Dutch government: “DSB report is highly praised”. Is that true?

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Dutch government wants the world to believe that the Dutch Safety Board final report on MH17 is perfect and was done independant. According to the government all experts agree the report is flawless.

I highly doubt this is this case.

The experts

Lets first analyse those experts. Are people and organizations even in a position to criticize the DSB report?

There are hardly any independant experts in the Western world in a position to criticize the DSB report. Any other aviation incident investigation organization similar to DSB will never in public provide criticism.

In the Netherlands experts TNO and NLR were hired by DSB to take part in the investigation. Obviously criticism is impossible.

Janes is often named as expert on weapon systems. However they were wrong in their analyses of the BUK fragments found by RTL Nieuws. Janes depends on their revenue on orders of defense organizations. They would shot in their own foot to criticize. This applies for all Western consultancy firms.

Russia has a lot of experts on BUK systems. There has been a lot of criticism on the DSB report from Russia. This criticism was ignored by Dutch major newsagency ANP and Dutch new station NOS. Only a very few Dutch media like RTL and Volkskrant reported in the Russian criticism.

The only independant experts are working for universities, small consultancy companies with clients in non-NATO countries or are retired. When Dutch NOS wanted an interview with a retired Dutch air traffic controller, he was not allowed to talk on tv by his former employer.

The flaws of DSB report and execution of investigation

  1. the recovery of the wreckage was done very late. Many months past before wreckage was recovered. First parts arrived only in December 2014 in the Netherlands. Crucial parts like of the cockpit rooftop were not part of the reconstruction. DSB stated the crash site was unsafe. This overview of the situation at the crash site tells a different story.
  2. The final report is biased. It mentions Russia as a state not informing ICAO about not being compliant with Annex 11 which defines the way of archiving radar data. However, the DSB final report does not mention that Ukraine did not inform Eurocontrol about a radar station which was destroyed.
  3. Another example of bias. The Appendix mentions previous shot downs of civial aircraft by missiles.
    In 2001 a Ukriane surface to air missile shot down a Tupolev 154 of Siberia Airlines. The United States stated that Ukraine was responsible for the shot down. During excersises two SAM’s were fired at a drone. One missile destroyed the drone. The other missile retargeted and picked the Tupolev as a new target.

    DSB does not mention in the report that Ukraine was responsible. In the other example the US is mentioned as responsible.


  4. the final report does not  mention damage to the fragments of the left upper side of the cockpit (STA287.5 to STA358) which were handed over to Dutch experts after television channel RT aired its “MH17: A Year without Truth” documentary. These fragments were not added to the 3D reconstruction of the fuselage; damage sustained by them was either not examined, or the results of the examination were not added to the final report
  5. While DSB states a 9N314M warhead was used, however penetration holes on the aircraft wreckage are not consistent with those normally created by the detonation of a 9N314M warhead. Also just two bow-ties were found in bodies of the cockpit crew.
  6. MH17 was instructed by Rostov radar to change course to RND. What was the reason for that detour? It is unlikely this was done for traffic reasons.
  7. DSB consulted Ukraine and Russia for BUK knowledge. DSB confirmed in a public presentation DSB does not have technical knowledge. The DSB report does not mention if  other experts or states were consultated about BUK knowledge. Both Ukraine and Russia are not independant.
  8. DSB did not mention that one of the area control radar stations was destroyed. Instead they mentioned radar was in maintenance. DSB as an expert should have know there were two radar stations capable of detecting MH17 using primary radar.
  9. This part of the engine nacelle was not used in the reconstruction and not described in the final report.
  10. The only available primary radar data was supplied by Russia. This was a video recording of the screen the air traffic controller sees. Based on this video DSB concludes there was no military aircraft in the vicinity of MH17.
    Why did DSB not mention the minimal altitude the Russian radar can cover? And estimate is that the radar could not detect objects flying lower than 2000 meters.
  11. The final report (appedix A) mentions a loss of GPS signal over Ukraine. Sputnik reported at July 25 about loss of GPS signal. Did DSB investigate the source of the loss of GPS signal? Could loss of GPS have an effect on the transmission of transponder data?
  12. There are no exit holes on the righthand side of the cockpit. This is not logical seeing the location of the explosion of the warhead.
  13. DSB did not talk to the air traffic controller who talked to MH17. This was not mentioned in the final report.
  14. DSB did not talk to eyewitness on the ground while ICAO Annex 13 recommends this.
  15. DSB used an undisclosed method implemented in software to calculate the location of the explosion of the warhead.
  16. DSB is not transparent by law. Additional questions not anwered in the report cannot be answered by DSB as law prohibits this. Even after the presentation of the final report, attended by many journalists, there was not a possibility to ask questions by the press.
  17. DSB is not allowed by Dutch law to comment on questions not answered in the final report. That is far from being a transparant investigation. While this is not DSB fault there has not been any attempt by DSB nor the Dutch government to enabke DSB to answer questions.
  18. DSB is a political driven organization. An example is the statement of chairman Joustra after the presentation of the final report had ended. To the press he told that BUK missile was launched from rebel controlled area.
  19. Another example of a political driven organization is the refusal to request the Dutch government to do all what is possible to obtain the radar recordings.
  20. DSB kept the cockpit section hidden for press during the press day in March 2015. Why? Was it to hide that many parts were missing?
  21. DSB did not mention in the report how many times they had contact with mayors of villages in the crash area to ask about found debris
  22. DSB is not clear about the BUK shrapnel found by Jeroen Akkermans. Was the chemical composition similar to other fragments found? Where was it exactly found? How come the piece was found in a piece of wreckage located between door 3 and 4. Too far to be caused by the explosion.
  23. Internal part of the cockpit like instruments were not used in reconstruction of the trajectory of shrapnel. Why not?
  24. Air India and Singapore Airline flights were flying close to MH17 at the time of the crash. The DSB report does not state the crews of these flights were interviewed. Only later in a hearing by the Dutch parliament DSB stated that pilots of mentioned flights did not notice anything unusual.
  25. DSB counterpart in Russia Rosaviatsiya wrote two letters of complaint to DSB. DSB never in public responded to the criticism.

