# Does Damage to MH17 indicate or exclude a Particular Buk Launch Location?

#### Ole

##### Member
That's nothing like a radar guided BUK missile which has a large kill range and thus needs to strike AHEAD of its target (see my post #125) blasting forward in a cone :

If you go for the KISS-principle then you might want to avoid a complicated ranging and aiming logic that would be required for a narrow forward pointing shrapnel cone and would be susceptible to electronic counter measures. The logic to simply detonate the warhead at the moment of closest approach seems to be much more robust.

Even though I run the danger of contesting Euclidean geometry: At the point of closest approach the vector connecting two skew lines is perpendicular, so it might be a good idea to design warheads which have perpendicular shrapnel patterns - in the frame of reference of the target.

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#### mvdb22

##### Member
To understand what happened we need to put ourselves in the designer of the missile. The target of the BUK is destroying fighter jets, other missiles and helicopters. The goal is not to destroy the engine as there is not infra red seeker in the BUK missile. The goal is to destroy the fuselage. Maybe the goal is to destroy the intelligence in the target. The cockpit with the fighterpilot or the radar and other intelligence in the first/head section of the (cruise) missile.
I can imagine that the moment the proximity fuse will detonate depends on the relative position of the target. So if the BUK missile approaches from the side the proximity fuse will activate only when the missile is roughly in front of the target. Thus the fragmentation will be pushed into the target by the force of the explosion.

#### Ole

##### Member
It is the PILOTs seat.

The sliding rail still attached to the chair is not in its normal position. The length as can been seen in the red circle is almost as wide as the chair, which is not the case. That doesn't proof which seat it is.

Agree, that rail could well be the upper part of this double-T shaped profile which came loose from here.

Then in the picture of the flower field it is twisted by 90°.

#### RB2

##### New Member
As an appeal to engineering soundness:
The operating principle of proximity fuses is that they detonate the warhead in proximity of the target.

Some proximity fuses measure distance to target and can detect the moment of closest approach. Such method is used in torpedo proximity fuses and especially in naval mines, but is not usually needed or practical in missiles.

The proximity fuse of a a Sidewinder missile project narrow beams of l@ser light perpendicular to the flight of the missile. If any of the beams strikes the target it is reflected back to the missile where detectors sense it and detonate the warhead. There is no "measuring the range" at all, abd it is not needed - when a target is detected to the side of the missile then it's probably as close as it could be and is is good place to detonate the warhead.

Radar proximity fuses work on similar principle (beams of radio energy projected to the sides, perpendicular to misile or at an angle, to front-side) but they can have a predetermined maximum range at which the fuse can detonate. If the target is let's say closer than 17m the fuse would detonate warhead.

Usually there is no need to determine the "point of closesd approach" because the fuse anyway can detect a target ONLY to the side. So only when it passes by. And then in 95% of cases target is already as close as it can be (passing by) and the warhead (which is also designed to throw shrapnels to the sides) should be detonated NOW.

Radar fuse COULD measure range to target and detect optimal point for detonation, but this would be rarely usefull at all.
Content from External Source
http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/543733-mh17-down-near-donetsk-57.html#post8595364

Independent of the unknown authority of the author, I find the argumentation quite striking.[/QUOTE]

Missile fuze beam is normally swept forward at a greater angle than that of the anticipated dynamic fragment beam,thus allowing for small delay in fuze triggering and warhead detonation,aimpoint has then entered the kill zone,most basic and common method,otherwise "adaptive" fuzing has to be considered

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#### Mick West

Staff member
I've removed photos of the dead pilots. There are plenty of photos of holes in things that do not move and hence give us a much better idea of where the shrapnel came from.

I remind people that this thread is about AA's claim that the damage to the plane excludes on location and indicates another. If you want to add new post to this thread, then you need to be very specific about what your evidence is indicating, and how it relates to AA's claims. Ensure you understand the discussion of the dispersion patterns of fragments that have been claimed, and the potential problems with these.

