‘No proof’ of technical fault in MH17 crash’.

‘No proof’ of technical fault in MH17 crash’.


Dutch experts release highly anticipated interim report into downing of Malaysian flight in conflict-hit east Ukraine.

The first report on Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight, which crashed in eastern Ukraine in July, suggests that there is no evidence of technical fault or pilot error.

Dutch investigators said in the report, which was published on the website of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) on Tuesday morning, that a large number of high-energy objects caused the passenger jet to break apart in midair.

The Boeing 777 exploded en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board including 193 Dutch citizens.

The West has accused Russian-backed separatists of shooting down the plane with a Moscow-supplied surface-to-air missile. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces.

According to the report by Dutch experts, the fact that there were many pieces of aircraft structure distributed over a large area indicated that the aircraft broke up in the air.

The report said: “The pattern of damage observed in the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft was not consistent with the damage that would be expected from any known failure mode of the aircraft, its engines or systems.”

The findings also suggested that all crew was properly licensed and had medical certificates. The plane was also in airworthy conditions to make the flight from the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The report also stated that there was no evidence or indication of manipulation of the flight recorders on the plane, adding that no aural alerts or warnings of aircraft system functions were heard in the cockpit.

“The communication between the flight crew and members gave no indication of any mamalfunction or emergency prior to the occurance,” Dutch investigatiors said, adding that engine parameters were consistent with normal operation during the flight.

Experts did not visit site 

The Dutch investigators have been unable to visit the site in the war-torn Donetsk region due to the continued fighting and have relied on information from Ukrainian crash specialists for information from the scene.

Sara Vernooij, OVV spokeswoman, earlier told the AFP news agency: “It is certainly possible to draw meaningful conclusions without having been to the scene.”

Investigators came to their findings based on information from the aircraft’s black boxes, and pictures and video taken at the scene, as well as information supplied by Ukrainian air traffic control.

The “black boxes” have been shipped to Farnborough in Britain to be examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The OVV had said the preliminary findings would be “factual information based on sources available to the OVV”.

A full report is not expected until mid-2015, it said.

“We investigate the cause of the accident and not who’s responsible,” Vernooij told AFP.

Shortly after the crash forensic experts travelled to the site to collect body parts, but that search has also been suspended due to heavy fighting in the area.

So far 193 victims of flight MH17 have been identified.


Al Jazeera and agencies

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