View Full Version : Egyptair 990
25th Mar 2002, 01:25
The bottom line..
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the EgyptAir flight 990 accident is the airplane's departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the relief first officer's flight control inputs. The reason for the relief first officer's actions was not determined."
Direct link to the report (http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2002/aab0201.htm)
26th Mar 2002, 22:51
Have any Egyptians actually read the transcripts of the cockpit voice recorder tapes from the lost 767? Has anyone there spent time researching the FO's guilt-ridden past and numerous job-related problems?. .. .If so, these people would not vehemently object to the report as they are now! How ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. .. .I realize that suicide is considered taboo in the Islamic religion, but anyone with 1/4 of a brain could figure out what happened. The pilot flipped out and killed 150+ innocent people along for the ride. . .. .Don't get me wrong, I am not racist and I have no ill-will toward Egyptians. Being culturally-sensitive is important. However, this refusal to face the FACTS is upsetting me - and the families of all of the innocent victims. I actually saw that aircraft in JFK the night before it left - it had just arrived from LAX and was due to depart later. Spooky......... .. .Any irrational Egyptians want to respond????????????????? Did you read the transcript, or do you think it was fake? . .. .Let's face the FACTS and move on..........
27th Mar 2002, 06:44
"Suicide considered taboo in the Islamic religion?". .. .That theory went out the window on September 11.
14th Apr 2002, 07:44
i am not an aviation profesional.
i am intrigued by the engines being cut off.
egyptair argues that it proves the first officer innocent since full power would have made a steeper and faster dive?
perhaps the first officer cut out the engines to complicate recovery if the captain came back into the cockpit . i would imagine restaring an engine in a mayhem situation would be difficult.
14th Apr 2002, 14:56
Well idle power wouldn't significantly increase the speed of the dive but shutting down both engines would certainly make the situtation a lot harder to recover. I find it difficult to believe that any trained, competent pilot would deliberately shut down both engines in response to a dive like this.
14th Apr 2002, 21:46
Increase in thrust would, in turn, increase speed and hence lift, causing the nose to rise and the dive to decrease. The cutting of both engines was obviously undertaken to complicate any attempts at recovery.
15th Apr 2002, 23:00
The Egyptians are not interested in the truth, so it doesn't matter what the NTSB says or does not say. Further, saying that suicide is taboo for a Muslim is farsical, as witnessed by recent events, and support by so-called Musliim clerics. Oh, and BTW, those Muslim clerics belong in the same place as the child-molesting Catholic priests.
4th Jan 2004, 17:16
Were enquires made regarding the relief first officer of the Egyptair 990 and if he had any connections with any terrorist organisation?
4th Jan 2004, 23:56
In answer to your question, N_A.
Got a feeling this may be removed....
5th Jan 2004, 01:41
Don't see why this link should be removed, very interesing gen about those military on board, I never knew that. It all goes to prove that these low-life scum will usually go for the easy target . Having passed through LHR today, an easy target it aint, more tooled up coppers than you can shake a stick at, let alone the plain clothes ones.
If these poor french tourists were the target, then it only goes to show that abstaining from a war doesn't make neutral you in the eyes of the terrorists.
Who the hell will want to travel on an arabic airline in the future? a great pity for the vast majority of peaceful folks out there.
Lets keep it safe,
5th Jan 2004, 02:01
This stuff has been posted under the wrong thread.
It needs to be moved and merged
5th Jan 2004, 06:37
My message was posted under the correct thread, I just wondered if the relief first officer of 990 had Al Qaeda connections.
I believe the newspaper report about the Flash air flight is also on the correct thread as it goes on to mention Egyptair 990, the relief F/O and the senior Egyption military officers on 990.
I agree with you that it is pointless having more than one thread covering the same subject, however,in the fullness of time it may well be proved that Egyptair 990 and the Flash Air flight disasters have some similarities.