#### RB2

##### New Member
The missile is coming from in front of the plane, albeit on an angle almost 90 degrees. But it is still coming from in front of the plane.
According to AA is explodes as it meets the plane. It explodes downward, on an angle into the cockpit on the left side.
Added in edit:Here is the moment they meet. There is no time before this when they are in proximity. The missile is still in front of the plane up to this moment. The plane comes forward into it's path.
You seem to be thinking that the "rocket surgeons" that designed the missile designed one that would most often miss the target.

This would mean accepting there is no forward facing fuze beam or that its designed to pass the target,problem is that would mean its useless in hitting any narrow body target from side aspect,which includes fighter type and ALCM which are in its claimed target range,unlikely

#### Rob

##### Member
Rob said:
Seems to me that from Zaroshens'kye (at 200°) the missile had the wind in the back.
Or does that 3 degrees wind adjustment only apply to the Snizhne launch location ?
I do not understand your question. Wind adjustment applies to the orientation of the aircraft relative to its last reported course (track heading). In principle, it also can be applied to the orientation of the missile relative its course, but, in this case, the adjustment angle will be much smaller because of the missile speed being much higher than the speed of the plane.

Ah. Sorry, I misunderstood your point and yes, I agree.
Given the expected side wind, Mick's 118° is reasonable, despite the 115° reported heading by the Dutch Safety Board.

#### Rob

##### Member
Here is a very interesting piece of wreckage up for analysis :

https://www.metabunk.org/data/MetaMirrorCache/5c8784d8aa2109fc2908f34ded649fb1.jpg

Same piece from a slightly different angle :

https://www.metabunk.org/data/MetaMirrorCache/4a97f4c759edcc3face1e05d71bbe005.jpg

These are the front row business class overhead bins, which are mounted center in the plane:

On the 777-200ER floorplan, these bins are right against wall behind the front exit doors (in the red rectangle) :

The reason these are so interesting, is that the location of these overhead bins is at a point where the direction and intensity of the two different launch positions (Snizhne or Zaroshens'kye) differs greatly.
So it is a great piece to analyse damage on.

Here is the last picture again, this time flipped upside down (which is more or less how you would see these overhead bins when you look up from your seat) :

The front (towards the cockpit) is indicated with the red arrow.
The small red circles show what is very likely damage from fragments.
The small orange circles show possible fragment damage, although these also may be leaves or simple damage sustained on the way down or while falling into that tree.

Point is there is SOME fragment damage through the bins, but not a whole lot. And these fragments came in from ABOVE and from the SIDE, and most certainly NOT strait from the front.

Even stronger evidence that the fragment did not come from strait from the front, is that the front mounting plane (indicated in that large yellow oval) is FREE of damage. Not a single piece of shrapnel went through it !

[EDIT: Removed any conclusions that were based on the location of the mounting plate, since the facing was convincingly shown to be incorrect. See below]

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#### Spectrar Ghost

##### Senior Member.
A few things here:
1) The shorter bin is in front, so you have your facing reversed. The yellow circle in the annotated image is the rear of the bin.
2) You've circled a preexisting warning decal as fragment damage.
3) Given where this debris is, you'll have a hard time convincing me of what's frag damage and what's tree damage.
4) The resolution of the image doesn't allow for definite identification of frag damage, let alone resolving the direction it came from.

While I'm generally sympathetic to the idea the Seperatists were behind the shooting, I don't think anything of worth can be resolved from the given images.

#### Rob

##### Member
A few things here:
1) The shorter bin is in front, so you have your facing reversed. The yellow circle in the annotated image is the rear of the bin.
2) You've circled a preexisting warning decal as fragment damage.
3) Given where this debris is, you'll have a hard time convincing me of what's frag damage and what's tree damage.
4) The resolution of the image doesn't allow for definite identification of frag damage, let alone resolving the direction it came from.

While I'm generally sympathetic to the idea the Seperatists were behind the shooting, I don't think anything of worth can be resolved from the given images.

1) They row 2 number is on bin closest to the mounting plate. That suggests I have the facing correct.
There may be different configurations for these bins. Here is one with the first bin being wide :

https://www.metabunk.org/data/MetaMirrorCache/13209788ec4d71ce6b6962d900c97644.jpg

2) I think you are right )

3)/4) OK.
How about the LACK of damage, as on that mounting plate ?

