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Working backwards to find a cause for airliner attacks

CINCINNATI (Rob Braun) -- It was very likely only a handful of people really know what happened to cause Thursday's disaster.
   
So for everyone else, to figure it out, they must begin at the end and build backward.  Jerry Skinner is a Cincinnati attorney who represented victim's families in the Pan Am 103 disaster over Lockerbie, Scotland.  He was an expert on building back from the disaster to the beginning.  And since there were likely Americans on board the aircraft, a court battle could very well be fought on U.S. soil

Skinner said, "And that means our government will be interested, our NTSB will be interested, the FAA will be interested and the families in the U.S. will be interested.  And that pretty much changes everything."

"To determine what happened, you have to recover as much of the plane in the condition it was in when it hit the ground as possible," said Skinner.  Further complicating the matter will be the area being controlled by Russian rebels, not a recognized government.

"There's gonna be people around; insurgents, Ukrainians, Russians, all the combatants to move things, to disturb things.  They have to get security, that's number one. Secondly, they need to get people in there that are qualified. I don't know what the Ukraine has in terms of investigative authorities but I would think that an invitation to the NTSB would be appropriate," Skinner explained.

It will likely take a long time to figure out what happened unless one group admits to the violent act.

"I think there's probably gonna be months of putting together pieces, looking at chemical traces.  All the things that you look for when something involves potential, deliberate, explosives or missiles or things like that.  It took many, many months for them to come to the conclusion that TWA 800 was not a missile," said Skinner.
   
The U.S. FAA warned American carriers to stay out of the area because it's a war zone.  Based on the information known know, no American carriers are flying in the air space

Skinner said, "Seems like simple common sense: You don't fly a commercial flight into where there are active threats of violence. You avoid those things."

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