middle of a war zone they created.

          This time they nor you can attempt shift the blame, they are responsible for both ends of the loss.

          You of course bring up Vincennes not as a tragedy (of which the 737 is as well) but an means to express your Anti US Bias.

          Where are you when other governments do vastly worse?

  19. TW, the news reports are that Ukraine is suggesting a possible TOR missile, which is of Russian origin.

    Agreed that as the Iranian story becomes less based on fact, it becomes less believable. Agreed also that US intelligence needs a factual basis as well. Especially since it appears to be a reversal of what was said yesterday.

    If either can release some evidence as to their claims, they will become more believable. A major issue will be whether the flight recorders are found to have been tampered with after the crash. There is a very detailed documentation procedure and chain of custody requirement for their retrieval. If Iran adhered to that, they should be good. If not, highly suspicious.

    • Rob:

      While its evidence, it does not matter if its Tor, Hawk, S-300 or Indigenous , its a massive screw up.

      Yes I would like to see the evidence the US has but it may not get released (unless the Orange one again releases classified data)

      If it goes the way it looks like, Iran is either not going to release the recorders or try to tamper with them.

      If they shot it down is in Iran’s best interest to just say so and move on.

      They can’t do that, anymore than our (can I say Orangeish ?) President can.

      They are handing the US a huge propaganda victory, the Orange one (if that is allowed) got lucky as hell and so did the US.

      This will erase the Vincennse to a tragic mistake not a PR beat the US over the head (and it was the first example of why you don[t fly commercial aircraft through a war zone)

      Internally its going to rip the Iranian regime badly

      Externally along with the missile attack on Iraq (not a US Airbase) its going to take the pressure off if not totally reverse that.

      I can’t think of a worse thing to have done to yourself than Iran has (lets not talk about what we did in the US back in 2016)

      It truly is a failure of Biblical proportions in the making.

    • Rob:

      This is beyond belief political and there is no way its going to be handled according to any standard other than massive attempted cover up.

      Add in you see them moving the wreckage without documentation of is location, there is nothign remotely professional about Iran government actions let alone this situation .

      That is not to denigrate the Iranian people who are well educated and do some amazing things (under and despite their government – the US has that issue as well)

      Reverberations will go on for years the way its heading.

      • Air crash sites have been mishandled for years all over the world . Even some parts in some instances have ended up back on the spares market.
        Coming down in a residential- rural area is always going to be hard to police.
        As for ‘political’ influence on the outcomes of crash investigations, just have to remember Colgan Air. People complained for years about the FAA rule changes and Congress role.
        “The crash of a DHC-8-400 (Q400) on approach to Buffalo, N. Y. brought on the all-time most egregious case of smoke and flames rulemaking by the FAA. It was dictated by Congress, it makes no sense, and it will have a lasting deleterious effect on air service to smaller cities and on airline flying as a profession.”
        Its some guy Richard Collins , whose sole authority is as a pilot. Please… none of what he said came to pass. Just another old git spouting off.

        We were heading that way with the Max grounding, but the preponderance of evidence overwhelmed the nay- sayers and their cries of ‘politics’

  20. A partial take from Flight Global that I think is worth seeing outside just the link.

    Canada is convinced clearly (and they are not quoting the Orange one) and clearly the kibosh is put on access and black boxes.

    “But Trudeau provides no confirmation of Canada’s involvement, and Iran has said it intends to keep the aircraft’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders within its borders.

    The aircraft took off from Tehran at 06:13 local time on 8 January and climbed westward to 8,000ft before disappearing from radar, Iran has said. Purported video of the crash shows a fiery object, breaking apart and falling from the sky.

    Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation, said it is “scientifically impossible” that a missile downed the aircraft, noting close cooperation between Iran’s civil and military sectors.

    Prime minister Trudeau says he has spoken to Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte about the Netherlands’ experience investigating the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. Dutch investigators determined a Russian missile downed that aircraft, a 777-200.

    On Thursday, some European airlines decided to aviod Iran airspace altogether as a precautionary measure. Lufthansa’s daily direct flight from Frankfurt to Teheran, LH600, was turned around over Romaina and is currently returning to Germany. Austrian Airlines flight OS871 from Vienna to Teheran landed in Sofia, according to flight tracking website Flightradar24.”

