Sunday, 1 January 2017


Basic Dimension

  1. time: 00:00 the missile is launched . 
  2. time: 00:35 when the missile warhead exploded near MH17. 
  3. time: 00:35 when the cockpit of MH17 separated from the main fuselage.
  4. time: +/- 01:20 cockpit section impact with ground.
  5. time: 02:05 when the main fuselage of MH17 hit the ground.

Has a BUK torpedoed the MH17. Maybe, with a little disturbance in the trajectory followed by proportional navigation it could be true. But we also have some pictures of the partial forward fuselage roof without impact of a missile. So, it is not clear and we have no proof yet. 

On the other hand we have the total disintegration of the plane within 1 to 3 seconds which is very difficult to explain. But it might be the aircraft broke down on the edges of the compartments as the weakest parts of the plane (ST655 and STA888).

Further we are interested in the possible chain of remains of the missile on the crash site. If the missile did not crash into the plane the remains must lie a few kilometers back from the last FDR.

On the other hand, if the remains were found in the wreckage, especially in Petropavlivka and Rozsypne then the missile has crashed into the plane. And we have a form of proof if not-secondary fragments like the nozzle of the engine were found, the exhaust pipe. But we must await withheld evidence of JIT.

The collapse of the MH17 is not properly examined

We debate the trajectory of the BUK to the MH17, but we forgot to give an explanation for the total disintegration of the plane in the first place.

The ground radar of BUK-TELAR aimed at the nose of the aircraft, but the warhead detonated beside the plane. Only then it could deploy its fragments freely and throw them on the plane. If the warhead detonated in front of the nose with a proximity fuse or on the nose with a contact fuse, then fragments would partially miss the aircraft:

BUK missiles are made against little air fighters and other missiles but not for mega planes as Boeing-777. Therefore, the likelihood increases that the rocket rammed the plane accidentally.

Falling time to the ground

The BUK missile must have been launched at around 16:19:33 local Ukraine time. MH17 likely was destroyed at 16:20:03 as the FDR and CVR stopped recording from this point. Flight time should be about 30 seconds. 90 seconds until main debris hit the ground (DSB calculated 60-90 sec. And the main debris was last). Speed of the airplane was 905 km/h, at 10 km altitude. With 905 km/60= 15 km per minute. The falling speed is ultimately 200 km / h. Within one minute the plane crashed on the ground. 90 sec for the main debris with drag from the wings. But according to Hector 60-90 seconds estimate time for falling to the main crash site is very short – free fall is 45 secs. 2 minutes is more like it, but people on this blog first said 3-5 minutes.

DSB gives no logical explanation for the collapse of the MH17 within ONE SECOND. But I think we need a formidable physical force to destruct the internal structure of the plane at its Achilles heel. We can use only the very heavy BUK as a battering ram. But if so then this BUK made a head-on collision from Snizhne, since only then it can fire through the front windows and torpedo the aircraft at the same time.

According to DSB the cockpit and forward fuselage must have been broken up within one second. That's correct if the cockpit had to hit the ground on only 2.5 kilometers from the last FDR position:

[The combination of the cockpit with the lower fuselage part has a very high ballistic coefficient. This means it would likely be found near the lower end of the locus line if it
separated from the aircraft at the point of initial break-up, and that is where it was found (site 3).

[From  the  ballistic  trajectory  analysis  it  can  be  concluded  that  all  the  pieces  of wreckage from the fuselage parts in front of STA888/909 departed the aeroplane immediately after the last Flight Data Recorder recording.]

[– The cockpit was found near Rozsypne AT B = 2.5 KM FROM the last FDR point which means it must have been broken from the fuselage immediately after impact. The speed of the plane was 905 km/h and the trajectory to the ground was A = 10 km. Then the cockpit must have been fallen as deadweight without much drag to the ground instantly. Deadweight: C=SQRT(ASQ=100+ BSQ=6.25)= 10.3 km.]

DSB concludes the following:

Page 160 of 279 Main report:

'Thus, it can be concluded that all the pieces of wreckage from the fuselage part in front of STA888/909, recovered from the sites 1, 2 and 3, separated from the aeroplane in the first few seconds after the impact of the high-energy objects.'

'Within approximately one second the fuselage top parts in front of STA655, above the passenger floor, were bent upward, while the fuselage lower part in front of STA655, was bent downward. This was followed immediately by the fuselage part behind it, bending radially outward and separating behind the doors 2L and 2R at (STA 888/909).'

