How did a missile bring down the plane? What you need to know about the 777

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As many experts are trying to figure out exactly what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, many people are attempting to find out more about the plane.

The  Boeing 777 is considered one of the safest planes in the world; when speaking about crashes, many experts say Mother Nature and human error were to blame for several accidents, not flaws in the plane’s design.

Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis with the Teal Group, told USA Today, “This is the best international plane ever built yet. It’s got an impeccable track record after 20 years and over 1,200 deliveries. It’s typically used on international routes, and it’s established a new standard for international safety.”

The 777 features a long wing span with “increased thickness to dramatically improve airplane performance and reduce operating costs.”

According to Boeing, the wing design allows the 777 to climb quicker, cruise faster and higher and consume less fuel.

It also features the “most powerful engine ever built,” but is still lightweight.

According to Boeing, 777s fly over 23,000 flights per month.

With 37 million flight hours logged, officials say the planes have a 99.4 percent reliability rate.

A lot of experts are wondering why the plane went down, and several reports indicate it may have been shot down.

According to NBC News, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles are capable of taking down passenger jets.

However, shoulder-fired missiles are usually ineffective above 20,000 feet.

Officials say Flight 17 was flying two miles higher than that.

Portable surface-to-air missiles batteries can intercept aircraft up to 72,000 feet.

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