a reply to: Laxus
Missiles do go for the heat source which would be the engine part of the plane, once the plane lose the engine and sustain damage to the wing
it will start loosing altitude very fast , this is where the pilot finished the job with a machine gun before the pilots managed to report the
incident, even if the did the tapes have been confiscated anyway
Well, depends on the missile type - the R60 is an infrared homing missile, with a small (3 kg) proximity-fused warhead - likely it would have tracked
one of the engines and detonated very close to, or impacted the engine (a Rolls-Royce Trent 800 - a huge engine, 10 feet in diameter) but certainly
even this very small 3Kg explosive could cause fatal damage to the engine's function.
The simple loss of the engine doesn't, however, imply the a/c would start loosing altitude quickly - the 777 can fly quite comfortably with a single
engine - the 777 is massively over-engined - though not sure how quickly the pilots or autopilot could correct for the asymmetry in thrust once the
This small warhead could also cause some "splatter" damage of shrapnel into the fuselage. Here's an example of a small jet being hit by an R-60
and *not* being destroyed:
On 7 August 1988, a BAe-125 owned by the Botswana Government was carrying the President of Botswana, Quett Masire, and his staff to a meeting
in Luanda. An Angolan MiG-23 pilot fired two R-60 (AA-8) missiles at the plane. One missile hit the no. 2 engine, causing it to fall off the aircraft.
The second missile then hit the falling engine. The crew was able to make a successful emergency landing on a bush strip at Cutio Bie.
Bear in mind, the BAe-125 is a 6-passenger a/c with fuselage-mounted engines - a gnat compared to a 777.
I think many of these theories - shot down by a R60 or cannon fire by a SU25 sound nearly-plausible, but are extremely unlikely - the speed and
limited altitude capabilities of a SU25 make an intercept of MH17 impossible in practical terms. A MiG 29 or SU-27, not a problem - but the heavily
armored SU-25, climbing above its service ceiling in a tail-chase and overtaking a faster-flying 777 is absurd.
And there's no "cannon" or "machine gun" evidence in the pictures I've seen - those are irregularly-shaped shrapnel holes, caused by an
explosive device like a SAM missile warhead. And remember, the 777 is travelling 240m/s - the muzzle velocity of the Gsh 30 is about 900m/s - even
if the Su-25 could reach the same altitude and match speed and fire from 1 km away, hitting that 777 with a killing burst still wouldn't easy - I
don't have the ballistics data for that cannon, but I'd bet the round would drop 30-50+ feet before it could catch up to the 777, and the round be
headed "down" - the Russians claim the SU came within 2 miles - hitting it with cannon fire from that range and speed - even if the SU could reach
that altitude and position - would be practically impossible.
The fact the a/c broke up at altitude (with large sections of the fuselage impacting well away from the main body) tells me it was a probably a large
explosive device, not some puny R60.
The overwhelming likelihood is that MH 17 was brought down by a large radar guided missile, with accompanying large warhead (the 9M38/9m317 missiles
associated with the Buk systems have 70 Kg warheads) detonating close enough to the fuselage for the blast wave and shrapnel to cause a massive
structural failure. A second possibility is an explosive device on-board.
Hour-long podcasts full of vague conjecture about murky motives and misinterpreted facts woven together to reach some conclusion notwithstanding.
The cockpit voice and data recorders and examination of the bodies should support tell a story - passengers seated in the area where the blast was
focused should have shrapnel wounds, and the cockpit and data recorders should show a near-instantaneous catastrophic failure, and evem a sudden end
to both would tend to confirm this. Being plinked by an R60 or cannon fire would likely leave a lot of reaction time for the pilots, declare an
inflight emergency, etc.
While there's no definitive evidence released yet, there isn't much sensible empirical evidence to lead to any alternative conclusions than what's
already supposed. There may be other explanations - but that's the one that makes the most sense, based on the incomplete data and evidence so far.