7th Jan 2004, 21:40
I lost my dad and stepmother aboard MS990; helped set up and administer a private web forum for families; helped plan the 1-yr memorial at Newport, and served as point man on various issues from time to time. Certainly US authorities made every effort to investigate the background of Gamil El Batouty--where they had jurisdiction to do so. But NTSB officials (FBI was not forthcoming on the matter) were quite clear that they were stonewalled in Egypt.
The question you raise is paramount. However, as long as Egypt remains a crucial ally, I have little faith that the US will muster the political will to see that the question is explored.
My own impression is that Gamil El Batouty was a rather poor candidate for AlQaeda operative. From media accounts as well as those from people in the airline who knew him, he was a very secular individual without strong religious affiliation. Certainly not a fundamentalist. Further, a very casual guy, always making jokes. Only a few months from retirement, he was a relief first officer.
The party line is that his was an impulsive act of revenge against the chief 767 pilot, who had threatened him with disciplinary action in Cairo for sexual misconduct in New York. The chief pilot, having recently changed plans, was aboard the aircraft unexpectedly.
Does this make sense? Not really. But there's a hell of a lot in life that doesn't make sense, it seems to me. One thing I am quite sure of: My dad would not have wanted me to spend my time hunting down the last few days of this guy's sprint to eternity. He'd much rather know that his oldest son is lecturing tomorrow evening to a university audience about Bach's Mass in B Minor; that he has finally begun to master the Beethoven piano sonatas, and that all his children are closer than ever, and are all happy and productive in their lives.
8th Jan 2004, 07:20
A fine article by a fine journalist on the subject.
And an interview with the author.
8th Jan 2004, 12:39
What an interesting article! In fact an interesting magazine I didn't know exisited. Shows my ignorance of things outside Europe!!!! Thanks.
8th Jan 2004, 14:27
“My own impression is that Gamil El Batouty was a rather poor candidate for AlQaeda operative.” What if he was an unwilling Al Quaeda ‘operative’? What if he was made ‘an offer he couldn’t refuse’, ie, if the aircraft reaches Cairo, you AND all your family will die, quite possibly in horrible circumstances? Whereas you do what you’re told and your family remains untouched and, (if he’d waited to do the deed in mid Atlantic, I imagine he was briefed to do, if this hypothesis is true), you die quickly and your family gets your pension and the insurance payout.
‘From media accounts as well as those from people in the airline who knew him, he was a very secular individual without strong religious affiliation. Certainly not a fundamentalist. Further, a very casual guy, always making jokes. Only a few months from retirement, he was a relief first officer.’ If that’s an accurate personal appraisal, I’d say he would be almost a tailor made candidate for such an operation. The personal disgrace he was said to be about to suffer over the incidents with the maids in the New York hotels may or may not have been part of the pressure that was brought to bear on him. It certainly would have had a huge effect on his family, far moreso than a similar charge would have had upon a Westerner. (The only thing that’s black and white in any such investigation is that nothing’s black and white in any such investigatin.)
What many people miss is that this crash (I can’t call it an accident) occurred before Sept 11th 2001, when few in the West had even considered the possibility of someone committing suicide – and mass murder - for political reasons at the controls of a civil jet, hence I doubt that scenario even entered into the equation then. (It had happened before, (in Morocco and Japan), but in both those cases, personal grievances had caused the perpetrator to act in what was perceived to be an irrational manner.) I’m not aware that anyone at the time the investigation into EqyptAir 990 had considered the Sept 11th scenario as being remotely possible.
8th Jan 2004, 16:27
Glad you enjoyed the Atlantic Monthly piece on Egypt Air 990 (reference two posts ago).
One interesting note....the author's father is Wolfgang Langewiesche, the author of one of aviations classics, "Stick and Rudder".
Profile and interview at: http://www.avweb.com/news/profiles/182912-1.html
8th Jan 2004, 17:23
Most of us living and working in western democracies cannot understand how the Egyptian authorities can keep a straight face after reading such a report and still claim that bad weather caused the accident.
