Flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board. The Aviation Herald said it had received flight data filed through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) from three independent channels. It said the system showed that at 02:26 local time on Thursday (00:26 GMT) smoke was detected in the Airbus A320 toilet. A minute later – at 00:27 GMT – there was an avionics smoke alert.
The last ACARS message was at 00:29 GMT, the air industry website said, and the contact with the plane was lost four minutes later at 02;33 local time. ACARS is used to routinely download flight data to the airline operating the aircraft. Confirming the data, France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analysis told AFP it was “far too soon to interpret and understand the cause of the accident as long as we have not found the wreckage or the flight data recorders”.
Philip Baum, the editor of Aviation Security International Magazine, told the BBC that technical failure could not be ruled out. “There was smoke reported in the aircraft lavatory, then smoke in the avionics bay, and over a period of three minutes the aircraft’s systems shut down, so you know, that’s starting to indicate that it probably wasn’t a hijack, it probably wasn’t a struggle in the cockpit, it’s more likely a fire on board.”
The international investigation group Bellingcat has published a report naming the individual who coordinated the deployment of the Russian Buk ground-to-air missile system that downed a Boeing passenger plane (MH17) over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has reported.
"Dubinsky is a Russian war veteran. He was a colonel in July 2014, fought in Afghanistan for the Soviet Union and later in Chechnya, where he served in the 22nd Special Brigade connected with Russia's Military Main Intelligence Directorate [Foreign military intelligence agency, known as GRU], RFE/RL reported on Wednesday evening, citing the Bellingcat report.
Bellingcat on February 14 gave the information to the international investigative group, which is conducting the official investigation into the downing of the Boeing-777. Representatives of Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Ukraine are in the group.
According to the Bellingcat report, the ground-to-air Buk missile that downed the Boeing was delivered to Ukraine from Russia. The place of the missile launch was Pervomayske village, located in an area of eastern Ukraine occupied by Russian hybrid forces. Some 100 individuals have been implicated of involvement in the launching of the missile.
Former Major of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yuri Baturin said that the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17, which crashed in the Donbass in July 2014, was struck from the village of Zaroshchenskoye, which was controlled by Kiev.
It is noted that at the time of the crash he was the commander of the command post of the A-1215 military unit of anti-aircraft missile forces near Kharkov, and personally saw Boeing on the day of the crash on the indicators.
A former Ukrainian serviceman said: "Attention was drawn to all the planes that were flying over the zone of combat operations, because, from my point of view, this is nonsense." And attention was paid exactly at the moment when the plane disappeared from the indicators."
He also said that a few days after the crash, military men arrived at the command post near Kharkov, who were engaged in relocating the 156th anti-aircraft missile regiment to the area of the village of Zaroshchenskoye. Baturin noted that the "Buk" air defense system was also part of that regiment.
Russian satellite image showing alleged BUK TELARs in Zaroshchenskoye on July 17th