U.S. & World

Why airlines didn't avoid risky Ukraine airspace


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  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 18, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    Flying over trouble spots like Afghanistan and Syria, where the bad guys generally have, at most, small arms and maybe shoulder-fired, short range surface to air missiles (SAMs) is one thing. Flying over an area where a major world power, Russia, has supplied its clients with state-of-the-art heavy SAMs, is another.

    The SA-17 is the equivalent of an American Patriot missile battery. It's not a little thing you sneak over in a backpack -- it involves multiple tank-sized vehicles, with separate radar, commmand and launcher tracks. This is big-league military hardware, quite possibly operated by Russian military personnel.

    It was absolutely irresponsible for an airline to fly its plane into range of those things. I suspect "international authorities" have avoided issuing an appropriate Notice to Airmen out of fear of offending Russia.