Whatever El Batouti motives were , we will never know. What is sure though is that a non democratic totalitarian regime like Egypt will never accept a serious report blaming one of them. That's just not the way the Arab mind works. I should know for having lived and worked extensively there as a pilot. You never ever get the truth from them. Propaganda is the name of the game. Truth and the rule of law are non existent when it comes to government business.
I read a posting about Emirates some time back. While run by Westerners, the company is owned by Arabs. Can any of you tell me what would happen if an Emirates aircraft were to go down in the dramatic way of Egypt Air 990 or the mysterious way Flash 604 went down? Even after deep investigation, the owners of Emirates would deny the truth and not feel one bit bad about it. They would spread their propaganda and pretty soon passengers would go back to flying on their a/c the same way that passengers went back to flying on Egypt Air.
Finally, I must ask this question: Is it time for Westerners to stop flying Arabs or third world carriers?
Can't think of a name
8th Jan 2004, 18:46
Dumbledore, I don't recall any of the 9/11 aircraft, the Panam Lockerbie aircraft, or the Singapore Airlines (Silkair) 737 being Arab owned.
So that would be 4 to 1 odds (Panam was not an "onboard" suicide) that Arab owned airlines are LESS likely to be the target of a suicide....for any reason.
9th Jan 2004, 00:12
Can't think of a name
I never said that the airplanes that went into the WTC were Arab owned. The issue is what happens when you fly on an Arab carrier and something goes wrong.......do you get the truth? no!
The point in my posting was that, if given the choice, passengers flying to Arab or third world countries should chose for western carriers. At least, if something goes wrong, they can rely on truthful investigation.
9th Jan 2004, 02:31
Could the pilot have been hypnotised? I always thought that you couldn't be hypnotised into doing something that would really harm yourself then I found this on the web...
A classic study which illustrated how far individuals would go in hypnotic responses to contrived hypnotic situations was Lloyd W. Rowland, "Will Hypnotized Persons Try To Harm Themselves or Others?", Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 34(1939):114-117. This study is described in William Corliss' The Unfathomed Mind: A Handbook of Unusual Mental Phenomena, pp. 120-123. This study showed subjects sticking their hands into boxes with what they presumably believed were live rattlesnakes, and throwing concentrated acid into what they presumably believed was the unprotected face of another person.
Would hypnosis explain why he shut off the engines? What I mean is... most non-pilots (eg the Hypnotist) believe that to crash the plane you shut off the engines, where as increasing power is probably more effective.
That research article is dated 1939. It would be interesting to know if it's has been repeated more recently.
9th Jan 2004, 08:05
You are correct. The situation is no different to the Singaporean financed Indonesian NTSC report on Silkair MI 185. The rest of the world has to pay for this "loss of face."
9th Jan 2004, 09:51
Casper got it in one. This is really nothing to do with Egypt Air or Egyptians, but it is certainly all to do with Arabic culture. It is insulting for an arab to lose "face". Had the same problem last year in Saudi F&*k%$G Arabia. We had an absolutely miserable time working with people who were totally and completely ignorant of what were were actually doing their, but we had to play the game to stop these ignorant fools losing face.
Same culture in Asian countries. Look at some of the accidents that China Air and Korean Air have had and the causes behind them, it is often that junior pilots simply will not draw attention to the Captains error or a problem that the Captain didn't notice because to do so would cause the captain to lose face.
Basically I do my best to avoid airlines which have pilots from countries with these cultures. As for Emirates, I think that you may have a different outcome as most of the pilots are westerners as are a lot of the management. I think that they would take the Singapore Airlines example after the SQ005 accident in Taipei. Basically they admitted the error, settled and got on with making money. For something a lot more interesting, lets see what happens with Qatar Airways when the inevitable happens, it will be the biggest coverup of all time.
In short, would you seriously consider flying with Egypt Air?
Can't think of a name
9th Jan 2004, 12:58
Dumbledore, I see your point. However do you choose a carrier by who is more likely to "cause" an investigation, or who is likely to have a "more open" investigation?
