DSB did not tell the truth about the MH17 reconstruction

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The impressive looking reconstruction of MH17 shown at October 13 was only built for the press presentation and next of kin. It was not used for finding the cause of the MH17 crash. A much smaller wooden construction missing important pieces of the cockpit was used to determine shrapnel damage and the direction of the  missile.

To investigate the cause of an aviation crash sometimes the wreckage is reconstructed. This happened with the PanAm aircraft which was brought down by a bomb. This also happened with the Itavia DC9 whivh was likely brought down by an air to air missile.

Dutch Safety Board decided as well to reconstruct a part of the aircraft. DSB decided to reconstruct only the cockpit and business class section. Other parts of the aircraft are not relevant.

At March 18 Ukraine website Censor.net showed leaked photos taken in the hangar at Gilze Rijen where the reconstruction was done.

These photos were obviously leaked. At a press meeting at March 3 the cockpit section on the wooden construction could not be seen. It was carefully hidden from the press.

DSB spokesman Wim  van der Weegen explained at 18 March 2015 in a response to the leaked photos:

“Deze houten constructie is tijdelijk zodat de onderzoekers de wrakstukken beter kunnen bekijken. De daadwerkelijke reconstructie van het vliegtuig ziet er anders uit.”

This wooden construction is temporary to enable investigators a better look at the wreckage. The final reconstruction of the aircraft will look differently.


Since March 18 2015 there were no public available photos untill the release of the final report on October 13.

The frame used at the presentation of the final report looked very professional. It was made by Voortman Steel Group.


The final report learned one thing. The investigation on the damage of the shrapnel was performed on the temporary wooden construction. Not only that, cockpit parts photographed at the crash site were missing in the reconstruction at Gilze Rijen.

The final report appendix A is clear about the reconstruction. DSB started to use to black metal frame only at May 26. The draft final report was ready to be sent to parties involved by then.

Many questions can be asked about this reconstruction. For example why it took DSB 10 months to have the steel frame build. I do not think DSB will answer questions on this.




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2 Comments on DSB did not tell the truth about the MH17 reconstruction

  1. Using a wooden structure makes sense in a way that you can more easily change the attachment of parts, for example by moving some screw 2mm. Bolting parts on metal frame can not be done in that way. Bolts need to be on the right spot at first attempt.
    (another option would be to use some hot glue to attach parts to a metal frame)

    • Nothing is better than a perfect iron frame of a Boeing 777. If the wreckage has been demolished somewhat it gets it natural form on the iron frame using a sledgehammer. But of course, if you want to force reality you can make somewhat of wood, or even better: rubber.

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