EgyptAir deny plane had thrust problem

EGYPTAIR DENIED media reports yesterday that the co-pilot on board Flight 990 warned of a problem with a thrust reverser hours before the aircraft, a wide-bodied Boeing 767, plunged into the Atlantic 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 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 in excess of 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 about an altitude of 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. Because the aircraft continued to emit an identifying signal through much of its descent, investigators believe it had electric power for that time, suggesting the black boxes were working.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker