Syrian Midair, Continued
We thought we’d share with you some more photos of that supposed midair collision between a Syrian Airways Airbus A320 and a Syrian military helicopter, possibly a Russian-built Mi-8, near Damascus last month.
The accident reportedly happened on September 20 near an altitude of 12,000 feet – but that’s about all that’s been reported so far. Why a helicopter would have been flying at such a high altitude is unknown, although one possible explanation exists: Rebel fighters successfully shot down an Mi-8 over Damascus in late August, an episode that may be prompting Syrian military helicopter pilots to climb out of harm’s way when en route.
So far the only official reports about the midair – if you can call them that – have come from Syrian state television. It seems odd that two weeks after the fact no Western mainstream news outlets are reporting details of the presumed midair. But there’s also no good reason I can think of why the Syrian government would make up such a story – unless the damage to the airliner was caused by something other than a helicopter and the airline is trying to cover it up. That will be up to Airbus to determine.
Until more details are known, conspiracy theories will no doubt continue to circulate. A close inspection of the rest of the photos of the A320’s tail, however, lends credence to the midair story, I think. In one photo, for instance, a horizontal gouge across the tail looks as though a helicopter’s spinning main rotor could have caused it.
Have a closer look at the photos and judge for yourself.