An EgyptianAir flight from Paris to Cairo went down over the ocean with 66 passengers and crew on board. Debris has found debris about 230 miles from Crete and authorities believe they belong to the missing aircraft. Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi says that the possibility that the jet was brought down by terrorism is greater than the possibility of mechanical failure.
Just before the plane went down, it was traveling at 38,000 feet. The plane then turned 90 degrees to the left, then a 360 turn to the right, after which the plane dropped from 38,000 feet to 15,000 feet. When the plane reached 10,000 feet, it disappeared from the radar. There was no emergency message from the pilot, which indicates whatever brought it down was both sudden and brief. That would seem to bolster the theory that the plane was brought down by an act of terrorism.
One theory floating around is that the plane was at the point, where the pilot and co-pilot might have had to use the bathroom before landing. In that moment when the cockpit door opened, a terrorist could have forced their way into the cockpit. That could explain the peculiar maneuvers made by the plane prior to dropping off the radar screen.
The airline said the Egyptian military had received an emergency signal from the aircraft, an apparent reference to an Emergency Locator Transmitter, a battery powered device designed to automatically give out a signal in the event of a sudden loss of altitude or impact.
The Egyptian military denied it had received a distress call and Egypt’s state-run daily Al-Ahram quoted an unidentified airport official as saying the pilot did not send one.
The absence of a distress call suggests that whatever sent the aircraft plummeting into the Mediterranean was both sudden and brief.
Exploring the possibility of a terror attack, Egyptian security officials said they were running background checks on the passengers to see if any of them had links to extremists. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
In Paris, the city’s prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the incident. “No hypothesis is favored or ruled out at this stage,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Egypt’s chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, followed suit, ordering an “urgent” investigation into the crash.
The head of Greece’s air traffic controllers association, Serafeim Petrou, told The Associated Press that everything was operating normally prior to the plane’s disappearance from radar.
It could be days or weeks before we know for sure what happened.