MH17 crash: Confusion over viral photo

DEREK ROSE
Last updated 11:56 18/07/2014
mala plane
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This Facebook photo of a Malaysian Airlines plane that went viral isn't that crashed, airline buffs have pointed out. The "RC" under the nose wheel indicates it's 9M-MRC, a different Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.

Passenger plane reported shot down

MH17 crash
Reuters Zoom
A man blocks access to the scene of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as emergency personnel remove the bodies of passengers.
MH17map.jpg
A map showing where MH17 went down. To enlarge the graphic click here.

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A Dutch traveller's joke has left his friends confused, grieving and wondering if he's alive.

Before boarding a flight, Cor Pan posted what seemed to be a joke photo of his plane, saying, "if the plane disappears, this is what it looks like".

The post to Facebook was made around 9pm last night, and location-stamped from Amsterdam's airport city of Schiphol.

Friends laughed along with the reference to missing Malaysia flight MH370, wishing him and his partner happy holidays.

However their comments later turned to shock and disbelief.

One wrote "rest in peace dear Cor and (his partner) Neeltje, and we wish strength to your family - what a nightmare this is."

The photo went viral and was picked up by the world's media, including Stuff. Over 12,000 people shared it on Facebook.

But airline buffs have since pointed out that Pan the photo is actually of a different Boeing 777-200.

The plane in Pan's Facebook photo has registration number 9M-MRC - as indicated by the "RC" under the nose wheel.

The downed plane was 9M-MRD.

Pan may have posted the photo after flying on flight MH194 from Kuala Lumpur to Mubai, the route that aircraft 9M-MRC flew overnight (NZ time). 

Earlier this week Pan posted photos to his Facebook page of his vacation and said he was in Indonesia, even though the post was location-stamped to the Netherlands.

If that's the case Pan is likely in for a shock when he finally arrives home in Holland.

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