[EDIT: I may have spoken too soon about (1).
Since these seats are really far apart (4-5 bins in a row) then row 2 may indeed be on the far side, and my red arrow points the wrong way.]

[EDIT2: I am now convinced that Spectrar is right, and I have the facing wrong.
The business section on this 777-200ER is only 4 rows, and the overhead bin system appears to consist of two parts. So it is only natural that the "row 2" sign is at the rear end of the first bin compartment section. And thus the mounting plate we are looking at is in the middle of the business class, and not mounted to the front wall as I asserted.

This of course means that the main argument (that the absence of damage on the mounting plate precludes fragments coming from strait ahead) is no longer convincing. The only argument standing from this evidence would be a couple of holes in the sides of these overhead bins, which may or may not have been caused by missile fragments.

So it appears that this evidence is not very discriminating between a launch from either direction.

It was still an interesting exercise to go through the analysis of this piece of evidence in this detail, so I'm glad I did this work, but for more conclusive evidence we have to find other pieces.

And thank you Spectrar, for your "spot-on" response.]

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#### mvdb22

##### Member
The best would be to locate the 100% confirmed shrapnel damage of steel and aluminum components of the fuselage. There are many examples on photo.
This way we are sure damage is not caused by people, falling debris, trees or other causes.

The challenge is to find out where a piece of steel is located in the plane. Allmost all photos show close-ups. Hardly there is a STA number visible.

Jeroen Akkermans has many photos. This album is just an example
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeroenakkermans/sets/72157651033883810

This album has photos of debris found near Petropavlovka
https://www.flickr.com/photos/128537380@N08/sets/72157651175533522/

This Flickr account has many detailled photos of the debris
https://www.flickr.com/photos/podpolkovnikvvs/sets/with/72157648583060679

#### mvdb22

##### Member
Maybe someone can id this part? Found at the spot where the cockpit crashed .
My guess this is part of one of the two jumpseats which are located in the cockpit.

Photo in high res

#### mvdb22

##### Member
This is the seat of the co-pilot. To be recognized by the big square hole in the bottom of the photo.

#### william wiley

##### Member
but for more conclusive evidence we have to find other pieces.
Yes, there must be areas that would be damaged from one place but not from the other.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
That guess seems to be correct:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Mala...53101/L/&sid=137b81739b1ef37e475b69968df32080
In this image the starboard one seems less comfortable and seems to lack the mechanism to adjust the height of the head rest, so it's more probable it's the one from the center.
Great find!
Based on the damage of this jumpseat headrest and the damage seen on the co-pilot seat (almost horizontal hit by fragments) combined with the holes in the cockpit floor (vertical hit) it is safe to assume the missile must have exploded very close to the cockpit.
Remember the area around the cockpit window wiper blades. All the paint was gone!

The left side of the cockpit (the famous photo with all the holes in it) does not shows traces of burn. The area right in front of the cockpit, where the windscreen wipers are located, does show heavy burn marks.

If the missile came from Snizhne and exploded left of the cockpit, I would expect the reverse. (heavy burn marks on leftside of cockpit)

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#### mvdb22

##### Member
This is also an interesting photo. It shows the righthand side of the cockpit, as well as what is likely to be the inside of the nose cone.
The red line indicates the nose cone as seen when someone is standing in front of the aircraft looking towards the cockpit. As this area is almost intact the missile has exploded above the nose
The second photo shows the same area in close up.

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#### David Coulter

##### Senior Member.
The left side of the cockpit (the famous photo with all the holes in it) does not shows traces of burn. The area right in front of the cockpit, where the windscreen wipers are located, does show heavy burn marks.

If the missile came from Snizhne and exploded left of the cockpit, I would expect the reverse. (heavy burn marks on leftside of cockpit)

You are assuming that "burn marks" are from the warhead. They may also have come from the missile propellant which would have rapidly burned off at detonation. This scenario would indicate a launch from in front of the aircraft: warhead detonated at the top port side of the cockpit and the propellant burned off at the front of the aircraft.

