"What really happened is still a mystery. All we know is this - if the Russians find out that the Islamic State were even a smidgen complicent, God help them..."
It was a real tragedy this morning. I don't care if it was Russians. It was still a tragedy. Over 200 people killed. Many women, and a couple of dozen kids. Lost when an airliner was supposed to be at one of its safest places - cruising altitude. So what happened?
Here is what is known so far. About 20 or so minutes after takeoff, something bad happened. The pilot of the plane made one distress call. And then nothing. Silence. The plane was descending way too fast. Some think it might have been looking for an emergency landing. And then the radio went dead.
Being a seasoned flyer when I was in the work a day world, I learned what many of us have learned. The most dangerous part of any flight is in the takeoff or landing. The safest is place for a plane is on the ground. The second safest is when the plane is at cruising altitude. This incident happened at cruising altitude.
Almost immediately, the Islamic State claimed responsibility. Both the Russians and the Egyptians (the crash happened in Egypt) denied that happened. However, the mystery is still unfolding. How could this have happened at cruising altitude? And plus, the plane was inspected right before takeoff. Here is the real perplexing thing. The pilot's mic is wired to be the last thing on in the event of an emergency. And the pilot is trained to talk into that mic until he or she is no longer able to. The voice communication goes directly into the black box. And yet, there was only one message. Why?
It will be interesting to see what happens if Vladimir Putin finds out that the Islamic State was complicit in this crash. If that is true, I don't think he would write them a letter nor threaten to take them to court. No, I think Russia would throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Islamic strongholds in Syria. Collateral damage? Tough luck. Better just get out of the way.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the days ahead. All I know is this - the internet has already been posting pics of some of the kids who were killed. Some pics taken just before the flight. These were innocent kids. Cute kids. Just coming back from to Russia from a holiday.
The Islamic State has blamed Russia because they have joined the fray against the Islamic terror fighters. There was a time that kicking sand in the face of Uncle Sam was the dumbest thing you could do. However, in 2015, in the days of Obama, kicking sand at the Russian Bear has replaced us. The response from the Bear can be vicious.
The bottom line is this. Be Careful of whom you kick - the return blow could be not only painful, but fatal.