For the second time in four months, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared from radar earlier today. Authorities confirmed that the plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 295 people on board.
It’s believed 27 Australians are among the dead.
While, early reports indicate that the crash was likely caused by a missile strike, those reports have not yet been verified. Here’s what we do know about the 17-year-old Malaysia Airlines aircraft that went down today.
The plane is a Boeing 777-2H6ER with the registration number 9M-MRD. According to airfleets.net, the aircraft carries Malaysia Airlines’ H6 Boeing customer code, but is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Waha Leasing. The plane first flew on July 17, 1997, and has spent its whole career as one of 14 777s in the Malaysia Airlines fleet.
Like Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared in March, the plane that crashed in Ukraine was also powered by a pair ofRolls-Royce Trent 892 enginesthat each produce as much as 92,800 pounds of thrust.
The 777-200ER or Extended Range, can carry as many as 400 passengers with a maximum range of nearly 8,900 miles.
The Boeing 777 has one of the most pristine safety records in aviation history. With more than 1,200 jets in service, Flight MH17 is just the third fatal incident involving the model since its debut in 1994. However, all three incidents occurred in the last 13 months (the third was Asiana Airlines flight 214, which crash-landed in San Francisco last July, killing two).
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