CHICAGO (CBS) — An aviation expert from Chicago said speed is of the essence for investigators trying to determine the cause of a Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine on Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down Thursday in an area of Ukraine near the Russian border. The plane crashed in an area near a rebel-held village, and a Ukrainian official said pro-Russia rebels shot the plane down, though that has not been confirmed, and pro-Russia rebels blamed Ukrainian armed forces.

“Russia and Ukraine have incentive to get the answer out pretty quick, because the amount of commerce moving over that airspace is enormous,” said professor Joseph Schwieterman, an transportation expert at DePaul University.

He said the last thing world leaders want is for Russia to take even more of an isolationist stance than it already has.

“I think the real risk here is that Russia feels that the world is ganging up and declaring it a belligerent nation. We saw [President] Obama took some action yesterday, and they reacted very negatively,” Schwieterman said.

He said Thursday’s plane crash, combined with the still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, would make it difficult for the airline to survive as a going concern.

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