May 19th, 2016

EgyptAir flight disappears over Mediterranean; probable crash [UPDATED]

Very disturbing news:

A search is under way for an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo which has disappeared with 56 passengers and 10 crew on board – including one British national.

The fate of the plane is not yet known and officials have said it is too early to rule out any possibility, including terrorism, but all those on board are now feared to have died.

French President Francois Hollande said “unfortunately the information we have … confirms to us the plane came down and is lost”, suggesting it crashed near the southern Greek island of Karpathos where the search is focused.

Air control lost contact with the plane just as it was entering Egyptian air space. The pilots sent no distress signal, and Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos said the plane “swerved ’90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right’ before vanishing.”

Ominous. In addition to the terrible and tragic loss of life, this seems to have been a sudden and catastrophic event. Unlike the Malaysian airplane that went missing two years ago and has never been found or its crash explained, this one went down in an area that is far easier to search, and at a known time. Already the plane’s emergency beacon has been sending a signal. My guess is that authorities will find the black boxes and get a lot more information.

Will the mystery then be solved? And will it end up being terrorism, or highly suspected terrorism, including the possibility of terrorism on the part of the crew, as already may have occurred in the case of EgyptAir Flight 990 in 1999?

UPDATE 4:30 PM

Some wreckage from the plane has been found. The leading theory right now is terrorism—specifically, a bomb—although that is very speculative and could end up being incorrect.

24 Responses to “EgyptAir flight disappears over Mediterranean; probable crash [UPDATED]”

  1. expat Says:

    CNN International reported earlier that there was a distress signal. I haven’t watched for a while, so I don’t know the latest. In fact, I hate to watch these reports, knowing that all you get will be speculation for a few days. Even if there was something terrorist involved, they wouldn’t say anything because they would want to follow leads.

  2. T Says:

    How can a plane swerve “. . . 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right . . . “?

    360 degrees is, of course, full circle.

  3. Brian Swisher Says:

    T:

    At a guess, it was probably spiraling down.

  4. blert Says:

    We ought to stop calling jihad terrorism.

    A terrorist is a feral fellow engaged in, essentially, a media operation — designed to awe and terrify the body politic.

    Whereas, a jihadi is simply a devout Muslim — following in the bloody steps of Mohammed.

    Such souls are not seeking media exposure — rather, shunning it.

    Murder-suicide, as jihad.

  5. blert Says:

    The flight reversal could have been triggered by a violent flip.

    All that we currently have to go on is radar reflections.

    These don’t reveal the attitude of the aircraft.

    To me, it smells like a bomb, set to go off upon descent — knowing that the flight profile dictated that the descent would be over water.

    The intent being to deny forensic wreckage for the authorities to work back from.

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    I am with ExPat on the coverage.
    There are predictable themes to the coverage of these tragedies. First, the media grab for anyone who has ever flown an airplane to extrapolate their sometimes meager experience and then to speculate with very little actual information. Then talking heads chatter endlessly despite having no new information. Conspiracy theories always abound. Long after the event, official findings will become public (they may or may not be credible depending on where in the world the reports originate).

    I started to postulate a plausible scenario that is more mundane than those in the public sector; but, realized that It would be just as meaningless at this point. Hint, as with any unexplained episode at high altitude it revolves around hypoxia. There are a number of plausible scenarios to choose from until hard information is available.

    If we wait awhile, the flight data recorder, and the cockpit voice recorder should clear up a lot of the mystery. Given the fairly accurate crash location data, I expect those to be found. But, in the interim we can amuse ourselves with a multitude of theories.

    One comment on the reported fact that the pilot (Captain?) had; 6,200 hours. Credible, but not particularly impressive for an airline Captain flying an A-320. It will be interesting to learn more about his age, length of service, quality of experience–or nationality.

  7. David Says:

    I had a friend on flight 990. He was a pilot and hitched a ride on the jumper seat. Because he wasn’t on the flight roster and his body was never recovered, his wife never received death benefits and she had to move back to Egypt.

  8. Cornhead Says:

    The Religion of Peace at work. Again.

    That was my first thought.

    The West will never learn.

  9. mollynh Says:

    The terrorists have it “in” for Egypt. They rejected the Muslim brotherhood governance. They were allies of the West (until Hillary & Barack put the skids to that). They have a history of close ties with Europe & a 10 million Christian population (to be victimized,by radicals). The added bonus in this act , a further oportunnity to zing France. Terrorists are anxious to
    return Egypt to the 3rd world, & in that regression it can be assumed into their Caliphate. Egypt was a tourist must see
    who would risk it now? Their economy will be destroyed eventually.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    It is too early to know but the odds are that blert has the right of it in being a pressure activated bomb.

