International flights over danger zones?

Aviation security experts weigh in on MH17 crash

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The world is looking for answers as to how and why Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed down.

Local aviation experts are offering their insight into the international debate about if all the warning signs may have been heeded. Americans do not just fly on U.S. based airlines or out of American airports. Some experts say sometimes American passengers are flying right over some dangerous places and do not even realize it.

Black smoke was rising from the wreckage of Malaysian flight 17 in eastern Ukraine as questions rise around world and here at home about how and why the plane came crashing down.

"Why? Why would they do that?," said Marvin Badler of Delray Beach, who made a career as Security Chief for El Al Israel Airlines. Now, Badler is an airline security consultant. "There's always a threat," he said.

As U.S. intelligence officials try to pinpoint the origin of what they believe was a surface-to-air missile that took down MH17, Badler and other experts wonder if any passenger jet should have been in that area. Aviation authorities in several countries including the U.S., issued warnings not to fly over parts of Ukraine prior to this crash.

"U.S. carriers probably would not have done that, would not take that chance," said Badler. "These other countries, we have no idea what they are up to."

NewsChannel 5 Aviation Expert Dave Bjellos ays airlines that fly less-than-secure routes are taking a major risk.

"MH17 now is going to prove to people that just because we fly the straightest line over countries that are in conflict is maybe not the best way to go," he said. "It's going to cost more. It's going to be longer. It's going to reroute more flights but it's got to be safer."

The 298 people on board are all believed to have died in the crash.

"They might be alert for a week or two or three and then nothing happened and let's go about our business," said Badler of some airline policies.

Experts do not anticipate any major changes at U.S. airports or on domestic flights. They say international flight paths could - and should - be altered depending on the intelligence available.


 

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