AirTalk for July 17, 2014

Malaysia Airlines flight reportedly shot down over Ukraine

Poor Weather Conditions Delays Search For Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Pool/Getty Images

A Malaysia Airlines plane prepares to go out onto the runway and passes by a stationary Chinese Ilyushin 76 aircraft (top) at Perth International Airport on March 25, 2014 in Perth Australia.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a passenger plane carrying 295 people, has crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border. An advisor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister reports that the aircraft was shot down, though both the Ukrainian government and Russian separatists deny involvement. Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with Flight 17 over Ukrainian airspace -- there are indications that the plane came apart at cruising altitude. Reporters at the wreckage site say that the debris field is large, and there have already been bodies found in the area.

What are the potential motivations behind this incident? How will the involved parties deal with the situation? Will the U.S. potentially be involved?


Robert English, Director of the USC School of International Relations; he’s an expert on Ukraine and the politics of Russia and former Soviet states.

Michael Barr, instructor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Aviation Safety and Security Program; he’s an expert on air crashes and investigations.

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