#### Robert E

##### New Member
This is also an interesting photo. It shows the righthand side of the cockpit, as well as what is likely to be the inside of the nose cone.
The red line indicates the nose cone as seen when someone is standing in front of the aircraft looking towards the cockpit. As this area is almost intact the missile has exploded above the nose
The second photo shows the same area in close up.

The question is: why hasn't the panel between the seats of the Captain and Co-pilot no penetration damage from fragments?

In the photo damage is visable, but beside strongly misformed from the impact, i only see damage like breaking off, no holes.

#### Robert E

##### New Member
Also i like to come back to a precious posting of mine:
a 'vectormodel' with a sideview of the plane and a vectormodel with a frontview
I have the impression to much assumptions are made in a 2D spectrum and not in 3D. Due to the shape of the front of the plane, deflection of fragments do occur often and some damage (penetrations holes) can only be caused at a certain position of the exploding missile. With a sideview and a frontview beter assumptions can be made whether damage could have been made at certain missile point.

A complete 3D model will be to much to ask for, i know, but these additional 2D models would be very helpfull.

#### Ole

##### Member
You are assuming that "burn marks" are from the warhead. They may also have come from the missile propellant which would have rapidly burned off at detonation. This scenario would indicate a launch from in front of the aircraft: warhead detonated at the top port side of the cockpit and the propellant burned off at the front of the aircraft.

Wikipedia has a total burn time of about 15 seconds for the 9M38, so it may well be there was no propellant left at the interception point.

Look at the soot traces and the inward bent skin on the roof debris which is from the port site:

Here you can see how the skin was compressed between the ribs to the inside by the blast, and how the soot accumulated on the "windward" side of the ribs:

It also appears the blast didn't reach the rear starboard part of this debris, because there are no such features there. That indicates the pressure blast fades out quite quickly, and must have been close to this spot.

Images from here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...rs-clues-on-why-flight-17-went-down.html?_r=0

BTW: in the AA slides this debris is shown in two places and in the wrong positions. There is a corrected version out there in the internet:

#### mvdb22

##### Member
I am sure there are people living on this planet who are able to create a 3D model and insert all the fragments damage plus show the 2D distribution of fragments. Just hope these people are found and want to create such a model.
I am sure the internet community can make big progress in solving this mystery by combining intelligence, knowledge , skills and eyes.

#### David Coulter

##### Senior Member.
Wikipedia has a total burn time of about 15 seconds for the 9M38, so it may well be there was no propellant left at the interception point.

That sounds like a bit of serendipity. I don't think you can "coast" a SAM to a target. If the targeting computer calculated a solution there would be enough propellant to get there or the missile would drop out of the sky. It certainly would not be going at full speed on an upward trajectory which all parties agree was the case.

#### mvdb22

##### Member

The question is: why hasn't the panel between the seats of the Captain and Co-pilot no penetration damage from fragments?

In the photo damage is visable, but beside strongly misformed from the impact, i only see damage like breaking off, no holes.
Remarkable indeed. This panel is roughly horizontal between the seats of the captain and co-pilot.

#### Ole

##### Member

The question is: why hasn't the panel between the seats of the Captain and Co-pilot no penetration damage from fragments?

In the photo damage is visable, but beside strongly misformed from the impact, i only see damage like breaking off, no holes.

A possible explanation for the lack of even more devastating damage to the cockpit area might be that the windscreens of the cockpit are basically bulletproof. They are designed to resist bird strikes at 900 km/h. Look at how the impact density is distributed on the window frame:

The outer part of the frame, which is not shielded by the window glass, is pockmarked by impacts, yet the inner part (where the bolts are), has only one impact, if at all. This inner part normally is located behind the glass screen. That strongly indicates the shrapnel has lost almost all is destructive power after having traveled through the glass.

#### Robert E

##### New Member
A possible explanation for the lack of even more devastating damage to the cockpit area might be that the windscreens of the cockpit are basically bulletproof. They are designed to resist bird strikes at 900 km/h.
The design to withstand a birdstrike at 900hm/h appplies for many frontal parts of a plane.

