‘Human error’: Tehran admits to shooting
down Ukrainian plane by mistake
Pentagon Accuses Iran Of Shooting Down A
Ukrainian Plane - Evidence Is Flimsy
By Moon Of Alabama
Reuters asks: "Who Ya Gonna
Believe Me Or Your Lying Eyes?"
The trustworthy (not) news agency
tweeted this yesterday:
The crashed South African plane is pretty
obviously a total loss but Reuters
says that there is "no sign of major
Reuters is a British agency and
Brits do have a special kind of humor: "Tis
but a scratch" and "Just a flesh wound"
says the black knight (vid).
The Reuters tweet was not a
The story on Reuters' website (screenshot)
carries the same picture and headline.
The capture under the picture says:
Congolese aviation workers stand next to
the wreckage of C-130 Hercules South
African military plane that crash-landed
at the Goma airport in Goma, eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo January 9,
2020 REUTERS/Djaffer Al Katanty
The text of the article says:
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo
(Reuters) - A South African military
plane crash-landed on Thursday at the
Goma airport in eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo, a U.N. spokesman
Videos on social media showed smoke
rising from the airplane but two
sources at the airport, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said there did
not appear to be major damage to the
Reporting by Fiston Mahamba and
Hereward Holland; Writing by Aaron Ross;
editing by John Stonestreet
At least five Reuters people
contributed to the story. The claim by the
two sources it cites is obviously false. It
still made it into the story and even into
the headline. Twenty four hours later, even
after it was mocked on Twitter, the story is
Consider the above when you read
reports in which anonymous officials
allege that Iran shot down the Ukrainian
flight PS 752 over Tehran.
That may have happened.
But that is only one possible explanation
for the accident. The crash may
have been caused
by technical or other issues. Rumors and
assertion from anonymous official are not
evidence. Neither are videos of unknown
provenance. The U.S. is waging an economic
war on Iran and it has the will and the ways
and means to fabricate such allegations. We
will only know for sure what happened when
the real evidence has been investigated by
the designated authorities.
Some of the comments to
yesterday's piece on the accident
disagreed with my warning that the purported
evidence of a shoot down is yet insufficient
and that other causes are very well
possible. They should consider
the warning from the top of the
International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAO is in contact with the States
involved and will assist them if called
upon. Its leadership is
stressing the importance of avoiding
speculation into the cause of the
tragedy pending the outcomes of the
investigation in accordance
with Annex 13 of the Convention on
International Civil Aviation (Chicago
was repeated yesterday:
ICAO continues to call for
diminished speculation on the possible
causes of the accident until
the Annex 13 investigation is permitted
to be concluded and its official results
Meanwhile the bodies have been removed
from the crash site and the debris has been
been collected and sorted by type.
This morning the head of the Iranian
Civil Aviation Administration gave a
press conference (vid) based on what the
officials currently know. My impression is
that he is a serious and reasonable person.
The Aljazeerah English live
translation was not good. None of the
questions were translated but some of
official's points were understandable:
- As far as it is known the plane was
not hit by a missile.
- Judgment must be held back until all
the technical information is available.
- After the take off the pilot
contacted the airport control tower for
permission to climb to 26,000 feet. The
permission was given.
- Two minutes later a fire broke out
on the plane.
- There was no communication after
that but the pilots may have been too
busy. The cockpit voice recorder will
give more answers.
- Twelve groups have been formed to
investigate the accident and the
- U.S. officials have asserted to have
documents or other evidence that shows a
missile incident. If they have such they
are required to step forward and present
it to the investigation.
- Video shows that the burning
aircraft flew for 60-70 seconds. If the
aircraft had been hit by a missile it
would have dropped immediately and there
would be a very large debris field like
it happened with flight MH17 in Ukraine.
- All countries affected by the
accident can name a liaison person or
take part in the investigation.
Then followed an explanation for the
delayed departure of the plane:
- The plane arrived the night before
- Both pilots went to the hotel for
rest but only for three hours.
- The passengers were mostly holiday
guests who carried a lot of luggage.
- The boarding process took a long
- The weather condition at that time
were also not suitable.
- The pilot requested extra fuel.
- The number of passengers, the
luggage and the extra fuel added up to
more than the plane can carry.
- The pilot ordered to off-load some
- All this was a normal process that
can happen on any flight.
It is then said that the investigation
may extend a long time, even longer than the
usual one year. Depending on their condition
the extraction of data from the blackboxes
may also take a month or two. The press
conference ends with a request for calm and
for support of the investigation.
Footage of the unopened blackboxes was
aired on Iran TV. They seem to have
minor outer damage but I am confident that
the permanent memory within them is intact.
Investigators and observers from several
countries and from Boeing have joined their
Iranian colleagues and will help to find the
causes of the accident.
Ukrainian investigators have arrived and
have been at the crash site. There are
laments (ukr) from anonymous Ukrainian
officials that the Iranians "bulldozed" the
"Debris is being raked by bulldozers; is
Iran interested in a quality
investigation?" - source in the
interdepartmental commission of Ukraine.
The Iranians used a wheeled front loader
to help collect the heavy parts of the
debris. That is hardly bulldozing.
There are also laments that the
collection process is too fast and may
damage some parts. Well, the plane crashed
and there was a large fuel explosion. There
will hardly be any undamaged parts.
The crash site of the Ethiopian MAX that
came down last years was also cleaned within
three days. Sorting the parts into big heaps
(structure, engines, electronics) before
driving them off for storage and analysis is
unlikely to cause additional damage.
Meanwhile in the Ukraine one can still find
parts of flight MH17 at very the place where
that plane came down.
This article was originally published
Of Alabama" -
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