Is DSB really independant ?

No. DSB is financed by the Dutch state. There are various relations between chairman Joustra and political party VVD. Blog De Grijze Duif has a blog on DSB here.

DSB reported wrongly on the crash of the Martinair DC10 at Faro in 1992. The Portugese authority which did the investigation concluded pilot error. DSB (then called Raad voor de Luchtvaart)  released a report which stated windsheer as the cause of the accident. Dutch TV Eenvandaag reported in January 2016 about this.

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7 Comments on Dutch government: “DSB report is highly praised”. Is that true?

  1. Great list but some of us, I am sure, can add a few points. From the top of my head:

    -Too high fall speed. The damaged plane (without cockpit) cannot go supersonic even vertically.
    -The DSB mixed up knots and metres per second at one place.
    -A dodgy gap in the shrapnel distribution was generated by their simulator and used while matching, not observed on the damage.
    -Wrong warhead geometry used (one convex chord section vs one convex + one concave) as the input.
    -Misrepresentation of data provided by the Buk manufacturer. For example, the shrapnel opening angle was almost halved in the report.
    These are just a few. I am sure I can come up with more if I try.

    My dream is to see someone with good writing, such as Hector, compile a comprehensive and properly debugged by the community (yes, we all make mistakes) list of all the report fuckups.

  2. Liane Theuer // February 7, 2016 at 2:41 pm // Reply

    Addition to point 1 and 2 :
    The first recovering at the crash site lasted from November 16 to November 25.
    Afterwards the wreckage was transported to Charkov. December 9 the first trucks arrived in the Netherlands.

    The DSB did not recover the most important part of the cockpit – the famous part under the left window. Later in March this part appeared in the reconstruction. Who recovered this part ?

    This most photographed part was found in Petropivlovka.
    But after the first recovery mission the DSB claimed :
    “Also in the area north of Petropavlivka lie wreckage, but it could not be recovered in relation to the security situation.”

    At the same time Marcus Bensmann was able to film this wreckage part lying on the floor.
    So it was safe for journalists.

    The DSB returned to the crash site on March 21/2015 :

    But we remember that censor.net published pictures of the reconstruction including this special wreckage part earlier in March 2015 !

    Pieces of the under-wing pod that holds the right Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engine were found in Petropivlovka too, but never recovered.
    An overview to all wreckage near Petropivlovka can be found here :

    And a part of the left engine cover was also left behind in Ukraine.
    Door 3 on the right side was discovered by the recovery team but not taken (two photos prove that). The door has a hole looking like an exit hole.

    This video was made after the recovery mission. At 1:05 the door is to be seen :
    Here is the door again and a lot of other wreckage left behind :

    The DSB didn´t mention the damage to the overhead bins. Did they recover them ?

  3. Liane Theuer // February 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    The bow-tie in Team A pilot :

    Question 26 of the „50 factual questions on MH17 by Parliament“ was :
    “How is it that the DSB could not correctly identify the pilots and an autopsy was performed on the wrong pilot?”

    Was there an answer to that important question ?

    We know the identity of the Team A pilot. Why the press until now report the other pilot of Team B ?
    There are some indications that the pilot of Team A was autopsied in Ukraine.
    That would make this bow-tie even more questionable.

