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.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...