Flying

24 Jul

For my birthday my wife bought me an introductory flying lesson, an hour long. A little over a week ago I flew in a Cesna 152 from the local airfield and the flight lasted an hour. I suppose I was in charge of the plane for about 80% of the time, just doing straight and level, with a few simple turns and changes of height added in. It was a great experience, though I concentrated so hard I was beginning to get pins and needles in my hands as we descended before landing. Take offs and landings were not a part of the lesson. One of the pre-flight checks I was introduced to was to ensure that the military aircraft we often see in the area were not due to use the same airspace at the same time that I would be occupying it.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was flying at what was supposed to be a safe height. It would have been safe from shoulder-launched missiles. Unfortunately for the passengers and crew it was not safe from the vehicle-launched BUK missiles.

It should have been obvious to any trained operative that flight MH17 was a civilian one. Only a half-trained maniac could have targeted the aeroplane. Unfortunately that appears to be just what happened. Video evidence shows BUK carriers heading back across the Russian border immediately after the attack and satellite evidence appears to confirm that. These weapons should never have been put in the hands of a militia. The result is a tragedy. Nearly three hundred innocent people shot out of the sky.

To arm such people with such a weapon is both ruthless and stupid. Whatever the political and military imperatives it was an act of extreme recklessness. The blame must be borne by the man at the top. President Putin, how can you sleep at night?

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