[DSB Main report, Page 256 of 279:

9.  Failure sequence:

After the initial impact, the aeroplane broke up as follows:

a. There  was  an  almost  instantaneous  separation  of  the  cockpit  from  the  forward part of the fuselage when the pre-formed fragments penetrated the cockpit. The cockpit came to rest 2.3 kilometres from the last position recorded on the Flight Data Recorder.]

The reason for the instantaneous disintegration of the MH17 given by DSB seems incredible: only less than 30 kg white heat BUK fragments, iron pieces of about a cubic centimeter would have let fallen apart this mega plane WITHIN ONE SECOND. And that's not all, the disintegration started far away from the cockpit where fragments impacted. Does DSB believe in magic? A bomb is impossible. We must inspect all possible scenarios, also the drift angle.

The horizontal course angle of how the missile approached the plane, from 17 to 35 degrees azimuth (DSB chose for 27 degrees) is based on pure speculation, since DSB has no expert knowledge of the homing method of proportional navigation of 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles (not that important with a straight head-on collision), nor about the algorithm of the proximity fuse which determines the right moment of detonation (Doppler effect, also less important) and also their stringing method led to a wrong detonation point (not that important):

This detonation point was not confirmed by albert_lex and a number of scientists on the Internet. They brought it back to 1.6-1.8  meter from the windshields:

By this they changed the analysis of the destruction of the plane fundamentally:

Coming further from the south of Snizhne the missile could have disappeared into the plane in this manner:

Even knowledge of Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of the BUK is discutabel, since BUK has not been designed for mega targets. The Russians even think a launch from Snizhne cannot be a BUK trajectory:

Rosaviatsia Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency:

[According to the data provided by the company [Almaz-Antey] that designed the Buk surface-to-air missile system, if a 9M38-series missile approaches an aircraft at the angle presented in the final report (head-on collision) , the algorithm of its proximity fuse will detonate the warhead after a certain delay so that the detonation area is 3-5 meters away from the nose towards the tail, which does not agree with the actual data (1.6-1.8 meter in front of the windshields).] 

The BUK proximity fuse uses its own radar transmitter and reacts when its signal is reflected from any surface on its view. Its function is to detonate the warhead when it detects “metal”.

When the missile comes closer to the target by proportional navigation, the proximity fuse starts to focus on the strongest signal reflected from the aircraft. In a head-on collision this is the nose of the plane.  The fuse is seeking increasingly higher frequencies of radar reflections until it detonates the warhead. 

With proportional navigation of 'cutting corners' sharp course corrections are possible.  And some correction might ram the BUK into the aircraft. 

Karel Knip already postulated an azimuth of 9 degrees for the missile with the aircraft . So, there is not much steering needed to chase the BUK right through the MH17.

Next we summarize the arguments related to the disintegration of the MH17:

1) - Air pressure: It is said by flying at 905 km/h the construction is under such tension that it will break up immediately if somewhere it is weakened. This tension would come from air pressure on the aircraft. But this seems an invalid argument for at 10 km altitude air pressure is reduced considerably.

2) - Blast waveOn short distance the blast wave is earlier than fragments. Therefore the shockwave likely was not the reason of the removal of the skin of the cockpit.

3) - Decompression certainly will have partly ruined the hull of the cockpit. But after decompression air pressure was equalized, so decompression cannot be the cause of the further disintegration of the plane.

4) - Construction damage: There is no written evidence of broken iron beams that carried the construction of the left side forward fuselage or of the cockpit. Impact entry holes, allegedly from a BUK, only will have caused surface damage of the cockpit hull. 

[The damaged cockpit with a large part of the lower fuselage with the passenger floor in front of STA655 has been found at site 3].

In the DSB report I missed how the steel beams of the lower fuselage have been broken up. Are they broken by 'aerodynamic powers', or by fragments of a missile?

DSB intermezzo:

DSB Main report page 255 of 279:

4. Cockpit damage and crew injuries:
The  damage  observed  on  the  forward  fuselage  and cockpit  area  of  the aeroplane and the injuries of the flight crew and the cabin crew member in the cockpit indicated that  there  were  multiple  impacts  from  a  large number  of  fragments from a  point outside and above the left hand side of the cockpit. The pattern of damage observed to the forward fuselage and cockpit area of the aeroplane was not consistent with the damage that would be expected from any known failure mode of the aeroplane, its engines or systems.
7. Missile parts:
A number of larger objects found on the ground and a few fragments found in the aeroplane’s wreckage were suspected to belong to a missile. Paint samples taken from these suspected missile parts found in the wreckage area match those found on foreign objects extracted from the aeroplane. The missile parts also had traces of a type of explosive (i.e. RDX) on them that is similar to the traces found on the wreckage.
DSB Main report, Page 256 of 279:
9.  Failure sequence:
After the initial impact, the aeroplane broke up as follows:
a. There  was  an  almost  instantaneous  separation  of  the  cockpit  from the  forward part of the fuselage when the pre-formed fragments penetrated the cockpit. The cockpit came to rest 2.3 kilometres from the last position recorded on the Flight Data Recorder.

Proceeding with the analysis:

5) - Cockpit beam: We found just a single damaged cockpit beam from which we don't know if it failed to sustain the frame:

6) - Disappeared forward fuselage: Nothing has been recovered from the cockpit frame and large parts of the fuselage above the passenger floor in front of STA655, since all evidence has been removed from site 1 and 2 in Petropavlivka. Therefore, we can only make a prediction of the disintegration of the cockpit from the recovered lower fuselage in front of STA655.

[It was not until 20 March 2015 that it was possible to gain access to the site north-west of the village of Petropavlivka for the first time. Between 19 April and 2 May, pieces of wreckage that had been collected by local residents were recovered.]

We miss the fuselage top parts in front of STA655. Also the upper part fuselage above business class (aft) is missing:

We notice, in Petropavlivka some parts of the forward fuselage have disappeared, while we are certain they all came down there. What is the reason for their omission? Are they deliberately removed?

7) - Progressive disintegrationIf the beams on the left side of the cockpit had been really cut off by BUK fragments  - for which I have no evidence yet -,  a progressive disintegration of the aircraft  ONLY FROM THAT POINT was to be expected. But then it would have taken more than a second before the cockpit would have been broken from the fuselage. 

So, the description by DSB of the disintegration of the MH17 - which started at STA655 and expanded to STA888 - within a second after impact looks completely unjustified.
Superficial damage by impact entry holes to the left side of the cockpit cannot be seen as cause of the disintegration of half the plane from STA888 in a second

Even if all beams would have been instantly broken in the recovered forward lower fuselage, which is very unlikely, then the disintegration of the plane would have started from the left side of the cockpit and not at STA655. But from that position there is no evidence for the instantaneous collapse of the construction:

So far, the conclusion must be there is no evidence in the DSB report that fragments of BUK caused the aerodynamic disintegration of the aircraft within ONE SECOND.

The possible launch site

 Thanks Sotilaspassi for your correction:

We proceed with disintegration facilitated by the drift angle

Remember DSB took ground track of 115 degrees (the real track on the globe) to estimate the launch site of the missile. But they should have done this estimation from true track = 119 degrees (the position of the length axis of the plane). Now, by calculations of TNO the azimuth of the missile (the angle of approaching the plane) is biased (they have taken 115 degrees instead of 119 degrees), so this cannot be traced back correctly to the launch site. 

Neglecting 4 degrees change in true track is not much, but in relation to the BUK as battering ram it now becomes possible to approach the plane from the south of Snizhne more from ahead (Karel Knip thinks already of  9 (13-4 degrees) with the smoke trail as launch site) and within error margins one way or the other it might be possible the BUK rammed the MH17 when flying to the aircraft:

Of course ramming the MH17 is not likely with an azimuth of 17 to 35 degrees (DSB chose 27 degrees). Since then the missile flew along the plane. But remember, the course of the missile is not proven, just as torpedoing the plane is not a fact. Both are rival theories. But in my opinion 30 kg white heat fragments cannot disintegrate the plane from the middle within one second. Noway we can explain the plane fell apart in front of STA888 within ONE SECOND. Even not in two or three seconds. What it definitely did.

The 27 km trajectory of the BUK towards the MH17 has been calculated by semi-homing from the ground station of BUK-TELAR. The 4 % drift angle had no influence on the radar guidance. But maybe somehow proportional navigation over corrected the course of the BUK right into the MH17.

Then we inspect the behavior of warhead 9N314M from Almaz-Antey:

And that we apply to this situation:

Notice, in the picture the missile could be brought nearer to the plane and torpedo the roof of the cockpit, since it is only for the range of the lancet that some distance is kept. But the working of the lancet of Almaz-Antey is somewhat obscure. The distribution of fragments on the plane at best can be seen as a random blur and then we may place the missile anywhere in this configuration. (Or do we have proof of butterflies in the hull?)

