How long did it take for passengers onboard the Ukrainian jetliner to know that they were hit by a missile?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 17, 2020 03:35 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 17, 2020 03:35 PM

They would have known immediately that something terrible happened. But they may never have known what it was. Consider this illustration (which is true to the facts that I know):

You’re on your way to Ukraine. You’ve been on a business trip or vacation, and of course you’re tired. This is a 4-hour flight; it’s a great time to read and catch up on some sleep.

The takeoff was uneventful, and you are now 7 minutes into the flight. The plane is still at max. power climbing to cruising altitude. Flight attendants are up and getting ready to serve drinks and snacks.

You resume reading your book… a sudden, deafening explosion startles you. At the same time the plane lurches violently. There is a lot of air noise; it appears that there are numerous holes all over the cabin. People are screaming, air is rushing, sounds of mechanical bending and breaking. Everything seems surreal, the plane begins shaking, and starts banking… it seems the pilot is still in control. Now flames are streaming from engines, wings and smoke starts filling the cabin. It’s only been 10 seconds since it all started. It’s like a nightmare.

The plane starts shaking more violently, you hear a louder sound of rending metal. People, phones, glasses, books… everything is flying around the cabin. The sounds are so loud that you can’t hear the screaming from the passengers any more. Now the pitching gets worse. It becomes so violent that you black-out from G forces and smoke that you inhaled. The wings have failed, and the plane is no longer flying: it is plummeting. By the time of the impact, very few will still be conscious. And almost none will correctly conclude that they were shot down by a missile.

Humans are fragile and need time to process sudden, confusing information. I doubt anyone, other than maybe the pilots even knew what happened.

UPDATE 1/14/19 11:40PM

I just saw surveillance video footage that shows 2 missiles fired about 30 seconds apart. It appears both missiles hit the airplane. The first hit was bad, but due to the turn back to the airport, shows that the pilot had some level of control. The second one missile hit finished it, sending it down.

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