Disaster jet was twin of plane in Lauda Air crash

UNITED STATES transport officials pored over the records of aircraft similar to the EgyptAir plane that crashed off the American east coast on Sunday, seeking clues to the cause. One coincidence emerged yesterday: the aircraft was built within days of an identical Boeing 767 that crashed eight years ago, killing all those on board.

Officials underlined that many lines of investigation were open. "I think what we would do is look at the service record and maintenance record of the airplane, and obviously we're going to look at every possible scenario," said Doug Webb, a Boeing spokesman.

A Lauda Air Boeing 767 crashed in Thailand in 1991 after a reverse thruster, used to slow the aircraft on the ground, accidentally came on in flight. Once the thruster was deployed, the aircraft broke up, crashed and all 223 passengers and crew died. Boeing said it knew of nothing to link this crash with Sunday's tragedy.

The EgyptAir Boeing was the 282nd 767 to be built at the company's Everett plant in Washington state. The Lauda Air 767 was plane No 283 on the same assembly line. Both were built in 1989, days before the aircraft assemblers went on strike. They claimed they were being made to work too much overtime. The strike was resolved and there is no indication of any resulting mechanical problems.

In Egypt yesterday, people were trying to come to terms with the worst tragedy in the country's aviation history. The chairman of EgyptAir, victims' relatives and civil aviation officials left for the US. The Egyptian Prime Minister, Atef Obeid, has promised his government will pay for the bodies to be repatriated and will compensate the bereaved. EgyptAir's chairman, Mohammed Fahim Rayyan, has promised to resign if any failings are found on the part of the state-run airline.

Speaking shortly after the wreckage was discovered, Mr Rayyan insisted that the pilot was experienced and that the aircraft in good condition. Asked whether EgyptAir had received any threats, he said it had grown used to receiving threats over the past 20 years.

Egypt's President, Hosni Mubarak, said it was too early to say what had caused the crash but there was no evidence to suggest sabotage. He noted that this was not the first aircraft to go down in the area.

The pilot's brother suggested that the aircraft may have encountered difficulties. Speaking at Cairo airport, Tareq Anwar Hosni said his brother had telephoned their mother before take-off. He is understood to have said he expected to arrive late, because wind conditions were not good and because the aircraft needed repairs.

Gamal Arram, 42, the pilot who had flown the aircraft from Cairo to Los Angeles, said he had had no problem with it.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: EWI / IWI Installer

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Management Accountant

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'