BUK could also have been launched further to the south of Snizhne. Then it depends on proportional navigation how the missile behaved. It might be BUK is not programmed for mega planes with their special characteristics:

The conclusion is: Only if something unexpected has happened by which the missile followed no straight line to the MH17 it is possible the BUK drilled it selves into the aircraft.

We took it for granted that fragments heralded the disintegration of the MH17. But that is a major error in reasoning. Since we have not the slightest proof, only physical laws which we use in the wrong way. Noway we can explain the plane fell apart in front of STA888 within ONE SECOND. Even not in two or three seconds. What it definitely did. We simply started with the wrong track and must reorder the permutation of this very complicated event before any analysis can be started.  


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 [In the forward compartment of the BUK-missile, a semi-active homing radar head (9E50, Russian9Э50, 9Э50М1), autopilot equipment, power source and warhead are located. The homing method chosen was proportional navigation.]
BUK-missiles use semi-active homing in which there is a passive radar receiver in the missile and active radar in the BUK-TELAR, steering the missile to the target. In the first phase this steering is straight to the target.
But also the 9М38M1 missile itself uses active homing when approaching the goal. This is active homing not alone by radar reflection but also by other means. It is the proportional navigation phase based on the fact that two vehicles are on a collision course when their direct Line-of-Sight does not change direction as the range closes. Proportional navigation is the anticipation of the course of the target by timely adjustment of the direction of the missile by cutting corners.  
Hence, the missile first has an inactive phase of vertical acceleration of the launch, then an active phase of radar guidance by BUK-TELAR or BUK-TAR (Snowdrift) and in the neighbourhood of the target is uses proportional navigation for cutting corners to the targer. Remember the proximity fuse only determines the best moment of detonation. It does not steer the missile. It is not proportional navigation.

9М38 and 9М38M1 missile

The 9M38 uses a single-stage X-winged design without any detachable parts; its exterior design is similar to the American Tartar and Standard surface-to-air missile series, which led to the half-serious nickname of Standardski.[36] The design had to conform to strict naval dimension limitations, allowing the missile to be adapted for the M-22 SAM system in the Soviet Navy. Each missile is 5.55 m (18.2 ft) long, weighs 690 kg (1,520 lb) and carries a relatively large 70 kg (150 lb) warhead which is triggered by a radar proximity fuze. In the forward compartment of the missile, a semi-active homing radar head (9E50, Russian9Э50, 9Э50М1), autopilot equipment, power source and warhead are located. The homing method chosen was proportional navigation. Some elements of the missile were compatible with the Kub's 3M9; for example, its forward compartment diameter (33 cm), which was less than the rear compartment diameter.

In general, the system identifies potential targets (radar), selects a particular target (command), fires a missile (launcher) at the target, and resupplies the system (logistics). The missiles require a radar lock to initially steer the missile to the target until the missile's on-board radar system takes over to provide final course corrections. A proximity fuse aboard the missile determines when it will detonate, creating an expanding fragmentation pattern of missile components and warhead to intercept and destroy the target. A proximity fuse improves the "probability of kill" given the missile and target closure rates, which can be more than 3,000 km/h (1,900 mph) (or more than 900 m/s (3,000 ft/s)).

 sotilaspassi // April 5, 2016 at 9:39 am // Reply

-BUK tries to get as close to target as possible, because of this it has also fuse that detonates from impact.
-Warhead detonation is most efficient in close range.
-BUk is designed to hit also ballistic missiles that are far smaller in diameter than a fighter jet.
-Boeing-777 is far bigger than fighter jet
-Because of the proportional navigation in the final approach, IMO, missile almost surely start to bank away from target’s strongest radar echo, so it is almost impossible for it to collide with target.
-Because MH17 did not change it’s course, BUK made the ideal hit. IMO, detonation center was ~1m from cockpit surface.


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  1. IMO: disintegration within one (...three) seconds is most likely, as it seems emergency transmitter started it's 30s timer due to high G forces at 13:20:06. (DSB report around page 49)

    + In DSB figure 64 (The possible launch site) the red area (smaller) is for 9M38, blue area (larger) is for 9M38M1. See page 145 of DSB report. (you have them incorrectly)

    br "sotilaspassi"