Calling All Munitions and Fighter Plane Experts: Is German Pilot Claim "Air-to-Air Attack" Brought Down MH17 Credible?
Peter Haisenko, a German aviation expert made a claim yesterday that air-to-air fire brought down MH17.
The above link is to a translated page.
As a lay person, it's easy to be persuaded by such arguments. Moreover, even if Haisenko is an aviation expert, one has to wonder about his munitions expertise.
I have some questions later, but first let's take a look at some images and a translation of Haisenko's thesis.
Haisenko provides this High-Res Image of MH17 Cockpit.
Click on chart for sharper image, or click on the preceding link for an even bigger image.
- Cockpit shows traces of shelling, clean round hole, about 30 mm caliper.
- Some holes are bent inward, some outward
- Rivets bent outward
- Moreover, small cuts can be seen, all bent outward, which hint at the fact that fragments have penetrated the outer hull from the inside of the cockpit.
Bullet Holes in Shell
Now the Controversy
The rest of what Haisenko has to say is quite controversial. Here is my modified translation (corrections welcome).
So what can be happening? Russia has published radar recordings, that show at least one Ukrainian SU-25 in close proximity of MH17. This corresponds with the statement of the lost Spanish controller who claims to have seen two Ukrainian fighter aircraft in the immediate vicinity of MH17.Accident?
Consider the armament of the SU-25: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, capable of firing 250 rounds anti-tank fire or splinter-explosive projectiles, in a defined order. The cockpit of the MH17 has been fired from two sides: the entry and exit holes on the same page. [Mish Note: Reader John points out that a SU-27 has a service ceiling of 62,523 feet and that the Ukrainian army has that aircraft.]
Now just imagine what happens when a series of armored fire and splinter-explosive projectiles, designed so that they can destroy a tank, hit the cockpit. The shells partially escape across the cockpit from the other side, slightly deformed again.
The splinter-explosive projectiles will explode inside the cockpit, as designed.
Because the interior of a commercial aircraft is a hermetically sealed chamber, the pressure inside the aircraft in a split second will rise to extreme levels by these explosions. But the aircraft is not equipped. It will burst like a balloon.
The largely intact fragments of the rear sections are broken at the points that are based on the construction breakup most likely under extreme pressure. The image of the widely scattered debris field and the brutally damaged cockpit segment fit to do so. Furthermore, a wing segment shows traces of a grazing shot, which directly leads to extension to the cockpit.
Interestingly, I found that both the high-resolution photo of the cockpit as the segment are also now been removed from the grazing shot on the wing from Google Images. One can find virtually no other pictures of the wreckage, except smoking ruins.
Even if Haisenko is correct, the image presented does not rule out an accident.
For example, it is conceivable Ukrainian military aircraft thought they were firing on a Russian plane. Notice I did not say likely, I said conceivable.
Regardless, if plane damage rules out a Buk, then the air-to-air thesis that remains, however unlikely initially, must lead to the truth.
By the way, one of my contacts (Not Dreizin) assures me that an SU-25 can get high enough, not for prolonged periods of time, but long enough to make such an attack. I do not know if that claim is credible, but a SU-27 certainly can hit that altitude.
- Is the MH17 damage consistent with either a buk or an air-to-air attack?
- Does the damage assessment favor one type of attack vs. the other?
- Could a Buk reasonably have only hit the cockpit?
- Could multiple Buks be in play to cause both input and exit holes as show?
- If so, could multiple Buks have only hit the cockpit?
- Could the flechettes (dart-like or ball bearing-like projectiles) launched when the buk exploded simply have traveled completely through the cockpit leaving both entry and exit holes?
- If the damage is only (or primarily) consistent with an air-to-air attack, we have a new ballgame.
- If the damage is consistent with either a Buk or an air-to-air attack, with roughly equal probability, we have not learned much.
- If the answer to number 6 is yes, and the rest of the damage is also consistent with a Buk, and the damage is inconsistent with an air-to-air attack , then it is safe to rule out the latter.
For now, I would like some military fighter-plane and munitions experts to assess the damaged parts and make a yes-no-maybe type of assessment on Haisenko's analysis, not on who did it or why, but rather on an assessment of the images shown (and what type of weapon did the damage).
Meet Elena from Sloviansk
Finally, even if it was a Buk, please consider this Video of Militia Soldier - Elena, from Sloviansk with English subtitles.
Posted on June 18, 2014
Good day. My name is Elena. I am in the city of Sloviansk. I am native to this town. I have joined the military ranks. I cannot bear this anymore. We are being bombed every day by Ukrainian army, on orders from Junta, Artillery, Air Force. And they drop bombs not on check-points. They drop bombs on people's houses. People live in cellars with their children. How long are we to bear this? How is it that government sends mercenaries on their own people? The people are fighting from here, in defense of their own city. They want to live, not merely exist. Terrible things are happening. For example: An incident that happened recently. A passenger plane was flying by, and Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped bombs on the residential sector of Seminovka. They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would have been a global catastrophe. Civilians would have died. Then they would say the terrorists did it. There are no terrorists here. There are regular people here, that came out in defense of their own city. ... Don't you have any humanity left?
Easily. Please note that video came out one month prior to the MH17 crash. It was not a made up story afterwards to fit what happened. And it fits numerous other reports none of which appears staged.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock