Plane crash in Egypt: damaged tail or trace of terrorists?
224 casualties of the terrible accident of Russian airline’s Metrojet aircraft
At Sinai Peninsula, the plane of Metrojet airline flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31. In 23 minutes after beginning the flight, aircraft Airbus 321 lost contact with the flight operations service. 224 people were on board, mostly Russian citizens, of which 217 - the passengers. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that there were also four Ukrainians on board. The liner was owned by Kogalymavia (since 2012 operates under the name Metrojet).
Experts have already begun deciphering the A321 flight data recorders, reported Ksenia Babich, special correspondent of 112 Ukraine TV Channel in Moscow.
"At the moment, officials report to have started decoding the black boxes. The team will involve experts from France, Turkey, and Ireland, in the place where the destroyed aircraft was registered", she said.
"The officials are now cautious to confirm any version before finishing decoding the flight recorders. Today we expect that first details of the accident are to be announced", added the reporter.
According to information of the Egyptian authorities, the plane crashed in a mountainous area in the north-east of the Sinai Peninsula, near the city of El Arish. It broke in two parts, the back half completely burned, the front one crashed on rocks. Egyptian rescuers working at the crash site found no survivors. Two flight recorders were detected.
Later, the information was published, citing a source at the airport of Sharm el-Sheikh, that the Airbus crew reported on failure of communication systems almost immediately after takeoff and requested for emergency landing. However, said Husam Kamal, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, the flight was carried out normally before the collapse of communication with the aircraft. The pilot had not sought help from air traffic controllers at the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh before the crash.
As reported by Reuters, the "Islamic State" terrorists stated in their Twitter that it was IS militants who shot down a plane over the Sinai Peninsula.
The Egyptian authorities had previously stated that they reject the possibility that the plane was shot down. Lenta.ru notes that, according to experts, militants present in the region, including the groups of radical Islamists, do not possess any systems capable of hitting air targets at altitudes of more than 3-4 thousand meters.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation filed two criminal cases regarding the disaster, including the article "Violation of the rules of operation of the aircraft." According to unofficial reports with reference to the technical services of the airport of Sharm el-Sheikh, the pilots of deceased plane mentioned problems with one of the engines before takeoff. As stated Viktor Sorochenko, executive director of the Interstate Aviation Committee, who visited the crash site, A-321 was destroyed in the air. The official asked not to draw conclusions about the causes of what happened before deciphering the flight recorders. The other statements by Russian representatives in Egypt show that the destruction of the aircraft occurred at a high altitude.
Meanwhile, as it became known on November 1, earlier the crashed airliner damaged the tail at airport of Cairo; the incident occurred at November 16, 2001, when liner was owned by Middle East Aviation Company. Damage to the aircraft was then estimated as "essential." Publication Daily Beast suggested that the damage was not so completely eliminated, and a structural flaw became the cause of the accident. The version of the tail damage during the flight on October 31 corresponds with the conclusions of several experts. According to telemetry data, the flight from Sharm el-Sheikh, gaining height, began a sharp decline, and stuck in the ground. Initial inspection in the area of the accident also showed that the plane went into the ground vertically.
The information on Flight 9268, which can be considered objective, is available on www.flightradar24.com. This resource allows you to monitor the flight parameters of passenger aircraft in international airspace. According to this source, the Russian plane abruptly lost altitude before disappearing from radar.
In Kyiv, Ukrainians lay flowers near the Russian Embassy in condolence to victims of the crash.
Kogalymavia Airline is called Metrojet after rebranding in 2012 and operates in the market of passenger and air cargo for more than 22 years. Its headquarters is located in Moscow's Domodedovo airport. Metrojet organizes charter flights, mostly between Moscow, St. Petersburg, cities of Western Siberia and Russian or foreign resorts. Until now, the airline suffered three notable aircraft incidents - in Iran and airports Domodedovo and Surgut, in the last three people died. From 2012 to 2014, Metrojet served many flights under the brand of the solid German TUI Group. According to various estimates, to date its fleet consisted of six or seven foreign aircrafts, including five (now four) - A321. Since 2011, Metrojet completely abandoned the old aircrafts, made in the USSR.
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