Areas of inquiry in Egyptair 804 crash

May 19, 2016: (c) Leeham Co.: Investigators will look into many areas of interest, all a

An Airbus A320 like this one operated by Egyptair disappeared last night in what is already suspected terrorism. Photo via Google images.

matter of routine, into the disappearance and crash of Egyptair 804.

According to media reports, debris and bodies have been found in the Mediterranean Sea. The Airbus A320 disappeared on a flight from Paris to Cairo. There have been several media reports of in-flight fire observed in the sky and maneuvers of the aircraft. Russian officials and others say terrorism is likely.

LNC urges caution in drawing conclusions, however.

The following are areas of investigation:

Terrorism: Of course, this will probably be the top consideration, especially considering several months ago a Russia airliner departing from Egypt was brought down by a bomb shortly after take off.  Recovery of debris and passengers will be examined for signs of explosive devices. It is very rare that an airplane at cruising altitude of 37,000 ft has a…

Catastrophic event: a mechanical emergency isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Other sabotage: Given the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the possibility of pilot sabotage will probably be considered as well.

Crew and Passenger history: It’s normal to look into the history of the crew and passengers for anything out of the ordinary. Pilot background and flight history is also a normal area of investigation.

Aircraft history: The maintenance history of the aircraft and engines is also normal areas of investigation.

Weather: Again, routine.

Other factors: Proximity of other aircraft that could have collided with MS804, missiles and any other possibilities are normal areas of inquiry.

The black boxes: Recover of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders will be important and can contain evidence that will unravel the mystery.

4 Comments on “Areas of inquiry in Egyptair 804 crash

  1. The following comes from the BBC as part of their current reporting on the Egyptair crash. It essentially relates the same informations I passed on yesterday and which were coming from Le Figaro:

    – Flight MS804 departed Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 21:09 GMT (23:09 Paris time) on Wednesday, EgyptAir said. It was scheduled to land at Cairo International Airport at 01:15 GMT (03:15 Cairo time).

    – At 23:24 GMT (02:24 Athens time), the plane entered Greek airspace, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) said in a statement.

    – Greek air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot at 23:48 GMT as the plane flew over the island of Kea. He was in good spirits and reported no problems, the HCAA said.

    – The controllers tried to make contact with the plane at 00:27 GMT, before it left Greek airspace, but “despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond”. The controllers then called on the emergency frequency and again there was no response.

    – At 00:29 GMT, the aircraft left Greek airspace and at 00:29.40 it vanished from Greek radar, according to the HCAA.

    – The plane lost contact with Egyptian radar at 00:30 GMT (02:30 Cairo time), when it was 280km (174 miles) from the Egyptian coast, EgyptAir said.

    – Search and rescue operations began at 00:45 GMT, the HCAA said.

  2. The following discussion is based on facts and contain little speculation if any.

    Based on what was reported by the BBC, and Le Figaro as well, we can reconstruct the following succession of events: From the last time the ATC had a verbal exchange with the A320 crew until the time the plane disappeared from radar there was a period of 32 minutes (34 minutes according to Le Figaro) where we don’t know what happened except that the plane was seen on radar as leaving the Greek airspace at one point in time to enter the Egyptian airspace. We also know that the Greek ATC tried to contact the plane 3 minutes (12 minutes according to Le Figaro) before it disappeared from radar.

    What all this means is that in total there was a period of 32 minutes (34 minutes according to Le Figaro) for which we have no idea what was going on onboard the aircraft. All we know is that when the ATC tried to reestablish contact with the plane 3 to 12 minutes before it disappeared there was no response.

  3. The following are the last ACARS messages received from the plane:

    00:26Z 3044 ANTI ICE R WINDOW
    00:27Z 2600 AVIONICS SMOKE
    00:28Z 561100 R FIXED WINDOW SENSOR
    00:29Z 2200 AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT
    00:29Z 2700 F/CTL SEC 3 FAULT”