“On 17 July 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER operating as flight MH17, departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands at 10.31 hrs on a scheduled passenger flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines had determined and filed the flight plan for flight MH17, which was approved by all involved air traffic control centres for their concerned regions. According to the flight plan, flight MH17 would initially fly at Flight Level 330 (FL330)5 above Ukraine until the waypoint PEKIT, which is on the Flight Information Region (FIR) boundary between Kiev FIR (UKBV) and Dnipropetrovs’k FIR (UKDV). From waypoint PEKIT the flight plan indicates FL350 for the remaining part over Ukraine.
According to ATC data, at 12.53 hrs the aircraft was flying within the Dnipropetrovs’k FIR, Control Sector 2, at FL330, controlled by Dnipro Control. At that time, Dnipro Control asked whether MH17 was able to climb to FL350 in accordance with the flight plan of MH17 and also to clear a potential separation conflict with other traffic in the area, another Boeing 777 flying at FL330 and approaching from behind.
The crew replied they were unable to comply and requested to maintain at FL330. This was agreed by Dnipro Control. As an alternative to solve the separation conflict, the other traffic climbed to FL350. According to ATC data, at 13.00 hrs the crew of flight MH17 requested to divert the track 20 NM to the left, due to weather. This also was agreed by Dnipro Control, after which the crew requested whether FL340 was available.
Dnipro control informed MH17 that FL340 was not available at that moment and instructed the flight to maintain FL330 for a while. At 13.07 hrs the flight was transferred to Dnipropetrovs’k CTA 4, also with call sign Dnipro Control.
At 13.19:53 hrs, radar data showed that the aircraft was 3.6 NM north of centreline of airway L980 having deviated left of track, when Dnipro Control directed the crew to alter their route directly to waypoint RND due to other traffic. The crew acknowledged at 13.19:56 hrs. At 13.20:00 hrs, Dnipro Control transmitted an onward ATC clearance to proceed direct to TIKNA after RND, no acknowledgement was received.
Data from the Flight Data Recorder and the Digital Cockpit Voice Recorder both stopped at 13.20:03 hrs. No distress messages were received from the aircraft.”