'MH17 should not have been there': Ballarat pilot

A BALLARAT passenger airline pilot has said flight MH17 should not have been flying in Ukraine airspace after it was shot down by a missile on Thursday night.

A BALLARAT passenger airline pilot has said flight MH17 should not have been flying in Ukraine airspace after it was shot down by a missile on Thursday night.

A BALLARAT passenger airline pilot has said flight MH17 should not have been flying in Ukraine airspace after it was shot down by a missile on Thursday night, Australian time.

The downing of the plane, which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, comes after months of unrest between Ukraine and Russia.

Tim Ogden, who has flown with an Asian airline carrier for 18 years, said Ukraine should have taken precautionary action by closing the nation's airspace.

"In hindsigh,t the Ukrainians should have shut their airspace and advised Euro control that all air flights should be re-routed. The controllers can only advise until they can re-route," he said.

He said passenger airline pilots were trained to deal with faults within the airplane and do not receive training relating to military situations.

"A ground-to-air missile situation is just not part of our training. It's not something you would tend to worry about," he said.

"It's so outside of your control. There was very little indication prior to it happening. It's not something they could have actively prevented.

"The training will take you so far, but this is beyond the scope of any airline training.

"You hope for the best but prepare for the worst."

Mr Ogden said he was aware of just one airline, Israeli carrier El Al, that trained pilots for military scenarios.

"El Al is the only airline I know which trains for countermeasures with flares and things. They are all ex-military pilots," he said.

Mr Ogden has clocked up more than 15,000 hours of flying and moved to Ballarat with his family in 2007.

The 46-year-old now flies between Australia and Asia three times a month.

It has been eight years since he has flown to Europe and said he never flew through Ukraine airspace.

"We always flew well north of Russia to avoid winds or across the Middle East, but never across Ukraine," he said.

He said every airline had a department that maked assessment of routes and monitored political situations.

"There would be a department that assesses the risks of the journey, however, it's up to Ukraine to shut their airspace," he said.

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