Fireball landing of FDB981
(Sat. Mar19|16, 5:00pm PT) -- Some
of the crap you see and read in the MSM is just
so grossly stupid that it reaches right out and grabs you by the
throat. CNN . . . I'm lookin' at you.
As of 9:49 ET today here is what CNN's Matthew Chance,
Susannah Cullinane, and Pierere Meilhan are telling us about
the FlyDubai Flight 981 (FDB981) crash at the Rostov Airport
(ROV) near Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. ( 47° 15.444' N 39° 49.013' E
- The plane was a 737-800.
- It circled the airport 2x in "high winds"
before crashing on a second landing attempt.
- It circled the airport 3x, according to CNN
"aviation expert" Mary Schiavo.
- All 62 on board killed.
- FDB981 was scheduled to land 06:20pm ET, crashed at
08:50pm ET (3:50am Mar19 local time).
- "State media" reported winds of 60mph at
time of crash.
- The pilots each had almost 6000 hours of flying time.
- No distress call.
- Runway was well lit and had an instrument landing
All of this info is moderately consistent with what I
have found from flight tracker and weather sites, but the problem is that
the CNN report includes a YouTube
that is supposed to be a CCTV vid of the crash. It is that YT that
throws this whole report into the loony-toon category of journalism.
But before making that point, let's look at a couple of other MSM reports.
RT, for example, links
to the same CCTV vid. In a separate article
time-stamped "19 Mar. 2016 04:10" RT presents a timeline.
Here are some of the most pertinent points:
- Refers to the plane a crashing "during
- Emergency Ministries issued prior warning of
"extreme weather conditions."
- 2 hrs and 9 mins passed between 1st landing
attempt and the crash.
- Plane "completely disintegrated at the
very beginning of the runway."
- Wind velocity at time of crash was 22 m/sec.
- Three flights prior to FDB981 were diverted.
- The black boxes have been recovered.
- Crash site experience rare natural jet stream w/
winds over 100 kph according to FOBOS weather center.
And here are a number of videos I rely on to round out
what we know about this crash at this early point in time.
#1 -- the CCTV vid that purports to show the crash.
#2 -- aerial view of the crash site well after daybreak
#3 -- ground view of the crash site about daybreak.
#4 -- debris-field in day light.
Given this background information, such as it is just
hours after the event, a couple of very troublesome but intriguing
questions will arise in a skeptic's mind.
Question #1: Did FDB981 blow up during landing, or is
the CCTV vid a spoof?
It doesn't require a wacko conspiracy-theory level of
skepticism to see that the CCTV vid (Vid #1) doesn't jive with the
official story that FDB981 crash landed because of bad weather, or,
according to CNN, because of pilot "disorientation." I
don't even know what "pilot disorentation" means with respect to
pilots who have a combined log-time of 12,000 hours and a runway that has
instrument landing capabilities. But what ever, that's what we're
being told. The pilot disorientation theory comes from CNN's Mary
But maybe Mary is out to lunch on this story. For
Vid #1 clearly shows a fireball falling to the ground at an angle of 55-60
degrees. That is not, by any rational analysis, a plane attempting
to land and missing the runway in bad weather or because of two
The yellow line in the composite figure above --
constructed from Vid #1 -- shows a) a fireball, and b) an angle of descent
of 55-60 degrees from horizontal. Even in bad weather airliners do
not land at anywhere near such a steep angle. A normal angle of
descent is more like 3-5 degrees from horizontal. The angle of
descent into London City Airport is extreme at 5.5 degrees.
Also landing airliners do not
appear as fireballs. Had FDB981 been trying to land, it would not
even be visible in this video. The only way there could have been a
fireball falling at that angle and at that velocity is if the plane
exploded on approach.
This presents only two
possibilities: 1. FDB981 exploded during its approach, or 2. the
CCTV vid is a spoof.
Question #2: Why are the weather conditions being
Like sheep on the way to the abattoir, the media have
gotten in line behind Russian reports that the weather at ROV was horrible
at the time of the crash.
As the MSM web pages keep getting updated throughout the
day, the weather at the crash site keeps getting worse and worse.
For instance, the original CNN report by Chance, Cullinane, and Meilhan said
there were "high winds." Hours later that report has been
replaced by one authored by Matthew Chance, Susannah
Cullinane, and Greg Botelho (using the same URL) in which the winds are
reported as "60 mph."
Likewise RT upped the wind speed from 22 meters per
second (49 mph) to 100 kph (62 mph) and claims
there were "extreme weather conditions" in the
I don't think so.
