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Senior pilots and cabin crew flagged concerns about flight path weeks before tragedy
Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 20 July 2014 | Simon Parry and Simon Murphy

Posted on 07/20/2014 4:23:02 PM PDT by Mount Athos

Some staff are reported to have refused to fly over the airspace where the passenger airliner was downed because they deemed it to be too volatile and dangerous, especially after two Ukrainian planes, a fighter jet and a transport aircraft, were shot down by rebels.

The Mail on Sunday has been told worried pilots consulted air traffic controllers in Malaysia and also made an informal approach to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). But still Malaysia Airlines did not divert the route, unlike other carriers.

Two cabin crew swapped shifts so they would not be on the doomed Malaysian airliner downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine, after raising concerns about the safety of flying over the war zone.

Other senior pilots and cabin crew had flagged up fears about the flightpath in the weeks leading up to the tragedy, although Malaysia Airlines last night denied ignoring crew concerns.

British Airways as well as all US airlines, Lufthansa, Air France and Qantas, were already avoiding the war zone in Ukraine, adding an extra 20 minutes’ flight time, and there is growing pressure on Malaysia Airlines to explain why it did not follow suit.

Asiana Airlines, another company avoiding the war zone, said: ‘Although the detour adds to flight time and cost, we have been making the detour for safety.’ Last night, civil aviation analyst Chris Yates backed up the pilots’ concerns, saying: ‘My view is that wherever there is a conflict zone, then above that conflict zone the airspace should be closed.

‘Any time that you have civil strife or military strife ongoing in a military area, my opinion is that airspace should be closed until the situation clears up. Why take the risk?’

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ukraine

1 posted on 07/20/2014 4:23:02 PM PDT by Mount Athos
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To: Mount Athos

My guess is that they figured if the route is safe enough for Singapore Airlines, it’s safe enough for them. Bad idea. Singapore Airlines had one thing MAS did not. The luck of the devil.

2 posted on 07/20/2014 4:26:21 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Mount Athos

bout time this is brought out.
My first question was: “Who gave to the go ahead to fly over this route?
Was it sent as a Judas Goat - hoping for an incident? “

Malaysia flight are iffy - who’s in control?

3 posted on 07/20/2014 4:37:24 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: maine-iac7

There are two routes (one of them being this one) and both are technically ok and still permitted. But most pilots take the more southerly route in order to avoid the area. However, the southern route is more costly in terms of fuel and the company is in big trouble right now because of the earlier “incident,” so their pilots were probably encouraged to try to take this route when they could. That day there were also storms on the more southerly route, which use up more fuel.

It appears that this Malaysian Air pilot thought he was pretty safe because it was a known flight path. The only thing I don’t understand is how he could not have known about the earlier shoot-down by the Russian allied rebels of a Ukrainian military’d think that might have made him wonder if flying into this zone was a good idea.

4 posted on 07/20/2014 4:45:51 PM PDT by livius
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To: Mount Athos

somebody in operations has to make a decision.

a 777 cost a lot of money to operate.

by ordering the plane to fly over a war zone,
the guy in operations saves big $$ and looks
like a hero to the company.

on the other hand, there is a chance the plane
will be shot down, and you get fired.

think about the odds, risks and rewards.
you can always get another job.
how often can you be a hero?
Sometimes however, even a good choice, craps out.

5 posted on 07/20/2014 4:55:13 PM PDT by RockyTx
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To: Zhang Fei

55 planes flew over that zone the same day. It was not in no-fly list. It is not fair to single out Malaysian Airlines in an attempt to shift blame.

6 posted on 07/20/2014 5:41:30 PM PDT by Krosan
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