Left cockpit panel from MH17 showing massive shrapnel blowthrough that originated from right side of the aircraft
On 9 September the Dutch accident investigation team released its preliminary report on the downing of Malaysian Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The results were based on the evidence seen by them and Australian investigators at the crash site (despite Russian “rebel” efforts to delay their entry for as long as possible), as well as the findings from the cockpit voice recorder and flight date recorders, which they have and had been exploiting (despite nonsensical Russian and Russian troll baseless accusations that the black boxes had been either taken away to the US or were falsified). It turns out that they contained little information anyway, because there were no discussions of any problem in the cockpit since the plane was essentially instantly destroyed in flight.
For those who say MH17 was in a place where planes should not have been, here are the ATC radar tracks for 16 and 17 July over that part of Ukraine
More useful were the recordings of the Dnipropetrovsk ATC radar with MH17 before the shootdown and concurrent phone conversations between that ATC and the Russian ATC centre in Rostov, to which Dnipropetrovsk was handing off control at the time of the shootdown. This is an important point—Russian ATC was taking control of the plane at the time. One interesting note is that when the Ukrainian ATC could no longer raise MH17 by radio, Rostov said “No, it seems that its target started falling apart.” Odd choice of words, but considering that ATC personnel talke amongst themselves and with aircraft in English, it could just have been an unfortunate word choice. But as the radar screen shots provided at the July Russian MOD propaganda briefing on the downing of MH17 showed, the plane did indeed start showing about five distinct returns as it then disappeared from the radar.
This is consistent with the Dutch findings that the cockpit area had been hit by “multiple high-energy objects from outside the aircraft.” This is fully consistent with findings reported here previously on 29 July that showed the left cockpit panel was riddled with scores of shrapnel holes that had entered the right side, ripping through the cockpit, and exiting the left side. The instantaneous structural damage ripped the plane apart, per the investigators.
Dutch preliminary report story
As for the ridiculous multiple variations of Russian theories thrown out in public to confuse the discussion, mislead the gullible, and just say “it was anybody but us,” those versions can go into the dustbin where they belonged all along. There was no phantom Ukrainian Su-25 (ground attack) plane that shot it down (which in any case was not on radar and can only reach half the altitude of the 777). Even if some plane had used an air-to-air missile to bring it down (which was not the case), those IR homing missiles would have hit one of the engines, which would have resulted in relatively low-energy shrapnel hitting parts of the rear of the plane—not the cockpit. It was hit with an SA-11 BUK missile that proximity detonated to the right front of the aircraft. A hit from that position would have indicated a launch point near where a SA-11 TELAR had been seen that morning and then the next day leaving toward the Russian border, in the town of Torez—an area under Russian “rebel” control.
It happens that an intrepid Russian investigator has done what so many others have done in the previous months, and sifted through photos and videos people (often Russians) have uploaded, and matched up particular unique marks on vehicles to come up with a perfect match.
Another match on the vehicle that shot down MH17. Seen fleeing after the shootdown minus one missile and same vehicle a few weeks earlier during roadmarch from Kursk down to the Ukrainian border
Russian investigative journalist identifies SA-11 TELAR form shootdown
The Russian investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin dug into videos people had uploaded from 23 and 24 June showing a convoy of SA-11 vehicles moving south from Kursk to the area near Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border. Thanks to VKontakte page uploads from a sergeant in the 53rd Air Defense Missile Brigade from Kursk, and shots form the convoy movements, it was possible to absolutely determine the SA-11 unit moving toward Ukraine was the 53rd. Moreover, paint markings, including one partial bit from a side (bort) number on the SA-11 TELAR videoed in Torez on 17 July—the day MH17 was shot down—clearly show the TELAR there was one of those from the 53rd Brigade seen a few weeks earlier on the Russian roadmarch.
SA-11 match–roadmarching in Russia late June and in Torez Ukraine hours before MH17 shot down
As if the evidence were not compleelign enough before, not there is a perfect matchup. Moreover, this was, as previously stated here, not some equipment the Russians provided to the “rebels,” since it takes many months to years to become proficient at operating an SA-11 TELAR—particularly in singleton mode–but was manned by fully professional Russian military crews. But Russia sticks to its story line that it was the Ukrainians who shot down the 777. Unabashed bold-faced liars.
SNOWDRIFT radar from 53rd Brigade in motorpool shot on brigade member’s VKontakte page, and same one seen roadmarching toward Ukraine 23 and 24 June