    All the coordination in the world does not stop a mistake and nervous trigger fingers. The only way to ensure no missiles is to have them off line.

    In hindsight, all traffic should have been halted before when Solunomi (sp) was killed if not right after the Iranian missile strike into Iraq bases.

    And that never fully stops a mistake, the US shot up a Turkish destroyer some years back (before we were at odds) and has had a number of accidental launches of missiles over the year off Naval ships.

    If its live its possible.

    • Can’t agree more.

      When you wip up your people as they did that war is imminent then that’s what you get.

      The cover up will be massive unless the evidence become truly untenable. Maybe they can move the missile battery / crew to Russia?
      Russians can help…they did it before.

      I love the “…it is not scientifically possible” by the Iranian high level ‘expert’. Typical answer of such a system.
      I remember back in the Soviet days that near us in Benin (small country in west-afrika) we had a “Parti Scientifique Communiste du Benin”… “Benin Scientific Communist Party” headed by Matthieu Kerekou. Obviously a one party state with a lot of scientific success.

      Don’t laugh! …. lol.

      • Ironic grin allowed?

        Not so funny for the folks living under it of course.

        Iran and N. Korea have done some amazing things, sadly its all for aggrandizization and not the poor schmuck on the ground.

        note: I understand the US and its issues, but as bad as it is it cold be much much much worse.

      • ” I love the “…it is not scientifically possible” by the Iranian high level ‘expert’..
        reads somewhere he was/is the road commissioner in the area

        True it is unlikely a ballistic missile would hit the plane, but NOT impossible – maybe he never heard of anti aircraft missiles ? Either that or w’ve all been mislead for 60 to 80 years or more . .

        Suggest finding another ex- spurt as in used to be a drip or still is a drip 😉

  21. The Daily Mail has a video on their site showing a missile striking the aircraft. What is very TELLING to me is the video is not from a fixed camera position but from someone holding a camera and pointing it at the plane at the precise moment it is hit by a missile. If this video is legitimate it tells us the plane was struck deliberately and the person holding the camera had foreknowledge meaning he is part of the group that brought down the plane. This sounds to me more like the actions of a terrorist group as opposed to military. On social media there have been posted imaged of the remnants of a Tor-1 SAM system but it is not clear when and where the pictures were taken. They could be disinformation.

    • Well if there wee two missiles- camera holder may have heard the bang from the first, and had time to raise camera/phone and point in the rough direction of the bang . …

    • Probably ‘recycled video’- the world is awash with fake news . We shall see. If it truly is real they will show the plane all the way to the crash.

      • Still don’t believe the Sun rises in the East ? (more or less, this time of the year for us its really very South East)

        I assume you only believe in Elephants if one falls on you.

        Of course the Iranians didn’t do it, that means someone other than the US gets the hate for a change.

    • UPDATE to previous post : I read a claim on another site that two missiles were launched , *if* true and the video clip is of the second missile strike then that would explain why someone would be taking the video – he heard/saw the first missile and pulled out his camera in time to capture the second missile hit. If only one missile launched then my above comments still stand

      • Interesting video, that does look like a SAM (you would be able to see rocket exhaust), not MANPADS, and radar guided by the look of the interception angle.

        The distinction is important, with a MANPADS attack, you’re looking at possibly only one individual from who knows what group with what agenda. With a larger SAM, you’re not easily going to smuggle a Gauntlet or Buk system into a country to mount a false flag operation.

      • This video settles the matter, I guess. It was obvious that some external force had damaged the plane instantly and severely, and the only other possibility except a missile would have been a second plane.

        Had we had so trigger happy officers at the controls during the “hot” cold war times, I would probably not be able to type this comment.

        • The Soviets had intelligent enough personnel to avoid an incident as dramatized n the Bedford Incident.

          Being reasonable may have been their downfall.

          • Oh like shooting down KAL 007?

            Or the Koran 707 ?

            Such reasonable people. I am sure the Chechnya just love them to pieces.

          • @TransWorld

            KAL 007 was shot down by Russian deliberately, because flew into Russian closed airspace. It wasn’t a mistake.

            You really should reduce daily dosis of politics. And take aviation pill instead.

          • Pablo:

            The Intentional Reorganized protocol for a civilian aircrat in your airspace is to get its attention, then signal it to follow and land.

