|Russian BUK missle array|
Julian Bray writes: With my 'Aviation Security' hat on, I've popped up on countless BBC and BBC World TV and Radio networks, in the last few days all beamed from Trib Towers, but not had time to post about the MH17 air crash until now, as the situation is changing by the hour, and now virtually confirmed it was shot down by a ground to air missile.
In my contributions, I was one of the first to publicly question the continuing use of a flight corridor routed directly over a war zone. Initially shouted down, by some so called telly 'experts' but now a major concern as the Malaysian Transport Minister - formerly the Defence Minister...has repeatedly tried to justify the decision and doing so again this Saturday morning.
The civil non combat aircraft effectively - but lawfully - flying through a war zone at an approved altitude, although an advisory notice (NOTAM) was issued in June and Air France and British Airways accordingly re-routed their flights weeks back) is just one of the matters I am curently trying to rationally understand. Our thoughts however are with the families of the 298 who needlessly perished, on this full to capacity Boeing 777-200.
I have tried to extract simple facts from speculation, on countless radio and television networks, both in the UK and worldwide, over the last 48 hours. I've therefore not had sufficient time to fully collect my written thoughts, as we enter a new phase of the investigation, this will now change.
Drawing on my years of working closely with airlines, and at one time simultaneously holding full airside passes for both Heathrow and Gatwick, issued by different airlines for each airport; I have literally seen it all, including an aircraft experiencing a front wheel 'blowout' seconds before 'push back' from the stand, and foreign aircrew and aircraft hired in by a holiday airline to deal with peak period bookings, then mistaking an illuminated taxiway for the main runway at Gatwick and landing on it, clipping a BA aircraft in the process .... All the foreign pilots had their licences revoked and had to resit all the exams, in the UK. The operation of an airline, is effectively wholly divorced from those actually driving an aircraft.
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel/Cruise Industry Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist, Regional Politics, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn remote location kit available)