Strong suspicion: the bullshit meter has gone off the
Before wading into this BS analysis it will be helpful
to give you a visual orientation of the Rostov Airport and the crash
site. Here is the Google Earth satellite view of the airport:
After 2 hours of holding south of the runway, FDB981
made its final approach from the NE to land on runway 22, which is to say the end of
the runway in the upper right corner of the figure above. The CCTV
vid (Vid #1) shows the fireball falling from left to right, which means
that the CCTV cam had to be on the west side of the runway looking toward
the east. Besides there is no boulevard on the east side of the
airport matching the one seen in Vid #1. Using the few geolocation clues available in the vid I
have tentatively located that camera position to one of two spots opposite the
north end of runway 22, as shown below. I believe the marker #1
below indicates the most likely position as it is the one most accurately aligned with the
impact site. These sites are about 800 meters from the runway.
Finally, there is the aerial view of the impact site (Vid
As explained below, this vid was taken after snow had
begun to fall. That snowcover makes the extent of the impact
site obvious. It begins just 100 meters from the very end of
the pavement and extends barely 240 meters to the leading edge of the
first large "zebra."
My first inclination was that the CCTV vid is another
spoof of the type that both CNN and RT have fallen for in the past.
But when I located at least two possible camera positions that agree very
well with the information we have, then the authenticity of the CCTV vid
is much more likely. I mean of ROV had been stuck out in the country
with nothing around it vaguely resembling the parking lot and tree-lined boulevard
we see in Vid #1, then one would have to conclude the vid is a
spoof. But now I don't think it is.
The problem is that if that vid is not a spoof, then the
plane was almost certainly brought down by an explosion, and the
authorities are almost certainly lying.
Let me begin with the weather. Watch that CCTV vid
carefully. What you will see is a night scene of a well-lit
multi-lane boulevard with a median strip and quite a few bare
trees. The road surfaces are wet, but there is no discernable rain
falling during the vid. But what is more telling is the lack of wind
-- the trees are barely moving. According to the MSM who are,
parroting Russian "authorities," the wind was supposed to be
blowing at 60 mph -- far, far more than sufficient to bend the
Also, note that the falling fireball and resulting smoke
are very clear, indicating visibility was not too bad. This is
corroborated by photos of the impact site taken before sunrise and showing
very good visibility and the runway light burning. Again, I'm not
sure how a pilot gets disoriented in such moderate conditions.
If you watch the CCTV vid to the end, you will see
the fireball and smoke rise and drift toward the left, which is to say to
the north or northeast. The fact that the smoke doesn't immediately
dissipate but, rather, rises straight up and moves fairly slowly tells one that a very modest
wind was blowing from the south to southwest.
These observations and deductions about the weather at
the impact site, while in stark contrast to the "extreme weather
conditions" reported by the media, are in good agreement with what I
have found on international weather sites. Weather
instance, provides half-hourly conditions for ROV on the morning of the
crash, shown below.
In the half hour prior to the crash, which was at
3:30am, the wind was blowing about 25 mph from the WSW.
That is a very moderate breeze and would present no problem for a 737 even
though it was cross-wind of a few degrees. These data are entirely
with what we see in Vid #1, both in terms of virtually no movement of the
trees and the slow drift of the smoke to the north or northeast. The
data do show that during that half-hour prior to the crash there was at
least one gust of about 40 mph (19 m/s) -- nothing like the
"extreme weather" or gusts of 60 mph being reported by RT and
the Russian authorities. Besides, the runway itself is partially
protected from a westerly by multi-story buildings along the western
boundary of the runway.
And even if, perchance, a large gust of 60 mph that was not
detected by the weather instruments that Weather Underground has access to
but knocked FDB891 off the runway,
that would still not explain either the fireball or the angle of descent
being 10x steeper than a normal landing approach.
For the record, Vid #2 and Vid #3 both show heavy snow
falling. That is consistent with the Weather Underground data
indicating heavy snow started at about 10am and tapered off after 2:30pm.
Evidence of terrorism.
It is way too early in the aftermath of this tragedy to
be concluding that this is the second Russian-bound flight leaving an Arab
country in the last five months to be sabotaged with scores of
fatalities. However, given the impressive contradictions between
what we are being told and what we can plainly see with a little digging,
I don't think I would be wacky or irresponsible to lay out the evidence so
far collected indicating this was an act of terrorism. I am not
making that allegation at this point, but I think there is valid cause for
concern. Here's my bullet-list:
Nobody in their right mind would hold a
plane over ROV for two hours due to bad weather when an alternative
landing was only 15-30 minutes away. Besides, during those two
hours FDB981's altitude was about 10,000 ft., which would have been
smack dab in the middle of the foul weather.
One reason FDB981 was holding over ROV
could have been because it was burning off as much fuel as possible,
which means the pilots knew they were in trouble. At the end,
FDB981 dropped like a rock in a vacuum. Here's FlightTrader's tweet
that destroys the bad weather theory and virtually confirms the rest
of the evidence presented here:
The best theory that fits the data
From what I have seen today, the best theory that fits
all the data is that FDB981 was brought down by an explosion. The fact
that the airliner burned off its fuel for two hours suggests that the crew
knew they were in trouble, which suggests a terrorist on board. If
this is terrorism being covered up by the Russians, it won't be for