Friday, July 18, 2014


... was it only for the birds?

As reported earlier this week, “... air travel could be rendered all but impossible.” Sophisticated measures taken to ensure the safety of an aircraft prior to take-off will prove pointless if any one of thousands of sophisticated surface-to-air missiles can destroy it from the ground.

And when those sophisticated missiles are in the hands of mad-dog militias, as they are, you had better get that bike out of the garage because international air transport will be a no go area.

Publicity seeking terrorists have noted this morning’s incident and just how easy it was to grab undivided world media attention, and media is a critical part of any conflict.

Palestinians who invite the West to cover the killing of women and children must feel deprived that Russian separatists have stolen their media thunder now that Israeli ground forces have moved to destroy Hamas. 

Israel will be delighted the spotlight is shining elsewhere.

Public transport in both world wars, both on the sea and in the air, was never immune from attack, and it’s not now.

While Obama is busy making enemies of our friends and friends of our enemies, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton came out with all guns blazing and pointed at Putin before Malaysian Flight 17 had hit the ground. 

Now there’s a lesson in diplomacy from someone half of the US thinks should be the next president.

The bloke who shot down that aircraft is a hooded yobbo idiot with a missile launcher he hardly knew how to use. Of course the BUK weapon was Russian-made, but it may have passed through many hands before this galah got hold of it. 

But that didn’t stop that other galah, Bill Shorten saying in Parliament this morning that Putin must be brought to account!

If manufacturers of weaponry are to be held to account then every member of every US Administration in history would be in jail. We are a major purchaser of US weaponry.

If you run over a rose bush with your lawnmower you can’t blame Victa.

Malaysia Airlines is most culpable yet again, only this time it was intent on saving fuel by overflying Ukraine, unlike other responsible airlines who opt for alternative northern routes.

So now stand by for the blame game... and first cab off the rank should be Malaysia and its airline. Pickering


  1. Malaysia’s Air-Travel Nightmare Repeats in Ukraine
    News of the crash of Flight MH17 first reached Malaysia through social media around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, and the first reaction of many was simple and predictable: how could this happen again?
    After all, it’s only been four months since Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The rest of the world may have turned its attention elsewhere, but in Malaysia MH370 remains a collective national tragedy that cannot be forgotten so long as the plane and its passengers and crew remain missing. MH17 is a different kind of disaster, but the fact that it involves yet another jet from the national carrier that Malaysians once took so much pride in only heightens the horror and shock.
    It’s early, yet, to know precisely what happened. Perhaps, as some preliminary reports suggest, MH17 was flying over a conflict zone that some airlines were already avoiding. If that’s the case, then Malaysia Airlines, and the Malaysian government that controls it, will feel the renewed ire of citizens who were confounded by the disorganized response and seemingly contradictory stories of the Malaysian leadership regarding MH370.
    And if, as seems almost certain, MH17 was the innocent victim of a rocket attack, then the Malaysian government’s biggest challenge will be convincing its citizens that it’s playing a meaningful role in the rescue and recovery operations, as well as any subsequent investigation. That’s not going to be easy. There’s no reason to believe that the Malaysian military or its search and rescue teams are trained or prepared to deploy to Europe. More likely than not, whatever Malaysian personnel are deployed to the region will be aided by another country’s military. That’s perfectly reasonable, and nothing to be embarrassed about, but with the memory of MH370 so fresh, it’s going to be an uncomfortable echo of Malaysia’s necessary reliance on Australia and other countries to find the missing plane.
    Such concerns clearly have informed the official reactions to MH17, the first of which appears to have come from Minister of Defense Hishammudin Hussein, via Twitter, at 11:55 p.m. Roundly criticized for his contradictory answers at press conferences in the immediate wake of MH370, this time he pressed his certainty. “No confirmation it was shot down!” he tweeted. “Our military have been instructed 2 get on it!” Ten minutes later, Prime Minister Najib Razak offered a calmer Twitter reaction more in keeping with what might be expected post-MH370. “I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed,” he tweeted. “We are launching an immediate investigation.”
    In all likelihood, most Malaysians obtained their news of MH17 from these tweets and whatever foreign news sources they could find online. In Kuala Lumpur, at least, local broadcast television stations didn’t bother to break into their normal programming (which, as the news broke, included pro wrestling), but rather relied on screen crawls. News sites, meanwhile, relied on foreign copy. To an extent, this is understandable: the story broke and developed in the middle of the night.
    But that’s not to say the news has been overlooked. At 2 a.m., I could look out my window and see an unusual number of lights on in the various high rises in my neighborhood of suburban Kuala Lumpur. Some, no doubt, were watching CNN. But many more, it seems, were logging into social media to mourn the dead and the fact that a tragedy has struck this officially Muslim country during Ramadan. The political fallout from MH17 will wait to later. Right now, in the middle of the night, Malaysia is numb.
    Bloomberg View