Every fragment is loosing a part of its energy depending of the material it is colliding with. The non-window sections of the front of the plane is packed with intruments which will absorb energy from the fragments, but still there are many photos available with penetrationhole in the seat, co-pilot, the floor, etc.

That strongly indicates the shrapnel has lost almost all is destructive power after having traveled through the glass.
The first fragments will lose more energy than the last fragments. The assumption that the level of being bulletproof is decreasing rappitly with every hit, is logic.

The lack of penetration damage on that specific panel, doesn't proof or disproof a position above the nose as point of exploding missisle, it just put some questionmarks with that position.

#### RB2

##### New Member
That sounds like a bit of serendipity. I don't think you can "coast" a SAM to a target. If the targeting computer calculated a solution there would be enough propellant to get there or the missile would drop out of the sky. It certainly would not be going at full speed on an upward trajectory which all parties agree was the case.
common to use kinetic energy after burn out off fuel,9M38M1 missile retains quite high g rating in kinetic phase 10-13g afaik,will quickly bleed off when engaging a maneuvering target however,its boost-sustain vs boost-glide

#### Ole

##### Member
The design to withstand a birdstrike at 900hm/h appplies for many frontal parts of a plane.

Every fragment is loosing a part of its energy depending of the material it is colliding with. The non-window sections of the front of the plane is packed with intruments which will absorb energy from the fragments, but still there are many photos available with penetrationhole in the seat, co-pilot, the floor, etc.

The first fragments will lose more energy than the last fragments. ...

Basically I agree. On the photo I posted above, I count ~15 impacts on the outer part of the frame and maximum 1 on the adjacent inner part, that has more or less the same area. That is a significant reduction caused by the glass. What I wanted to say is that the shrapnel reaching the cockpit will have gone through a selction process, that will be influenced by where it entered, if it was among the first or last shrapnels to reach the cockpit, if it's a heavier or lighter shrapnel, etc.

PS: The impacts in the cockpit floor are very concentrated around the captain's seat. To the starboard of it there are very few vertical impacts, that applies for the console with the COMs as pointed out by you, and it applies for the rest of the cockpit floor.

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#### mvdb22

##### Member
One of the most usefull photos to determine the location of the missile at the moment it exploded is this one .
The photo was taken while the cockpit was not yet recovered. The cockpit ended more or less upside down in the field.

Here a photo (same one as above) but a bit zoomed out

It shows the cockpit roof.
This photo shows the same two scratches in the little red box above the cockpit window

A larger photo here
http://www.diena.lt/sites/default/files/Vilniausdiena/Vartotoju zona/rutaa/47rs141120b032.jpg

The reconstruction looks like this

Conclusion: missile exploded very close to the cockpit window in front of the captain seat.

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#### David Coulter

##### Senior Member.
One of the most usefull photos to determine the location of the missile at the moment it exploded is this one .
The photo was taken while the cockpit was not yet recovered. The cockpit ended more or less upside down in the field.

Here a photo (same one as above) but a bit zoomed out

It shows the cockpit roof.
This photo shows the same two scratches in the little red box above the cockpit window

A larger photo here
http://www.diena.lt/sites/default/files/Vilniausdiena/Vartotoju zona/rutaa/47rs141120b032.jpg

The reconstruction looks like this

Conclusion: missile exploded very close to the cockpit window in front of the captain seat.

This seems to be pretty damning evidence against the AA analysis. Especially when you add that the shielding effects of the windows explain why the starboard side windows were not penetrated with shrapnel, which was the primary argument for the "lateral" profile of the detonation from a SSW launch location.

##### Member
One of the most usefull photos to determine the location of the missile at the moment it exploded is this one .
The photo was taken while the cockpit was not yet recovered. The cockpit ended more or less upside down in the field.

Angles about perpendicular to plane course.

Even fastest pellets of missile from Zaroschenskoe cannot hit plane under this angle.