    Censor.NET had published an X-ray that originated most probably from the pilot team A.
    How they came to this x-ray ?
    Here is the link :

    Quote : Letter of 17 December 2014 from the Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten :
    „On 17 November we received 88 death certificates from Ukraine. They are currently being translated and apostilles are being obtained for legalisation purposes. It is difficult to predict how long this will take, but we hope the death certificates will be issued within a few weeks.”

    How can Ukraine provide death certificates without examination of the bodies ?

    Sputnik December 20/2014 :
    Metal objects found in the bodies of some passengers of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing crashed in Ukraine in July can be fragments of a missile that supposedly hit the aircraft, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Saturday.

    How could the SBU know about the metal objects in bodies if they were found during the autopsy in the Netherlands ?

    Quote : Letter of 17 December 2014 from the Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten :
    “On 18 November various media reported that an attack on the Dutch delegation visiting Ukraine had been foiled. The reports were based on information from the Ukrainian security service SBU. According to SBU, the alleged attack was to have been carried out during the delegation’s visit to the Malyshev factory in Kharkiv, where the recovered remains and belongings of the victims of the MH17 disaster had been brought before being transported to the Netherlands.”

    There must have been a reason that the DSB wanted to visit the Malyshev factory in Kharkiv.
    On 18 November was nothing of interest there. So it must be something that has to do with anything that happend earlier.
    If the autopsie of pilots body was done in Ukraine, it probably would have been done in Malyshev factory in Kharkiv. The Malyshev factory belongs to the state arms manufacturer UkrOboronProm.
    In Kharkiv the Dutch coroner Peter Van Vliet examined the corpses.

    The Guardian wrote on 07.22.2014:
    Interpol, the international police agency, said one of its teams had begun preliminary identification work on the remains, which will all be flown to the Netherlands this week for fuller identification.
    „Kees van Baar, a member of the Dutch team that leads the forensic operation, said once the bodies were released they would be met by a team of international experts and each would be identified, either in Ukraine or elsewhere.
    Ukraine government spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Kharkiv was ready to receive the bodies. “We have everything in Kharkiv, experts from international organisations and from Ukraine,” he said. “They have all the facilities ready for all the forensic investigation and examination. “If the train is dispatched and arrives we are prepared to receive it.”

    Bow-tie 1 was taken from pilot Team A under undisclosed circumstances.
    There was no proper autopsy. It was only x-rayed and the metal pieces were taken out.
    Where this was done the DSB report does not say.
    The body was already burned in the Netherlands and was buried on 02/09/2014 in Malaysia.

    • Denis Cashcov // February 8, 2016 at 5:10 am // Reply

      The “bow tie” fragment was the wrong size too. Will DSB ever explain that?

    • Liane Theuer // February 8, 2016 at 4:24 pm // Reply

      Additional information that the pilot team A may have been autopsied in Ukraine.

      Document of the Coroners Court of Victoria :
      Point 5 : „The deseased identification process was initially commenced in Ukraine and was then transferred to the Netherlands.“

      Vasyl Vovk worked on the case for nearly a year, up to June 19, the Joint Investigative Team confirmed to broadcaster NOS, but it criticized Vovk for not exercising caution with his statements.
      He was among Dutch, Australian and Ukrainian experts that pulled apart multiple samples of Buk missiles to determine if the forensic evidence found with the plane wreckage and in the bodies matched the material used to make the weapons.

      Vasyl Vovk: “The leading role in the investigation does not belong to the Netherlands”
      Anyone who says that the leading role in the investigation belongs to the Netherlands or to someone else, is not right. All the information – and it has accumulated a colossal array, and it is not yet fully worked out by us – is in the SBU, Ukraine.

  4. The DSB report has already been unmasked on technical grounds.
    Warhead 9N314M seems already debunked completely. But arguments from http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/what-ricochet-damage-can-reveal-on-the-location-of-the-warhead/ must be formulated more understandable what I am trying to do in ‘MH17: The propagation of shrapnel’. But it is not my profession.

    Very interesting is the different speed theory of kinds of shrapnel which makes it questionable bowties came through the windshields or through the forward part of the cockpit and could have impacted captain A in the left chair. This because light fillers are faster and would come first and bowties must come more aft to the plane in a dynamic situation with relative velocities.

    Scattered knowledge somehow must be reduced to basic forms better understandable for the public. Hence, aggregation of knowledge is the next phase which must be completed before summer 2016, when JIT plans to jump into the ravine.

  5. Dutch authorities have a good feeling for sarcasm and cynicism:

    Safety Board receives Machiavelli Price 2015.

    The Dutch Safety Board will receive the prize because “it has brought clarity – where possible – with the report on the downing of the MH17, this for survivors in particular and the world in general.

    The way the Research Council has done is an example of good communication. The Safety Board conducted its investigation in an authoritative manner in an extremely sensitive situation with both escalating geopolitical interests as penetrating sorrow of relatives. ”


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