DURHAM: Expert: downing of Malaysian flight no accident - FOX Carolina 21

Expert: downing of Malaysian flight no accident

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Dr. Charles Manning has been investigating airline crashes for 60 years. Dr. Charles Manning has been investigating airline crashes for 60 years.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A local expert in aircraft accident reconstruction said Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a sophisticated missile system.

Dr. Charles Manning has been investigating airline crashes for 60 years.

“That plane disintegrated in flight,” Manning said. “They never knew what hit them, the people in the plane or the pilot.”

Manning said there was no way flight MH17 could have been mistaken for a military aircraft when it was shot down. He said the Malaysian flight would have been signaling it was a civilian flight with no indication it was military.

“You need a lot of training to be able to zero in on an object 33,000 feet up and shoot it down,” he said.

Hal Brands with the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy said the incident puts a lot of pressure on President Barack Obama to act.

“It will promote a push for stronger sanctions even beyond the ones we’ve seen in the past couple of days,” Brands said. “There is a limit because sanctions hurt the United States as well as Russia.”

Brands said there are two areas that new sanctions could target.

“In theory we could get considerably more extreme in our sanctions by going after to a greater degree Russian energy and Russian banking sectors,” he said.

Brands said he does not think the U.S. or other countries will push to put troops on the ground in Ukraine following the incident.

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