At same time, missile from Snizhne have a chance to scratch plane under angle perpendicular to plane course:

Im specially moved away missile from real point of detonation for better see angle with plane course.

Missile from Snizhne (with Mick's tool picture above) also good describe angle more then 45 degree (around 60) in one of pilots seat
back side

and front side (rotated under penetration angle - near 60 degree to plane course)

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#### mvdb22

##### Member
This seems to be pretty damning evidence against the AA analysis. Especially when you add that the shielding effects of the windows explain why the starboard side windows were not penetrated with shrapnel, which was the primary argument for the "lateral" profile of the detonation from a SSW launch location.
Actually, Almaz Antey exactly positioned the explosion of the missile in front of the cockpit window of the captain. And also used this particular damage to proof the location of the explosion.
I was not aware of that myself BTW. Found out later.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
Angles about perpendicular to plane course.
Perpendicular means the trajectory of the fragments has an angle of 90 degrees with the course of MH17.
That is not what I see on the photos. I see a trajectory of fragments which has about a 45 degrees angle with the course of MH17

#### David Coulter

##### Senior Member.
Perpendicular means the trajectory of the fragments has an angle of 90 degrees with the course of MH17.
That is not what I see on the photos. I see a trajectory of fragments which has about a 45 degrees angle with the course of MH17

Yes, angles work perfect in Mick's simulation with a launch from the direction of Snizhne.

##### Member

The question is: why hasn't the panel between the seats of the Captain and Co-pilot no penetration damage from fragments?

In the photo damage is visable, but beside strongly misformed from the impact, i only see damage like breaking off, no holes.
1. We dont see all devices on this panel. May be some of them receive holes and collapse first or even knock out.
2. Pilot and equipment or frame can screening most pellets.
3. Panel situated below other holes in pilot/co-pilot area.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
If the speed of missile is reduced to something like 480 meters/sec fragments will hit that area on top of the roof with the angle we see on the photos.
I believe we need a lot of photos showing fragment damage , combine those and see what scenario matches.
I am sure there are more clues in the many photos showing damage.

I encourage anyone to look for these 'fingerprints'

##### Member
If the speed of missile is reduced to something like 480 meters/sec fragments will hit that area on top of the roof with the angle we see on the photos.
Both missiles (from Zaroschenskoe or from Snizhne) cannot have so low speed because they just finished active stage of flight or even continued it.

#### Robert E

##### New Member
Actually, Almaz Antey exactly positioned the explosion of the missile in front of the cockpit window of the captain.

Even fastest pellets of missile from Zaroschenskoe cannot hit plane under this angle.

Even if the point of exploding of AA is correct, there is still a big variable which is unproven in the AA point of exploding, the angle (or heading) of the missile. At this moment is assumed the trajectory of the missile is 20 degrees, which is for me still a very big questionmark. This trajectory doesn't match with the basic principle of the radar of the missile and with the functionality of the proximity fuse (although i have to admit, i need more information on that to be sure).

The velocities involved are big, the errormargins so very small. 1/10 of a second difference in timing means a gap of 125 meters between the plane and missile (252 m/s of the plane and 1000 m/s of the missile), even 0,05 of a second already means the difference between 'succes' and 'failure'.

The radar of the missile has a variable angle between 30-60 degrees. The missile will adjust its trajectory depending on the result of this radar, but at the same time always makes sure the new trajectory is never outside the margins of the radar angle of 30-60 degrees. At launch of the missile the width of the angle in km is big, but the closer it gets to its target, the narrower it gets. A launch from Zaroschenskoe will show a curved (in 2D horizontal spectrum) trajectory then a launch from Shizne.

My personal opinion is the trajectory of a missile launched from Zaroschenskoe should be bigger, how much i can't tell (yet).

What i am traying to explain:
there are several variables that needs to be proven (launchlocations and angles) we cannot proof variable 1 with using one of the other variables. We have to do step by step.
1st: the best estimate of the point (both vertical and horizontal) of the moment of exploding.
2nd: the precise functionality of the radar and proximity fuse
Based on those answer, we could draw a conclusion on the possible launchingside.