  2. AVIATION safety authorities in Europe and the United States had warned airlines about flying above or near the Ukraine airspace where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down overnight.
    The region which sits along Ukraine’s border with Russia has been the centre of fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the wake of Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s ousting in February.
    Several Ukrainian jets have been shot down by Russian anti-aircraft missiles in the area. On Monday pro-Russian rebels were accused of shooting down a Ukrainian military aircraft killing 19 soldiers, and on Wednesday the Ukrainian government accused Russia of shooting a Ukrainian air force SU-25 war plane.
    The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority posted a notice on June 14 urging carriers to avoid flying over Crimea and southern Ukraine due to safety concerns.
    Airlines were asked not to fly over Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the potential for conflicting air traffic control instructions between Ukrainian and Russian authorities. “Operations are normal in all other Ukrainian FIRs [flight information regions],” however, the CAA notice added that UK airlines flying into the Dnepropetrovsk flight region, which includes Donetsk where flight MH17 went down, should “review current security/threat information”.
    MORE: International authorities close Ukraine airspace
    The Federal Aviation Administration in the US also warned American aircraft in April against flying over the Crimean peninsula and the surrounding waters after Russia, which had annexed the territory, claimed control over that airspace.
    Professor Geoff Dell, a Central Queensland University accident investigation and safety specialist, told The Australian there’s no doubt that the airline should have avoided the area.
    “From as soon as the conflict started they shouldn’t have been going anywhere near it,’’ Prof Dell said. “They should’ve shifted to alternate routes, like all the other airlines seemed to have done.’’
    He said the airline was responsible for the incident, and the chosen flight path raised questions about operational decision-making issues.
    “You just don’t go anywhere near it unless you’ve got no alternatives and there’s always the alternative of not going. I’m just flabbergasted.’’
    Ukrainian authorities had barred aircraft from flying between ground level and 32,000 feet. The Malaysia Airlines flight was cruising just above this altitude at 33,000 feet making it within range of sophisticated ground-to-air weaponry.
    But the Donetsk region where Flight 17 reportedly crashed is around 320 kilometres northeast of the restricted zone.
    A spokesperson for Qantas told that the airline did not fly near the area where flight MH17 was shot down.
    “Qantas does not fly over the Ukraine. Our flights between Dubai and London track approximately 400 nautical miles south of the region.”
    All flights in eastern Ukraine have now been barred from the area.

  3. What is a Buk missile that reportedly shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine?
    The BUK — or SA6 variant Russian-made missile — is likely to have either been seized by pro-Russian rebel forces from a captured Ukrainian cache or supplied by Russia.
    The radar-controlled SA6 carries a 70kg high-explosive warhead and is designed to detonate within 20mtrs of its target, causing terminal damage to an aircraft’s engines and control systems and cause secondary damage through fuel explosion, and wing and fuselage rupture.
    The SA6 family of portable, trucked missiles is the only known type in the region capable of reaching a 10km altitude to hit a commercial aircraft.