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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This part of the engine nacelle was not used in the reconstruction and not described in the final report.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- DSB did not talk to the air traffic controller who talked to MH17. This was not mentioned in the final report.
- DSB did not talk to eyewitness on the ground while ICAO Annex 13 recommends this.
- DSB used an undisclosed method implemented in software to calculate the location of the explosion of the warhead.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- Internal part of the cockpit like instruments were not used in reconstruction of the trajectory of shrapnel. Why not?
- 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.
- 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.by