The preliminary report of 34 pages was released yesterday, though it was not accompanied by any supporting materials like audio files of the voice recorder black box or satellite data. The initial findings appear to rule out conclusively that MH17 came to an abrupt end over Eastern Ukraine killing all 298 on board due to technical malfunctions or pilot error.
From the report's summary findings:
However, beyond this, the report tells us little more about what happened MH17 or anything about the how, why and who was responsible for the multiple high-energy objects which resulted in the mid-air break-up of the aircraft. The Dutch Safety did make it clear last week that the preliminary report would not attempt to attribute blame and considerable work still remained on an investigation not expected to deliver its final report, conclusions and recommendations until next summer.
Indeed, despite headlines and coverage in the media following publication, the report never mentions the word missile, nor does it mention the phrase shot down, and it does not categorically prove that MH17 was downed by a BUK missile, as some news reports have suggested.
While the complex nature of this investigation and the conflict in Ukraine together with the current geo-political climate continue to present huge challenges, the Dutch Safety Board may have been wiser to present the actual audio of the flight voice recorded, considering it provides no clues as to what transpired at 13.20 (GMT) on July 17th.
It is also notable that there appears to be a 17 hour period before the NBAAI formally notified by UkSATSE. Of course this may also be attributed the circumstances and the fact the aircraft had been brought down in a war zone.
The radar information used does not make any reference to Russia's claims of a Ukraine fighter jet present in the area at the time MH17 disappeared from ATC radar.
My suspicion is that the Dutch Safety Board are in possession of a great deal more information, as yet not fully verified, or they are still awaiting the release of information.
Let's hope the current ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine holds and investigators can get boots back on the ground as soon as possible.
Below, Crash MH17 - Chairman Tjibbe Joustra, talks about the initial summary findings of the preliminary report.