One day after the publication, at September 10, an erratum (error correction) was published by the DSB.In the erratum which is published here is stated:
On September 10, 2014, a change was made to the Dutch translation of the English preliminary report. On page 14, the sentence “The NOTAM with air wide restriction was enacted in response to the shooting down of an Antonov 24 plane on July 14 that flew at an altitude of FL 210.” was removed from the Dutch translation in order to align it with the English document, the text of which prevails over the Dutch version.
The question is: why was this sentence deleted?
DSB did not provide a clear reason for deletion. They said the sentence was deleted to get the Dutch language version in sync with the english version. DSB also claims the Dutch language version is a translation from the English version which is prevailing.
However I believe the Dutch language version leading:
- if the English version was leading, how can it be explained that the line about the NOTAM was added to the Dutch translation? This sentence could not have materialized out of thin air during the translation process.
- It seems each DSB report have Dutch as prevailing language. See this text in a report published by the DSB at June 25, 2014:
The line is taken from this report and is printed on page 3.
- the English version page numbering on the right lower of each page shows ‘1 van 8’. Mind the Dutch word van which means of. The tranlator probably did not notice this.
- the filename of the PDF file. Both have the word ‘interactief ‘ in it. Which is Dutch. Seems the translation did not translate the filename.
Argos radio, a Dutch radio program, researched this remarkable deletion. They found out the sentence was also originally mentioned in the English report. This sentence was then deleted but because of an error the sentence was not deleted from the Dutch version.
It is likely one of the participation countries in the investigation read the english version (translated from the leading Dutch language report) and objected to the content.
So why was this sentence deleted on request of a participating country? And which country objected?
The most likely formal reason for deletion is that there never actually was a NOTAM published which stated the restriction was lifted to 32.000 feet because of the downing on the Antonov. The NOTAM simply does not provide any reason!
The conclusion that the NOTAM was a direct result of the downing of the Antonov might be a ‘jumping to conclusions’.
It is pretty obvious Ukraine objected to the inclusion of the sentence on the NOTAM. Ukraine should be the leading country in the research because MH17 crashed on Ukrainian soil. However Ukraine delegated the lead of the investigation to the Netherlands to prevent any form of bias. Still Ukraine for sure has a lot of influence and even a veto on the content to be published.
The reason for deletion is also obvious. Ukraine wants to prevent lawsuits for not closing the airspace completely after the downing of the Antonov.
It is very ignorant of Ukraine to believe this fact wil remain secret by deleting it from the preliminary report. It is clear Ukriane increased the restriction to 32.000 right after the downing of the Antonov.
Below the content of the NOTAM. Mind the date of creation: July 14 15:48. The Antonov 26 was downed by a missile around 12:00.(source)
A1492/14 – TEMPO RESTRICTED AREA INSTALLED WITHIN FIR DNIPROPETROVSK
BOUNDED BY COORDINATES :
495355N 0380155E 485213N 0372209E 480122N 0370253E
471352N 0365856E 465018N 0374325E 465900N 0382000E
470642N 0381324E THEN ALONG STATE BOUNDARY
UNTIL POINT 495355N 0380155E.
RESTRICTION NOT APPLIED FOR FLIGHTS OF STATE ACFT OF UKRAINE. FL260 – FL320, 14 JUL 18:00 2014 UNTIL 14 AUG 23:59 2014 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 14 JUL 15:48 2014
Maybe their legal position in court is better when this sentence is not in the report. A judge might see this as a confession.
The Antonov 26 aircraft downed on July 14 was flying at an altitude of 6700 meters. That is out of reach for MANPADs. A MANPAD is a relative simple shoulder held surface to air missile which have a reach of about 6000 meters altitude.
So Ukraine decided to close the airspace up to 32.000 feet because of the downing of the Antonov 26 at July 14. Which was wrong and Ukraine should have know. If an aircraft flying at 6700 can be hit, an aircraft flying at 33.000 feet or even much higher can be hit as well. Russia operates the Pantsir S1 surface to air missile system. These missiles have a maximum altitude of 15 kilometers. BUK missiles can reach even an altitude of 22 kilometers.