            The US has had many lost airlines fly in US Airspace and has never shot one down.

            I don’ t accept its political to contradict someone who denies two Aviation shoot downs vs what was said about to intelligent personal.”

            Is it an intelligent act to deliberately shoot down a civilian airliner?

          • @TransWorld

            I haven’t said that shooting down civil aircraft was job well done, contrary – they could have done more. But it wasn’t a mistake.

  22. More news potining to 2ea SAM Russian built Tor missiles fired onto the Aircraft and one hitting. Someone in Iran might have orderer its SAM batteries to switch to “AUTO” after the Iranian missile attack onto US bases in Iraq, then you will see a repeat of the MH17. Such missile hit will intiate multiple fires in the Aircraft. UN could ask Russia to provide its customers with “Flightradar24″software to put a hold onto the Buk and Tor missiles shooting down Commercial Airlines on scheduled flights.

    • Don’t let Duke read that link, too much real world data.

      I am surprised to fin Uwe posting it, certainly not in the Anti US vein.

  23. USS Vincennes,8 years of ridiculous lies before the US paid compensation and issued a statement of “regret” rather than an apology. The captain even received a legion of merit! Don’t expect much from nation that manufacturers the deadly Qaher 313 stealth fighter.

      • I regards to the Vincennes, what was Iran doing running a civilian Aircraft through the middle of a War Zone (one that they had caused to occur?)

        And yes the US Government drug its feet. Name me one that has done the right thing (care to talk about Japan and sex slaves?)

        Damned right the Vincennes was on hair trigger, just like the Iranians were on the 737. When you have hot systems around you don’t fly civilian aircraft through the defense zone.

        So you can put that as well as the 737 crash on the Iranians who do’t learn from their own screw ups.

        Why would the Captain of the Vincennes have any action against him? He was a victim of the system he was given.

        At the time the Aegis was both new and it had a legacy of the Turret Ships where there were something like 6 centers involved in gun laying (now missile). Action was relatively slow in a gun turret fight.

        The US Navy should have had it setup and tested vastly better, the captain and crew were handed a system and the training that was totally inadequate.

        He had incomplete information and it was not melded into a single cohesive assessment center that would tell the Captain what was really going on.

        In the same vein I don’t blame the Iranian missile crew. They were put in some kind of impossible positions and ramped up by their government to hair trigger status (this is the same government that has killed 100s of thousands of people in other countries and triggered 3 or 4 wars)

        Blame Iran, even blame the US though we did not start the tanker wars did we? But don’t blame the people who are victims of their governments.

        • Just to keep the facts straight:
          “I regards to the Vincennes, what was Iran doing running a civilian Aircraft through the middle of a War Zone (one that they had caused to occur?) ”

          “The Iran–Iraq War began on 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, ”

          The US officially was not a war party, though Iraq/Saddam seems to have done the US’ bidding
          in attacking Iran still wanting to get even for ousting the Shah.

          Vincennes wasn’t really in a war zone beyond creating their own preemptive “war zone” around their ship.

  24. TW, the Vincennes incident was result of an inexperienced crew that wrongly reported the heading and altitude of the bogey, and also missed the civilian transponder. They did not double-check or cross-check their data with other sources, but reported that they had.

    This was coupled with an aggressive captain who also should have verified for himself before launching an armed missile in peacetime. He was not reprimanded because the data he was given was completely wrong, and the US did not want to create the impression of wrongdoing, but he definitely played a role. A less aggressive captain would have started from the premise he was not being attacked, and looked to prove beyond a doubt that he was, before firing. Those were the rules of engagement at the time, don’t fire unless fired upon.

    That said, I agree that flying airliners where tensions are high is a bad idea. I was surprised that commercial flights were still operating in Tehran at the time of an attack.

    • Rob:
      I think its important to have the context. Vincennes was operating in serious Fog of War. US partly but the major blame goes to Iran Govt.

      I detest people who think this is simple and then just use it to bash the US.

      Rather than blame the US, the biggest questions why a country thinks it can run a war and then operate fully normal operations of civilian airlines through a War Zone?

      I think its clear that the US Captain was aggressive, but then that is a more a desirable trait vs hesitation – they call them warhips for a reason. Brits have some of the most famous aggressive Naval officers in history.

