Malaysia Airlines has released the cargo manifest and air waybill for its flight MH17, the Boeing 777-200 extended range aircraft that crashed in eastern Ukraine on 17 July.
There is no clear indication that any of the cargo could have caused a catastrophic failure of the aircraft, lending credence to the theory that it was shot down with a missile. The flight plan for MH17 had been approved by Eurocontrol, the European air traffic management organisation.
The cargo included animals, with two dogs, birds, pigeons and chickens; TNT Express and DHL Global Forwarding courier goods; aircraft and helicopter parts; medicines and cut flowers, which needed to be temperature controlled; a frequency response analyser; filters; horticultural products; oil well equipment; textiles and diplomatic mail.
Malaysia Airlines says: “MH17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines confirms that the aircraft did not make a distress call. The usual flight route was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”
The airline had been informed by Ukraine air traffic control that contact had been lost with flight MH17 at 14.15h UK time, at 30 kilometres about 50 kilometres from the Russian, Ukrainian border. Flight MH17 had departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on 17 July at 12.15h central European time and was expected to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 06.10h Malaysian local time on 18 July. The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.
Giving details about the aircraft’s history, Malaysian Airlines says: “The B777-200 aircraft bearing registration no. 9M-MRD that operated MH17 on 17 July, 2014 had a clean maintenance record. The aircraft’s last maintenance check was on 11 July 2014. The next check was due on 27 August 2014. The maintenance was conducted at Malaysia Airlines’ hangar at KLIA. The aircraft had a clean bill of health.”
It also explained that the aircraft was manufactured in July 1997, it used Rolls-Royce Trent-800 engines and during its 17 years in service, it had recorded 75,322 flying hours with a total of 11,434 flight cycles. The airline also states that: “All communication system on the aircraft were functioning normally.”