    Brian and blert,

    Even in a spiral or flip, how do you start from any position, rotate 360° and end up 180° from where you started?

    Cornhead,

    The West’s descendents will learn. That is, what few of them remain.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    mollynh,

    Yes, Egypt is the most populous Muslim nation. It is the home of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother of all Sunni terrorist movements. It borders Israel. On so many levels it draws jihadist’s attention. Destroying Egypt’s economy is a sure path to revolution, i.e. a return to the path that Allah has proclaimed for all Muslims. Jihadist regimes or ‘strong man’ regimes, there are no other choices in the Muslim world.

  12. OM Says:

    Geoffrey:
    Incorrect regarding Egypt. Indonesia is 88.22% Moslem and population in 2016 is 260, 236,998.

    Egypt’s 2016 population is 93,168,878. You can do the math.

  13. Ann Says:

    There’s also this today at Reuters:

    Islamic State militants are gearing up for a campaign of bomb attacks on large crowds in France, host to next month’s Euro 2016 soccer championships, its spy chief has said.

    Rare remarks by Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, to the parliament’s defense committee spelled out “a new form of attack … characterized by placing explosive devices in places where there are large crowds and repeating this type of action to create a climate of maximum panic.

    “Clearly, France is the most threatened and we know that Daesh (Islamic State) is planning new attacks,” Calvar told the committee on May 10, according to a transcript of his testimony released to the media on Thursday.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/18/middleeast/egyptair-flight-disappears/index.html

    EgyptAir Flight 804: Wreckage found, airline official says

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr:

    Thanks, I’ll update.

  16. J.J. Says:

    ditto what oldflyer said.

  17. Richard Saunders Says:

    God rest their souls.

    And would somebody ask the One-derboy, if this is the JV, what are we going to do when the varsity hits us?

  18. Sharon W Says:

    I’m in France now, visiting my son. Back to Paris tomorrow. My husband and I have been in Normandy this week, specifically to honor the sacrifice of those who saved western civilization. It has been a very moving experience. One thing that has struck me is the true sacrifice the French experienced in the battle against Nazi evil. To see the losses that were endured by the civilian population in the effort to liberate this country and to visit the absolutely breathtaking memorial to our heros (land given to the USA) and maintained impecably is quite eye-opening. It has struck me that so deeply did they appreciate freedom, that they embraced the liberators despite the fact that our bombs destroyed lives and hallowed spaces. Everywhere we’ve gone throughout France (churches, towncenters, cemeteries) the war dead are honored and remembered. We couldn’t help but notice that in the hundreds of people visiting these memorials there was not one person in Muslim dress.

  19. CV Says:

    EgyptAir is now retracting claims that wreckage has been found. No distress signal either? according to the latest reports:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3598117/EgyptAir-flight-MS804-Paris-Cairo-goes-missing.html

  20. blert Says:

    The Med is shallow as seas go, so I’d expect that the fight data recorder will be found in very short order.

    It will tell the tale.

    GB…

    Exaggeration is common — especially in Arabic.

    So 90 turns become 180s.

    180s become 360s.

    The person flapping their jaws never took geometry, let alone trig.

    Heh.

  21. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Read up on EgyptAir990. The report has the controls split as if the pilot–left seat–and the co pilot–right seat–were pulling in opposite directions. The latter’s control position would have crashed the airplane. He also shut down the engines. Said several times, “I rely on God.”

  22. OM Says:

    Blert:

    Birds flap their wings but fly in 3 dimensional space as do airplanes. So you can flap some more about rotation EgyptAir.

  23. Artfldgr Says:

    oh, the plethora of christians taking planes down

    Cockpit battle for life: 66 including Brit dad die after Flight MS804 crashes in sea as fears grow that hijakers fought crew

    Jet was about to start its descent into Cairo when it made ‘sudden swerves then vanished’

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/7160744/Pictured-British-victim-of-EgyptAir-flight-MS804-named-as-40-year-old-doctors-son-Richard-Osman.html

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    My sources on mid air accidents or incidents are non existent. However, get them to the ground like Waco 2, and I’ll have more accurate predictions.

    People do know now that the Waco 2 execution by police snipers Neo and others wrote about a year or so ago, was a setup? The police reset all private smart phones to factory settings, erasing the pictures and recordings. Gag orders were used on lawyers and others, very similar to what the SWAT teams in Wisconsin used against Republican operatives when did the no knock raids.

    The original story was that Waco 2 was some kind of gunfight by biker club members. Didn’t happen, since most if not all of the gunshots were from police sniper rifles.

    The entire world of conflict is like one big mystery novel.

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