      Bandar Abas was the site of F-14s and they had been told the F-14s were now armed for anti ship strikes.

      There had been shooting, Iranians ran into (Qatar?) waters and then back into Iranian water and if attacked, military forces have a right to pursue into national waters.

      Aegis flipped (re-sued) tracks so data from one could be assigned to another.

      USS Stark had been hit by a missile the previous year and its commander slated for court Martial and then got reprimanded (which ends your Navy career)

      I blame the Iranians most (80%) and the US Navy for putting them in that position with impossible orders and a touchy feelly that the Iranians could attack from safe waters and you could only respond not stop (ie go blow up Andar Abas)

      If you are going to blame people, then lets bring in all the factors and actors. Being selective this way is simply anti US.

      While I am deeply sorry for the people killed and their families, I find a great deal of satisfaction in the Iranians government has not just shot shot themselves in the foot on so many fronts, they just took a Mini Mac 10 and milled one off. .

      And we can now throw this into the face of people like Duke who just want to condemn the US not matter what the responsibility of others is.

      Sound harsh? Well 100s of thousands in the ME are dead as a result of Iranian actions. These people may have left a legacy that stops that.

      And no, I do not excuse the US Invasion of Iraq, that was probably the single hugest self inflicted wound in US history and maybe all of history.

      • TW, I agree it was both a bad and fluid situation, and that Iranians were conducting minor hit and runs with their attack boats. The captain had aggressively gone after those small boats, even crossing in front of other US warships with greater restraint, to do it.

        I would only point out that other Aegis-equipped ships were in the area, so he could have checked with them.
        They also had a carrier operating, not nearby but within range, they could have called for air support.

        I guess the main thing is that you get additional eyes on the threat before starting an attack, and also ramp up and reinforce your own side before acting. Odds that a single F-14 would attack naval forces, are pretty low, unless it was a renegade pilot. I think the captain saw what he expected to see, confirmation bias.

    • Vincennes as most US incidents are mindset thing.
      Like shooting “gooks” for entertainment in Vietnam.

      We are cowboys and vastly more important than anybody else. Bow your head. Make way.

      See the recent collisions of US Navy ships with merchant ships due to acting irresponsible and haphazard in highly frequented seaways.
      Topping it off with accusing the merchant mariner to have caused the crash.

  25. I am surprised no one linked so far the preliminary report which was published almost 2 days ago, so here they are.

    From the

    CAO Iran released a.o. the following preliminary information:
    – After takeoff the flight was cleared to climb to FL260 and instructed to contact Mehrabad ATC
    – Radar contact was lost at 8000 feet
    – Crash occurred at 06:18
    – Impact occurred in a park and the aircraft disintegrated along a forward trajectory
    – An eyewitness on the ground and another flight crew reported a fire on the airctaft
    – The direction of ground impact indicates that the plane was on its way back to the airport
    – CVR and FDR have been found; outer casing has impact and fire damage
    – CAO Iran sent formal notification per ICAO Annex 13 to Ukraine (country of registration), USA (country of manufacture), Sweden and Canada (passengers of those countries were on board)
    – CAO Iran invited per ICAO Annex 13 the authorities of these countries as party in the investigation

    – A special working group on the investigation team will focus on explosives

    With all the rumours based on an unverified, if plausible, video circulating suggesting a missile was the cause of the accident, I was very happy to find out that Iran have invited all countries involved to participate in the investigation. Terrorism or a terrible mistake, given the side story between US and Iran, this event hardly helps reducing tensions.

    • Vasco:

      The first solid info into what happened was both the cut off of coms (no Duke not your data) and nothing from the pilot to Ground Control.

      The scattered wreckage is a signature of a missile, bomb or complete structural failure.

      Last one is extremely low though not impossible (Lauda Air 767 crash)

      As far as cooperation, press statements are one thing, acualy allowing people to see all the wreckage rather than cherry picked is another.

      Iran is releasing all sorts of conflicting statements as well as total lies (it is indeed fully possible to shoot a specific aircraft down while there are other aircraft in the vicinity)

      Now Iran is holding the black boxes despite the fact they don’t have the4 equipment to download it and it takes a highly technical analysis to put that info into a cohesive form (there is a reasons there are only,y a few places that can do it)

      Right now what I see is lip service while they figure out how to muddle the waters so they can deny it.

