My prediction for the final report on MH17 of the Dutch Safety Board

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In this post I will give my predication on what will be published in the final report of the Dutch Safety Board on the shot down of MH17 . The report is expected to be released to the public in 2nd half of 2015. My guess is that it will be released in September or October 2015.

Two independant investigations are being performed on the shot down of MH17.

  1. an investigation into the cause of the shot down by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB)
  2. an investigation by the Dutch prosecutor and other countries trying to find out who is responsible for the shot down.

The task of the Dutch Safety Board is to find the cause of the crash. The sole purpose of the DSB is to make sure accidents can be avoided in the future by learning what went wrong.

Their job is not to blaim anyone. In this political highly sensitive situation for sure the DSB will not even try to pin point a culprit.

However the final report cannot maintain the statement MH17 was hit by “many high energy objects” like in the preliminary report. If that was the conclusion in the final report  nobody would take the investigation serious. So there has to be made some clear conclusions on the cause.

This is my prediction for the final report of the DSB to be released in H2 2015:

  • MH17 was shot down by a surface to air missile with a fragmentation warhead
  • It was likely a SA-11 BUK missile
  • this was concluded because of the unique shrapnel damage, forensic analyses of the explosive residue and parts of shrapnel and missile found in bodies of crew and passengers.
  • the warhead exploded on the lefthand side of the aircraft, near the cockpit and slightly above the cockpit roof.
  • as a result both pilots were killed instantly.
  • The shrapnel made so many holes in the forward fuselage that because of decompression the forward fuselage and cockpit separated from the rest of the aircraft.
  • the direction from which is missile was launched is not documented in the report.
  • The main equipement room just behind and below the cockpit was part of the detached fuselage. It powers the CVR and FDR and because the power feed was lost, both FDR and CVR stopped recording.
  • There is no indication given to who shot down MH17. That is a task for the prosecutor.

So it will take years before we might be able to conclude who is responsible for the shotdown. The DSB report will not tell us. Both Ukraine and Russia have the SA-11 SAM system and could have used it.


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