Every time a crisis hits Malaysia, the knee seems to be the limit of many, not just in Malaysia, but also around the world. Therefore, in just four months, we see more brain-in-the-knee experts rear their empty ugly skull. While in the MH370 tragedy, I personally knew one person on board, I know two people who have lost family members on board the MH17 – one lost five family members, the other lost six. As usual, many keyboard experts would put the blame on the pilot who strayed from the intended flight path because he was fasting; on Malaysia Airlines for allowing MH17 to fly into a “Red Zone” when other airlines skirted the area; and some even concluded that the aircraft, registration 9M-MRD, broke apart in mid-air because of poor maintenance. Before I begin, let me congratulate DAP Member of Parliament, Nga Kor Ming, for having made it to the “Idiots of the Year” list, two years in a row for posting this:
Let us go through the items one-by-one:
Was MH17 Flying Through A No-Fly Zone?
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has confirmed that that particular airway (much like our highways on ground) was a safe route. In fact, when during a PC by the Malaysian Transport Minister it was mentioned that Malaysia Airlines no longer flies that airway because the airway has now been closed, the ICAO refuted this saying the airway is still open. However, the agency that is diverting flights away from East Ukraine is Eurocontrol, the airspace management agency for Europe. Prior to the incident, the Ukrainian agency for airspace management cleared any flight to fly above 32,000 feet. When MH17 was shot down, she was flying at a supposedly safe altitude of 33,000 feet.
There was a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued but does not cover the area the MH17 was flying through.
Therefore, the area was never a “No-Fly Zone.”
MAS Pilots Are Irresponsible As They Fly According To Their Whims And Fancies
Pilots do not fly according to their whims and fancies and like the roads you drive on, similarly there are airways above where the police watches you on every road and passes you to another policeman to watch you when you leave one road to enter another. The police would even tell you at what speeds are you allowed to fly and at what height. Every flight would require an approved flight plan. This flight plan is then submitted by the airline’s flight operations department or equivalent to the airspace management organisation which in the case of Amsterdam, falls under Eurocontrol which will then coordinate with the various Flight Information Regions to seek approval from them for MH17 to fly through. Once approved, the pilots would study the approved flight plan, concur with it, punch it into their flight management system and fly according to the plan save for some minor variations due to traffic or weather.
This is hardly the kiasu driving you undertake when you drive your girlfriend inside your mom’s car.
MAS Is Irresponsible For Allowing MH17 To Fly Into A No-Fly Zone/Zone of Conflict
Firstly, it was not a No-Fly Zone as explained above. Secondly, that has always been the route taken by most airlines going to northwestern Europe from most of Asia and vice versa. The only thing that has changed is the conflict that is taking place in the Donetsk region.
Yes, Ukrainian MILITARY aircraft have been shot down there prior to the downing of the MH17. I placed emphasis on the word MILITARY. All were shot down using the IGLA MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence System) – in short, a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile. This system can reach an altitude of 6,000 meters (19,700 feet). So, aircraft flying at 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) and above are generally safe. The Ukrainian authorities even added another 12,000 feet safety buffer by creating a minimum altitude of 32,000 feet. The MH17 was flying at 33,000 feet.
MAS Is Irresponsible For Not Redirecting Flights Away From Ukraine Like Other Airlines Have Including Singapore Airlines and QANTAS
Where was the danger?
Let me show you the airlines that flew over Ukraine over the week preceding the downing of the MH17:
See if Singapore Airlines is not in the list. In fact, a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 was just 25km away from the MH17. They were lucky, we were not:
So, why are some Asian airlines not in the list?
This is how you view the Earth:
Unfortunately, this is how Earth looks like (without the stand):
Routes are derived from the shortest path calculated using the Great Circle Line. This is Navigation 101 for Idiots. Which is why some northeastern Asian flights miss Ukraine totally to get to northwestern Europe, unlike those from Southeast Asia INCLUDING SINGAPORE AIRLINES.
Oh, what about QANTAS coming from down under?
Oh, yes. QANTAS mentioned that it has avoided Ukrainian airspace for months. In fact, since April 2013! This is because QANTAS, according to the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2013, has stopped flying the Great Kangaroo Route. This means that QANTAS Flight QF1 no longer flies to London Heathrow. Instead, QANTAS flies its passengers wanting to go to Europe through its code-sharing partners in Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Dubai etc through the Star Alliance and One World Alliance that MAS is a member of.
No biggie there as to why QANTAS is so safe now, is there?
The Russian Separatists Shot MH17 Down, Even The US Says So
No one knows right now who shot the flight down and using what weapon system. The biggest suspect now is the BUK M-1 medium-range surface-to-air system that both Russia and Ukraine have. It is not a system that you can just plug-and-play upon purchase as extensive training has to be given in order to effectively use this system. That pretty much rules out the Separatists. That leaves us with Ukraine and Russia.
Russia, already pressured by the West for Simferopol, Crimea and Donetsk, and its opposition to the Ukraine wanting a NATO membership, has a lot to lose by allowing the shooting down of the MH17. In 2012, while global arms sales by the top 10 defence companies shrunk by 4.3 percent, Russia’s increased by a whopping 28 percent. With Malaysia seeking for multi-role combat aircraft to replace the MiG-29N, Russia has a lot to lose.
Ukraine meanwhile has a lot to gain from this if you look at this from another angle. It would receive the recognition it would want from the world in its fight against the Donetsk separatists, and get all the international backing to apply pressure against the Russians.
So, what about the US of A being sure that all evidences that have yet to be obtained point to Russia?
Remember the Iraqi WMDs?
I leave that to your imagination, as long as your brain is not where the top X-Ray image shows it to be.
Meanwhile, stop bashing Malaysia Airlines and grow up!