      All you have to do is inventory your missile batteries though clearly they know what occurred.

  26. This is a serious bit of change.

    Rather than going straight, there was a turn back, unknown if it was before or after the com loss.

    What occurred in between is unknown, while the debris field continues to exhibit the classic missile or bomb, this route does not.

    Comment is the orientation of the camera was reversed.

    While its tragic, its also going to be interesting technically to see what happens.

    Did they turn back and get off route and then the missile took them out?

    Its highly likely the Tor is not tied into an IAD and was operating fully on its own.

    You just don’t fly civilian aircraft in a hot zone and act like its all normal or sooner or latter you get this.

  27. The TOR system is designed for fast and evading fighter targets, not bombers.

    Warhead is 33 lbs vs 156 for the Buk type that took out MH17.

    As the 737 is a mechanical controlled aircrat, electrical may have all or mostly gone out and pilot was trying to get back to the Airport.

  28. One thing for me is sure.
    If Trump didn’t send his killer drone, UIA752 would not have been shot down.

    It seems Trump is happy now.
    The only thing he gained is more hate against the US.

    • Yes, its totally Trump’s fault that the Iranians were trigger happy, launched two missiles at a contact coming from the airport that was visible on SSR, and then spent several days trying to cover it up, before finally admitting it after a video of the shootdown and pictures came out. /s

      I dislike Trump as much as the next person, but come on, this is on Iran here. My heart goes out to the families of those killed on PS752, its an awful, awful way to go.

      On that note, I’ve got to wonder, why didn’t Iran close its own airspace, if it was so worried about a retaliatory strike? Or at least not clear PS752’s original flight plan? I think this could’ve been avoided.

      • Oh every military is trigger happy. You raise the pressure and missiles and bullets are flying anywhere. Accidental shoot downs are growing by the year because almost every nation has SAMs that can take down an airliner today

    • @Leon

      US would say that was in a defence. Iran would say this was is a defense also. It’s just a war, at slow pace, but war. And collateral damages.

    • Leon why you did not asked yourself why Iran that started the ballistic missile/rocket attack in that day had their airports opened for civilian aircraft at same time their air defenses were in trigger happy mode?

      They were expecting automatic USA retaliation, and besides airports opened still too they also had the airspace opened to civilian aircraft…

      This looks to me they did not mind civilian causalities because they know perfectly well that in West and most of the media there is a self-hating group ready to blame their own civilization for everything that happens on earth.

      Probably that explain the question you did not make. And there is another question…

      • “…ready to blame their own civilization for everything that happens on earth. ”

        Really? Everything?

      • I concur, and well put. One question I still have is was the downing intended or not intended? A normal unbiased accident investigation properly and completely conducted with complete openness and honesty throughout would be able to answer this question. Due to all the political ramifications a normal investigation may not take place. Time will tell.

  29. Iran says more then one missile was fired. This would proabably account for the second explosion as the plane was trying to return to the airport and crash. So horrific. They had a chance and some people had to compound their mistake was a second one…

  30. People should not assume that an engine fauilkure could’t not cause an inflight explosion.

    For example a 737 caught fire in Calgary AB in the 1990s.

    A piece of a compressor hub came through the engine casing and punctured a cast fuel tank access over.

    The hole was probably finger size but fed a raging fire.

    Fortunately the pilots rejected the takeoff when there was a thump, but taxied off the runay thinking a tire had failed, so evactuation was delayed.

    The last of 120 pax exited the other side of the cabin just as fire was penetrating the side of the failure.

    The engine was a JT8D, mounted under the wing, I don’t know if the turbine section of the CFM56 on the 737NG is under the wing.

  31. The US ship had been under attack by Iranian boats, the airliner was not monitoring the universal emergency frequency 121.5MHz, and was on an unwise flight path given location of hostilities. The US ship was very concerned that it might be something that could fire a missile from standoff range, especially given the presence of Iranian fighter airplanes at or near the airport of departure, and had to react quickly.

    Airlines should have learned after militias or such shot down a Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine to stay well away from areas of hostility.

    (Dutch legal investigators determined it was a Russian missile of relatively old vintage, I presume they are still working on figuring out who was responsible. Russian –supported militia were active in the area, it was claimed that a missile/radar with greater capability had been brought in from Russia, of course Ukranian military had some old missiles from USSR days. Airlines foolishly assumed missiles could not reach their cruising altitude.

