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Malaysian airliner goes down in Ukraine

Here's a Telegraph live blog. The flight path, an important one, from Amsterdam on the way to Kuala Lumpur:

Flight path of #MH17, lost about 50km from Ukraine-Russia border. http://t.co/b68mVU3rR7 #MalaysiaAirlines pic.twitter.com/4fXA3xSfOq

— Nick Wrenn (@nwrenn) July 17, 2014

Naturally, one wonders why. Many tweets and accounts, most with the word "appears." UPDATE Crash photos from Cryptome. UPDATE

By my count, there are at least 5 infantry brigades, backed by armour, drones, navy, artillery, & led by combat engineers going into #Gaza.

— Daniel Nisman (@DannyNis) July 17, 2014

#BREAKING: U.S. Vice President Biden says Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down, "not an accident, blown out of the sky"

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 17, 2014

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...a Russian plane with 70 aboard. They vehemently denied any involvement. When the investigators finally figured it out, Ukraine admitted they screwed up during military exercises.
This one today was not a shoulder fired AA missile, but rather a crew fired, long range AA missile.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...actively tracking the MH-17 flight with AA radar. There seems to be a rush to place blame and the talking ignorance, Hillary, is spouting shit as though she already knows who's guilty.
She's such a tool...

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

This appears exactly as she said, Russian backed separatists f-caking up with a BAK thinking they were going after military flight.

As has said Biden too, and others.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

You really saying this was Ukraine military?
Despite reports that they had 3 jets escorting the trip7?
Then peeled off as they neared dangerous airspace threatened by separatists ....
And 3 minutes later, wham.

But yeah. Hillary's FOS.

Submitted by lambert on

Ideally, quotes and links, or we're just in conversation stopper mode here.

That said, it goes without saying that Clinton is full of shit. The entire political class seems to have gone nuts on this, and they're all full of shit. That's why I don't regard locutions like "full of shit" as especially useful, unless Clinton can be shown to be uniquely more full of shit than anyone else. And with Biden and Obama in the running, it's a crowed field.

Submitted by lambert on

.... and seems to be down again right now. Next time, please grab the relevant quote with the link, instead of just dumping the URL. Then we could having a discussion....

Submitted by lambert on

Thanks for the link. This is a good place to start (as opposed to always suspect digital "evidence") because we can actually reason from the technical basis of the weaponry and from the science of ballistics:

However, Ukraine does not, and cannot, have modern digital high-tech Anti-Aircraft systems in its arsenal. What it does have, at best, is the older version BUK M1. The system itself is not too bad, and could even fit the stated distance. Except for the caveat that was mentioned.

The thing is that most short to medium range Anti-Aircraft systems work extremely poorly in a “pursuit” mode. There are a number of reasons for this, and I do not intend to belabor the point, but you can take it as an axiom that when the launch is made in “pursuit” of the target, the maximum distance of the launch that successfully hits the target is at least half of the advertised maximum distance (in reality, it even worse, but let’s leave aside the sad part). Accordingly, the real distance of a “pursuit” launch for BUK M1 is 16 kilometres. What’s more, the last 3 kilometres are purely “God willing” and “without guarantees.”

And, so, we have the background. Let’s see how the picture unfolds:

The launch is alleged to have been made from Chernukhino. The maximum distance of the launch is 16 kilometres. The aircraft fell between Snezhnoye and Torez. That’s 37 kilometres, which is 20 kilometres more than the maximum possible point at which the plain could have been hit. You know, even a plane with turned-off engines can’t glide like that. But the trouble is that the aircraft was not whole.

According to the pattern of the spread of fuselage fragments and bodies, the plane was ruptured practically with the first shot. Here it must be mentioned that the high-explosive/fragmentation warhead of the rocket has a mass of approximately 50 kilograms (by the way, Ukrainians have an outdated modification, which is only 40 kilograms).

Overall, that’s not too little; however, it must be understood that it detonates not when it sticks into an airplane, but when it is still at a certain, and fairly significant distance. Moreover, the main strike factor is not the blast wave, but far more significantly – the stream of fragments. These fragments are previously prepared rods (and in the earlier versions – little cubes, if I recall correctly). And yes, for a jet fighter, that, in itself, is more than sufficient.

However, here we are dealing with a huge airliner. Yes, one rocket will rip the casing, cause depressurization, and will kill a lot of passengers. But it will not break up the airliner into pieces. Given certain conditions, the pilots may even be able to land it. And, in fact, there have been precedents (to be provided in future posts). For example – the very same An-28, which is alleged to have been the first victim of a BUK system; even though it was done for, but the crew was able to successfully catapult out. Which, in some way, symbolizes. An An-28, by the way, is far smaller than a Boeing.

Nevertheless, this has relation to the next part of our analysis. For now, let’s accept as a fact the break-up of the aircraft in the air, at a significant height (which is, in essence, what was observed. Allow me to remind you: “fragments spread over a radius of 15 kilometres.” The key here is that this means the following: the aircraft (or, more precisely, the core of the aircraft) fell literally at the point where the rocket impacted it. Clarifying: as soon as the aircraft turned into a host of fragments of different mass, the separation of these fragments began due to air resistance and the difference in inertia. The densest fragment flew a further 3-6 kilometres, falling more and more steeply. The lightest – spread out and, due to gliding and air currents, fell somewhere within a 10 kilometre radius. The medium ones (primarily pieces of casing with high sail-effect and the victims’ bodies) – fell almost vertically.

In other words, the rocket caught up to the plane no closer than 25 kilometres away from Chernukhino. Which is absolutely impossible for a BUK system.

Which is an interesting result. Kudos to Saker.