Sector Aviation

Investigation crash MH17, 17 July 2014 Donetsk


The Dutch Safety Board is investigating the accident to flight MH17 which occurred at Thursday 17th of July 2014 in the region of Donetsk (Ukraine). The Dutch Safety Board will be doing all it can to provide a clear view of the cause of the accident.

The investigation is operated in accordance with the standards and recommanded practices in  ICAO Annex 13. The state of of occurance (Ukraine) has delegated the investigation to the Dutch Safety Board. To this end agreements were set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between Ukraine and The Netherlands, and in an agreement between the Ukrainian National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft (NBAAII) and the Dutch Safety Board. The Dutch Safety Board is leading the investigation and co-ordinating the international team of investigators.

In addition to the international accident investigation, the Dutch Safety Board is also conducting two other independent investigations: an investigation into the decision-making process with regard to flight routes and an investigation into the availability of passenger lists.

September 9, 2014
The Dutch Safety Board has issued the preliminary report on the investigation into the crash of MH17 on Tuesday September 9, 2014. The preliminary report presents factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board.

In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board  expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash.

Click here (YouTube) to watch the explanation of the premliminary report by Chairman Tjibbe Joustra.

December 9, 2014
Recovery of the wreckage of flight MH17, commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board, began at the crash site on Sunday, November 16, 2014. The recovery was preceded by a long period of preparations. To enable the recovery of wreckage, the Dutch Safety Board agreed certain arrangements with the Ministry of Disaster Management with regard to handing over the wreckage and SES (the Ukraine State Emergency Service) assistance. These documents have now been published. The first document concerns the recovery of the wreckage. The second concerns the period subsequent to the recovery.

On December 9, 2014, two of the four convoys carrying wreckage have arrived at Gilze-Rijen air force base. The transport will be unloaded in accordance with a fixed procedure and will then be photographed, scanned and categorised. The investigation of the wreckage and preparation for the reconstruction effort will then commence.

October 13, 2015
On October 13 the final reports of the investigation into the crash of flight MH17 were published. In addition to the reports there is also a video about the investigation into the causes of the crash of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 in the eastern part of Ukraine and the  investigation into flying over conflict zones. The video was based on the investigation reports. You can find our YouTube-channel here.

February 25 2016
On 4 and 10 February 2016 Dutch Parliament has asked questions to the Dutch Safety Board. These questions relate to the investigations of the Board into the crash of flight MH17. The Dutch Safety Board has responded to these questions and also issued its response to a letter of the Russian Federation. You can find both responses below (questions are in Dutch).

- Response to questions Dutch Parliament
- Response to letter Russian Federation
- Appendix letter to Russian Federation


  • Start date 18 jul. 2014
  • End date 13 okt. 2015
  • Type investigationFull
  • Status investigationClosed


  • On Tuesday 13 October 2015 the Dutch Safety Board will publish its reports on the investigation into the crash of flight MH17. Below, we provide an overview of the course of events.

    • At 11.00 a.m. surviving relatives of the victims will first be informed about the results of the investigation
      by Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, in The Hague. 
    • At exactly 1.15 p.m. the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board will present the investigation to the media
      at Gilze-Rijen air base. After this presentation, the reports will be published (around 1.45 p.m.). 
    • At 4.00 p.m. the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board will be elucidating the investigation during a closed meeting with the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague. 
    • After the official publication of the report on Tuesday afternoon, Board members Erwin Muller and
      Marjolein van Asselt will be informing approximately 75 embassies about the investigation in The Hague. 
    • The reports focus on four themes: the causes of the crash, the issue of flying over conflict areas, the reasons why Dutch surviving relatives had to wait for two to four days for confirmation from the Dutch authorities that their loved ones had been on the aeroplane, and lastly the question to what extent the occupants of flight MH17 consciously experienced the crash. 
    • The investigation was not concerned with question of blame or liability. Answering those question is a matter for the criminal investigation. 
    • During the presentation of the investigation at Gilze-Rijen air base the reconstruction will be shown that
      the Dutch Safety Board made of part of the aircraft. Using recovered pieces of wreckage,
      part of the cockpit and business class section were reconstructed. The Dutch Safety Board
      reconstructed the part of the aeroplane that was relevant to the investigation. 
    • On Tuesday the Dutch Safety Board will also be presenting a video animation explaining the findings and conclusions of the investigation. 
    • English is the language used in international aviation investigation. The reports on flight MH17 will be published in English as well as in Dutch. 
    • It is common practice for the Dutch Safety Board to include a rationale for its investigations in its reports. For the publication of the MH17 reports the Board has opted not to do so for each report individually, but instead to provide a single document covering all of the various investigations. This document, entitled About the Investigation, will be published simultaneously with the reports.On Tuesday 13 October 2015
      the Dutch Safety Board will publish its reports on the investigation into the crash of flight MH17.
      Below, we provide an overview of the course of events.
  • Other messages in this phase

  • Nieuws 1 jul. 2015

    Progress of the MH17 investigation

    The Dutch Safety Board has reported on the progress of the investigation into the MH17 crash to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO ). Such a report is required by Article 6.6 of ICAO Annex 13, which obligates the Dutch Safety Board to release an interim statement one year after the occurrence. In this interim statement, the Dutch Safety Board briefly clarifies which steps have been taken in the past year and when the final reports are expected to be published.

    You can read the full statement here