    I read that today there are militias in Iran, they tend to be a less disciplined type of force.)

  32. It was very important for Iran to come forward with the admission, not only because it would be the correct approach before the families of the victims allowing for closure, but also because it defuses the perilous speculation that was spreading.

    This terrible accident will forever be associated with its geopolitic context. This Iran admission slightly eases my disappointment on the insufficient rigour of their defensive posture. Nevermind the US which has exhausted such credit long time ago, that is if there even was one defensive posture at all in their case.

    EASA, post fact, limited its operators in the use of the Iraq airspace at any height, and Iranian above FL250. I think this reflects denial of the consequences of being led to war and conflict at the institutional level. Given the historical instances of similar incidents, the lesson MUST be learned.

    • I think this is simple.

      Airliners should not fly over areas that have active missile system of any kind.

      Or, said missile systems meet the criteria for stick control that has to be certified by EASA and the FAA (both)

      We have seen three cases where the consequences are lethal. j

      Just wishing does not cut it. Either removal from conflict area or an extremely active certification’s.

      If not meeting cert, then auto removal.

      Height allowed to be based on the highest reaching missile system in the area.

      Iran can clearly reach double or triple any airliner altitude.

    • Missing my point TW, EASA acted post fact, I am criticizing their delayed action, I am criticizing lack of appropriate aviation protocol for conflict zones, I am criticizing lack of a preventive decision to restrict the airspace (even ad hoc), I am attributing that to a psychological state of denial by Aviation Authorities.

      I see you chose to also address my point regarding speculation out of argumentativeness, I’ll address it anyway. The problem is not speculation by itself, the problem is to pass it along as conclusive, as a done deal, in this day and age of everything being possibly faked, ie. unverified low quality internet videos. Worse is not to take into account what are we speculating about, which was nothing short of a regional wide armed conflict, with the most destructive consequences the world as known.

      It was absolutely irresponsible to have taken for granted the substance of the speculation given this context. Only the ignorant or those indifferent to a world on fire will engage in such practice light headed.

  33. In the gun world there is no long accidental shooting of a gun (new paper and media do not get it)

    The term that describe it correctly is Negligent Discharge (ND)

    The Iranians did not accidentally shoot down the 737, they were negligent, an operator deliberately pulled the firing trigger to do so.

    The negligence goes all the way to the top.

    And they are still not saying if it was one or two missiles, two are reported to have fired and we know one hit but its also possible and maybe likely both hit

  34. I wonder if a missile can be disarmed after it has been fired? I might be living in TV / Movieland, but I thought I saw somewhere that a missile could be de-activated. You’d think the technology would be there…

    • I don’t believe so. About 99,99%

      Test missiles can have destruct chargers if they go off patch, but operational SA missiles no.

      If you push the firing button how likely is it you realize your error?
      You pushed it for a reason and the reason doe snot just go away in second.

      For 10000 launches you might have one that you want back?

      Huge added complexity and possible use by opposing forced to self detonated it via a hacked patch.

      As they say i n the gun world, don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you are going to shoot.

      Amazingly, Ukraine has been involved one way or the other in 3 of these now. MH-17, This one and

      • seems to me if missile was ground controlled ” radio controlled “, it could be made dumb by cutting of control if fired accidentally and missing the target. Assuming there is a sufficient time window.

        Someone with good knowledge of the russian system- missile used should be able to flesh ou the details re time- control- safe, etc

        • A very rough calc for the missile indicates at 7 mile range about 10 to 15 seconds from launch to impact assuming approx head on range – Missile speed approx 1800 mph .

          Would hope someone can do better re timing

    • I need to revise that.

      I don’t know there is not a timer to self destruct after a period of time in which the misled is assumed to have missed.

      Hard explosive type AAA has that. You don’t want to have it miss and hit your own side (40 mm and 20 mm, 50 cal class no)

      But that is a different aspect than you can initiate it.

    • I would say that is way off topic and even political by my standards.

      • Nikki Haley used to nicely present any lie she was tasked with at the UN. I would not expect a moral turnabout.
        She has no soul.

    • Nikki Haley being on the Boeings board makes me have less confidence in their planes. [Edited as violation of Reader Comment rules.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *