Boeing Said Pushing
990 Cockpit Struggle -
Voice Recorder Adds
To Mystery

NEW YORK (PRNewswire) - Two weeks after EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing all aboard, a government official told Newsweek that behind closed doors Boeing is pushing the theory that a cockpit struggle broke out in the EgyptAir flight, leading to the crash. Boeing officials bristle at the suggestion that the company is trying to steer official investigations to their advantage. "Ridiculous," says spokeswoman Lor Gunter, reports Investigative Correspondent Mark Hosenball in the current issue.
A senior Justice Department official told Newsweek, "The possibility of a cockpit struggle, a suicide, or the presence of an intruder in the cockpit is clearly something we're looking at very, very seriously." While investigators continue to review information from the flight-data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder -- recovered late Saturday night -- sources at Boeing tell Newsweek the black box clearly shows that the autopilot was disconnected deliberately by someone in the cockpit.
Meanwhile, investigators are wary of jumping to conclusions. Though they concede the flight crew's odd actions aren't easily explained by a mechanical glitch or a standard emergency procedure, officials caution that they are still waiting for critical evidence that could give a fuller picture of what happened, writes Hosenball in the November 22 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, November 15).
The recovery of the cockpit voice recorder and the final few seconds on the black-box data recorder may shed some light on puzzling information received so far, such as the shutdown of the plane's two engines during the rapid descent. The move left investigators utterly perplexed. "This is all weird," said one airplane-industry source. "Nobody's got a clue" why anyone would cut the engines in the middle of a steep descent.
SOURCE Newsweek Web Site:
Black Box May Not Solve EgyptAir Mystery
NEWPORT, R.I. (CBC News) - There are reports that the cockpit voice recorder recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic on the weekend may not solve the deadly crash of EgyptAir Flight 990.
Instead the tape appears to deepen the mystery, according to a source quoted by the Associated Press late Sunday.
The Boeing 767 plunged into the ocean off Nantucket Island two weeks ago killing 217 people, including 21 Canadians.
The pilots did not send a distress signal, and the flight data recorder indicated that both of the jet's engines had been turned off manually.
Investigators had been counting on information from the cockpit voice recorder, recovered late Saturday by the navy's underwater robot Deep Drone, to explain what happened.
But it reveals little beyond the pilots having a friendly conversation before suddenly trying to solve an unknown problem that gets progressively worse, according to the Associated Press source.
The recorder is now at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Laboratory in Washington Sunday being reviewed by experts.
Investigators have refused to speculate about what might have happened, saying that the cockpit voice recorder was needed before they could draw any conclusions.
But other aviation experts believe it's possible someone intentionally crashed the plane -- either a member of the crew, or an intruder who ran in the cockpit.
Investigators have reviewed the health records of the pilot and co-pilot -- a decision that angered EgyptAir.
Company officials say the pilots were among the airline's best, and that both men had recently passed physical and psychological tests.
The airline says the investigation shouldn't concentrate solely on pilot error.
U.S. officials say they're not leaning toward any specific theory. They say all possible causes, including mechanical, are under investigation.