As we pointed out the other day, there was little doubt that as the drama of the shootdown of MH 17 unfolds, the speculation regarding fault, blame and fingerpointing was likely to start almost immediately. Sure enough, it has started.
Not unexpectedly, plaintiffs lawyers are leading the charge. Just this past Saturday, The Washington Post quoted a plaintiff’s lawyer suggesting the reason MH 17 was flying on the route it was when it was shot down was so the airline could save money. The rationale presented was that if the aircraft had flown a different flight path, it would have required more fuel and could cost the airline more money.
Nothing could be more irresponsible than for lawyers or, for that matter, anyone, to engage in such outrageous fingerpointing at the airline. MH 17 was operating within an internationally recognized commercial air corridor, used by multiple international carriers. MH 17 was precisely where they were supposed to be, complying with all route and altitude instructions and properly operating consistent with their air traffic clearances. If Eurocontrol or the Ukrainian Government believed that the flights over this area were unsafe due to hostilities on the ground, it was their responsibility to do something.
Hindsight is a great thing. It’s never wrong! Sure, some carriers and nations told their flights to avoid that airspace. However, many major international carriers did not. The fact that Malaysia Airlines, along with other airlines, continued to use that route does not make them negligent.
Let’s make this simple. Until there’s some evidence presented that Malaysia Airlines or its flight crew did something wrong, those who choose to speculate should keep their mouths shut. To suggest there were economic motives driving the airline’s route selection or that flight crew should engage in the analysis of intelligence data (which they’re not privy to anyway), when there’s not a scintilla of evidence that the airline or its pilots did any wrong, is shameful.
Haven’t we learned anything from MH 370!
(Originally posted July 21, 2014)