- CAIRO, Egypt (Reuters) -
EgyptAir`s chief pilot thinks a bomb or missile downed the airline`s Flight
990 after blasting its tail, rejecting theories that a suicidal pilot
or mechanical glitch caused last month`s crash off the U.S. East Coast.
- ``There are two possibilities that would cause the tail
unit to split off. Either a bomb was attached to the tail or it was hit
by a missile,`` Tarek Selim told the state-owned Al-Ahram English-language
weekly before heading off to New York to join Egyptian crash experts.
- The Boeing 767 plunged into the sea off Massachusetts
on October 31, killing all 217 people on board.
- ``I flew the Boeing 767, which is one of the best aircraft,
for 12 years without any major problems,`` he said. ``Any problem, and
I mean any problem, apart from an explosion, can be handled and the plane
will remain under control.``
- ``In all circumstances, the pilot certainly will have
plenty of time to talk, contact control points and act according to instructions,``
- ``In case of a serious emergency, all the pilot has
to do is say `Mayday` and the distress call will be heard by all airports...but
they did not have the chance to utter this word.``
- Investigators have said Flight 990`s tail broke off during
its dive, with its right and left elevators, which make the plane ascend
and descend, pointing in different directions.
- An EgyptAir pilot said Monday that damage to the tail,
possibly caused by an electronic malfunction, could have downed the plane.
- Referring to media speculation that a co-pilot had deliberately
set the airliner on a suicidal dive, Selim said: ``I believe the speculation
fueled by leaks of information from the cockpit tape recorder are ridiculous.``
- Egypt was angered by speculation based partly on words
attributed to one of the pilots that suggested he had deliberately set
the airliner on a suicidal dive.
- The New York Times quoted one official Thursday as saying
that a few minutes before the plane began its dive Gamal al-Batouti, one
of the two relief pilots on board, ordered the co-pilot out of his seat
by ``pulling rank`` on him.
- It said investigators believed he was alone in the cockpit
when the plane went into its dive.
- ``Nobody is coming up with hard evidence (to prove it
was a suicide),`` Selim said. ``It doesn`t make sense for someone to pick
up bits and pieces and say that this is the story.``
- In Vienna, the independent Austrian Institute of Aerospace-medicine
and Spacebiology said Thursday the crash might have been caused by a flight
- ``The abnormal dive of the Boeing 767 could be due to
a so-called `stabilizer run-away`, it said in a statement. _____
- Pilots Group Enraged At Talk Of Pilot Suicide As Cause
Of 990 Crash
- LONDON (Reuters) - An international airline pilots` group
Friday stepped into the controversy over the probe into the EgyptAir flight
990 crash, denouncing what it said was a media frenzy about suicide as
- ``The big issue is the failure of the industry to resist
the temptation to talk. Authorities have to resist giving an answer straight
away,`` Captain Ted Murphy of the International Federation of Airline
Pilots` Associations told Reuters.
- ``We have seen a hint of things to come if we don`t improve
the way we handle these things, it is all self-inflicted,``
- His comments were prompted by the deaths of all 217
on board the EgyptAir Boeing 767 which crashed into the Atlantic off Massachusetts
on October 31.
- Leaked reports from the cockpit voice recorder which
led to a theory that the co-pilot might have committed suicide were later
retracted by officials because they were inaccurate.
- Murphy said people within certain aviation agencies had
shown too great a willingness to release information on the EgyptAir
- However he stressed that there was an onus on investigators
to release information if it came to light, even if the investigation
- He said problems arose when no immediate cause of a
crash was apparent, and this could lead to all kinds of speculation.
- Murphy, president of an association which represents
100,000 commercial pilots in 95 countries, was scathing over how quickly
the suicide theory had gained credibility in the days after the EgyptAir
- ``It just appalls me that we had all this personal information
about the co-pilot,`` Murphy said.
- This, combined with incorrect interpretations of the
cockpit voice recorder, ``have been deeply hurtful to the families of
the crew...to EgyptAir and to all professional flight crew.``
- Murphy said the airline industry was extremely concerned
with public perceptions of its safety record. ``Even phenomenally good
is not good enough any more,`` he added. _____
- 990 Tail Explosion Invalidates Batoutty Suicide Fable
- From NewsHawk Inc. <firstname.lastname@example.org 11-27-99
- As reported, federal investigators of the Fl. 990 crash
have confirmed the tail section of the jet was severely damaged by an explosion.
- Okay. Now place that in context with what IS known about
the last few moments of the flight.
- The jet began a very rapid, steep but CONTROLLED dive
while at 33,000 feet. After leveling out at 17,000 feet the engines were
turned off. This IS a NECESSARY prerequisite to starting the engines up
again after they've faltered--in this case due to the primary computer
computer system glitch from the particle or pulse weapon initially directed
at the craft. The jet began to climb again up to 24, 000 feet. To DO this,
OBVIOUSLY the engines had to be turned back on, which can be achieved after
the primary computer system OR the backup system has been booted.
- The explosion in the tail was positively NOT the first
hostile act targeting the jet, otherwise the pilots would not have been
able to control the craft to the extent they did, including initiating
an ascent after leveling off. This confirmation of a tail-end explosion
substantially corroborates the information made public by NewsHawk in our
previous articles on the crash; in particular; "Fl 990--What WE Know
But Gov't, Media Won't Say". That is, that the jet was hit TWICE,
initially at 33,000 feet and again after it re-ascended to 24,000 feet,
by a particle beam or (electromagnetic) pulse weapon; and THEN "finished
off" with a missile to the tail section when it became apparent the
pilots' excellent skills MIGHT enable them to pull the jet out of BIG trouble
after the SECOND, likely more severe electromagnetic weapon strike. The
pilots obviously WERE able to recover from the first mishap, and had begun
to climb again to cruising altitude.
- The word is out as far as the Egyptian Government is
concerned. At this very moment some of their top experts in electromagnetics
are researching the effects of electromagnetic pulses and fields upon aircraft.
They have become aware the truth regarding the crash and are determined
to dig it out and force the full exposure/disclosure of same.
- To re-cap, the explosion which destroyed the tail section
of EgyptAir Fl. 990 happened LATE in the entire series of events, NOT at
the beginning. Therefore, the crew-members were initially responding to
a hostile action of a different sort, exactly as we reported. The missile
hit to the jet's tail was the coup de grace, and obviously a VERY desperate
one at that.
- Those responsible for bringing down the jet have created
a MASSIVE, immovable monstrosity of an international mess which Egypt for
one is determined they will answer --and pay--for.