The downing of flight MH17 by a missile has raised a lot of questions about why a commercial plane was flying over Crimea and whether whoever shot the missile could tell it was a passenger flight.
We spoke to our science correspondent Miles O’Brien, a pilot himself, about these questions.
In April the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) prohibited only U.S. aircraft carriers from flying over parts of Ukraine. However, as O’Brien explained, this didn’t apply to the Malaysian flight which was north of the banned area. “Flight MH17 was in an area it was allowed to be in. Malaysia had no specific prohibitions or regulations in this area,” said O’Brien.
Moreover some international carriers may defer to guidance already issued by European regulations or the FAA in these situations, explained O’Brien, because they have the capabilities to determine when air space is safe or not. Earlier this week a Ukrainian fighter jet and transport airplane were shot down in the same area. Yet, it was still technically legal though for MH17 to be flying there.
Even though it was legal, the flight path was above hostile fighting. O’Brien explained cost and time issues play a role in determining flight paths which might be why this one was chose.
The rest at the link above......
President Putins plane route....
Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane was travelling almost the same route as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s jet shortly before the crash that killed 298, Interfax news agency reports citing sources.
“I can say that Putin’s plane and the Malaysian Boeing intersected at the same point and the same echelon. That was close to Warsaw on 330-m echelon at the height of 10,100 meters. The presidential jet was there at 16:21 Moscow time and the Malaysian aircraft - 15:44 Moscow time,” a source told the news agency on condition of anonymity.
"The contours of the aircrafts are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar, as for the coloring, at a quite remote distance they are almost identical", the source added.
At the same time, there have been reports contradicting Intefax’s report that was the first and the only media source to publish the news, saying that Presidential plane was not flying over Ukraine at the same time.
As a source told Gazeta.ru online news portal, Putin’s plane does take off from Vnukovo-3 [the terminal that accepts business jets], but the president does not fly over the conflict-gripped neighboring country.
“Putin has only one jet – Board One, he does not fly other planes. This plane always takes off from Vnukovo-3, but the presidential plane have not been flying over Ukraine for a while,” the source at Vnukovo-3 terminal said.
President Putin was on his way from Brazil, where he attended the BRICS summit, to Moscow.
See RT link for rest of story.....