Aviation News

July 23, 2014

DEVELOPING: Malaysia Airlines 777 Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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Multiple agencies are reporting that a Malaysia Airlines 777-200 (registered 9M-MRD) has been shot down by a surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine, an area that has been a recent hotbed of violence. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was reported to have 280 passengers, a crew of 15, and traveling at 33,000ft when it crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border at 2:15pm GMT.

Malaysia Airlines is still dealing with the disappearance of Flight 370, also a Boeing 777-200, that disappeared after departing Malaysia on March 8th, with no strong evidence as to its whereabouts.

The specific 777-200 in question, registered 9M-MRD, formerly held the popular “Freedom of Space” livery.

UPDATE 16:40 GMT The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a notice forbidding flights from operating through Ukrainian airspace until further notice.

UPDATE 16:45 GMT The following photos, that appear to be of debris, have appeared on Twitter…


UPDATE 16:50 GMT The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has issued the following statement:

Today, at approximately 4:20 p.m. Malaysian Airlines No. 17, which was flying the route from Amsterdam – Kuala – Lumpur, disappeared from radar screens.

In recent days, this is the third tragic accident, after the AN-26 and SU-25 aircrafts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were shot down from the Russian territory. We do not exclude that this aircraft was also shot down, and stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not commit any actions in the air [at the time of the downing].

The President of Ukraine on behalf of the State expresses its deepest and most sincere condolences to the families and relatives of those killed in this terrible tragedy. Every possible search and rescue effort is being made.

The President appealed to the Cabinet in order to quickly create a State commission to investigate the causes of this tragedy. The President proposed to involve the work of experts of the Commission of the ICAO and other international organizations, and representatives of the Netherlands and Malaysia.

We are confident that those responsible for this tragedy will be brought to justice.

UPDATE 16:55 GMT Malaysia Airlines issued the following statement:

Media Statement 1 – MH17 Incident
Released at 12:30am/18 July 2014

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.

UPDATE 16:40 GMT The following photos, that appear to be of debris, have appeared on Twitter…


UPDATE 18:05 GMT The Foreign Ministry in Kiev, Ukraine, issued a statement blaming Russian Buk misile system as having shot down the aircraft. The Buk missile system has an altitude range of 46,000ft:

“A large passenger aircraft Boeing 777, performing a flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, was shot down in the eastern part of Ukraine. According to the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, the airplane was shot down by the Russian Buk missile system as the liner was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters. Ukraine has no long-range air defense missile systems in this area. The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area. Ukraine will present the evidence of Russian military involvement into the Boeing crash.”

Buk missile systems are said to be placed around various areas in Ukraine, such as this one, which a Twitter user says was in Shizhne today, near the crash site.

Buk missile systems are said to be placed around various areas in Ukraine, such as this one, which a Twitter user says was in Shizhne today, near the crash site.

UPDATE 18:15 GMT Removed due to redundancy -PD

UPDATE 18:45 GMT Shortly after the crash, a separatist leader, still thinking it was an Antonov AN-26 military aircraft, claims to have shot down the airliner.


NYCAviation has independently confirmed its translation as saying:

“An AN-26 airplane was shot down in the area of Torez. It lays somewhere behind the mine “Progress”. We warned not fly “in our sky.” The bird fell behind the territory of control. Residential area wasn’t touched. Civilians were not hurt. Another bird fell behind the spoil tip.”

UPDATE 19:40GMT The following video claims to show Flight 17’s moment of impact with the ground, though no aircraft is clearly visible in the moments prior.

UPDATE 01:15GMT A video has surfaced that appears to have been taken moments after the impact of primary wreckage pieces, with smaller, lighter pieces still falling.

UPDATE July 23 16:15GMT

The Dutch Safety Board has taken over formal responsibility for the crash investigation
from Ukraine, coordinating the efforts of an international team of experts. The two recovered “black boxes” are now in the United
Kingdom, where they are currently being read  and analysed. Dutch investigators are also on-site investigation in Ukraine although
they still do not have safe access to the crash site, something they hope to attain in short order. In addition, the gathering and analysis of
data from various sources continues in both Kiev and the Netherlands.


About the Author

NYCAviation Staff



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  • Mike Brewer

    If the Russians really did this…..WWWIII

    • C Marley

      @ Mike Brewer:
      In 1988, the USS Vincennes — a missile-armed American warship operating
      in the Persian Gulf — opened fire on an Iranian airliner, destroying the
      Airbus in a horrific attack at a cost of almost 300 lives.
      Using your childish logic, why didn’t WW3 start then?

      • Adam Clemenzi

        @c_marley:disqus : Because that was an honest mistake. The plane was flying in the direction of the ship and it was thought to be a bomber from an enemy country. They had no choice but to shoot it down. MH17 is just a repeat and will not start WWIII

  • At scale drawing of Boeing 777 versus Antonov 26. Hard to confuse even at FL300!