EgyptAir denies jet had thrust problem
Thursday 04 November 1999
But EgyptAir denied media reports yesterday that the co-pilot on board Flight 990 warned of a problem with a thrust reverser hours before the wide-bodied Boeing 767 crashed with the loss of all 217 on board. "That is not correct," an official of the airline said.
Investigators have still not narrowed down the range of possible causes why the flight from JFK to Cairo on Sunday morning crashed in to the ocean south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Criminal sabotage has not been ruled out, even though nothing that has been found yet points to it. However, possible problems with its thrust reversers have come under special scrutiny after EgyptAir confirmed that the reverser in one of the jet's two engines was deactivated by its engineers days before the accident.
The only other fatal accident involving a Boeing 767 was in 1991, when a Lauda Air jet crashed into the jungle in Thailand killing all 223 passengers and crew. It was knocked from the sky when one of the thrust reversers, designed to slow an aircraft after landing, accidentally deployed in mid-flight.
The EgyptAir official was responding to reports that the co-pilot cited a problem with a thrust reverser when the jet landed in Los Angeles on Sunday, before it began its return journey to Egypt via New York. The official said the warning had to do with a tyre that was changed at Los Angeles airport.
Niki Lauda, the head of Lauda Air, said he doubted that a thrust reverser was the culprit in the latest crash, noting that modifications to the part recommended by Boeing after 1991 had been made by EgyptAir. "Assuming the plane was operated correctly, I can categorically rule out that the thrust reverser would deploy in flight," he commented.
Moreover, initial radar data from the last moments of the flight seem to point away from such a problem. In the 1991 crash, the reverser put the aircraft into a spiralling dive. The EgyptAir dive was apparently direct and extremely fast.
So fast, in fact, that the Boeing might have descended at more than 660mph. It could have been travelling faster than the speed of sound, officials said. At such a pace, it could have torn apart before hitting the sea's surface. Oddly, moreover, it took a sharp turn to the right when it reached an altitude of about 16,000ft before it vanished from radar.
Bad weather had all but halted the salvage effort yesterday, with 20ft swells in the area of the splashpoint. As soon as the seas subside, the USS Grapple will leave for the site from Newport, Rhode Island, with divers and a remote-controlled submarine equipped with cameras.
Investigators believe they have now pinpointed the signals of both "black box" instrument and voice recorders.
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...