You are correct, as is the post after your last one, that any Arab carrier will sit on the truth. As they say...... "Denial" is not just a big river in Egypt!!! It's a way of life in the ME.
Would EK be open about an accident? Only as much as they were forced to be, and yes, they would be looking at getting back into profit mode asap. Damage control, and returning to profit as quickly as possible, are perfectly sound business practices: any airline would try to do that. The difference is the level of cooperation with the authorities. If EK had an accident within the UAE you would see the biggest cover up of all time; the aviation authority here would do anything up to bulldozing sand over the crash site and saying "what accident?" if it helped EK. (exagerating to make the point) If it happened on western turf you would see a whole different response. I just hope we don't get to find out! EK is not perfect, but it does try pretty hard (from within) to keep the operation safe and efficient. But when you own the bat, the ball, the umpire and the ball park, it must be tempting to play with the rules a little?!
Happy flying :ok:
9th Jan 2004, 13:28
I remember that GA Airbus flight that went off the end of the runway in Abu Dhabi in 1996 (or 1997). The local newspaper had it on the front page with the GA logo airbrushed out.
I never saw the reason. I suspect it was an ATC fault as Airbus didn't ground anything and the pilot (who was kept under armed guard in hospital in case he tried to 'escape') wasn't charged with anything.
9th Jan 2004, 15:19
Yes, as Dumbledore and Casper have noted, it is all a matter of face, and by no means limited to the Arab culture.
Other posters have mentioned Silk Air 185, and remember how SQ immediately and instinctively tried to dodge blame for the SQ006 crash at Taipei.
Also, anyone who has read the efforts of investigators trying to get to the bottom of the Vietnam Airlines crash in Nha Trang in the 1990s will know to what lengths these people will go to save face.
Then consider: just how many governments in the world would you trust to put the truth, no matter how much it hurts, ahead of prestige and, particularly, face?
Not many, I think, and those of you who happen to live in one of them are privileged indeed.
9th Jan 2004, 16:02
How about airlines refusing insurance write offs to avoid having a hull loss on their record. I could name two airlines right now that shelled out mega bucks to do just that. One was a L1011 and the other, more recent was a B744. Neither airline is Arabic.
10th Jan 2004, 20:45
Just seen this thread..
and this post:
"I never said that the airplanes that went into the WTC were Arab owned. The issue is what happens when you fly on an Arab carrier and something goes wrong.......do you get the truth? no!
The point in my posting was that, if given the choice, passengers flying to Arab or third world countries should chose for western carriers. At least, if something goes wrong, they can rely on truthful investigation".
er..in my own very small experience I remember the Airtours 767 departing from the Canaries which (after a Monarch mechanic had left a very large torch in a wing inspection compartment) found itself unable to turn left. After a wings vertical moment or two when both pilots tried the breakout procedure (didn't work. no-one explained why), they continued back to Manchester (no left turns on the way).
Airtours sat heavily on the incident, which they (after the press got wind of it) decribed as a minor malfunction ably handled by the crew. I could never find any signs of an investigation, or an incident report, or any attempts by a seemingly inert CAA to pass on useful information to other users.
In the end the captain (Ray Cockerton) went to a national broadsheet and it waas given half a page of shock/horror..and then....nothing happened as far as I know.
In a responsible airline everyone would have learned a lot from the whole thing. In the air force, the incident report would have been an inch thick and still be being read in crewrooms.
are there any , um, middle-eastern aspects to any of this ?
10th Jan 2004, 22:11
I don't think anyone is suggesting that yukky stuff doesn't ever happen on western airlines. I have personal knowlege of far more incidents and cover-ups on a UK carrier than any ME one, yet I can fully understand the difference between a cultural tendancy and oportunistic endeavers of some western individuals and organisations.
Nobody should be talking in absolutes, just as isolated examples are not going to prove a general case. Cultural tendancies will tend to influence, they will not make every incident predictable. I am worried that so many people have already decided that they will never hear the truth about the Flash 737. I certainly agree that we are less likely to either hear the truth or have some people accept it, but I wouldn't rule either out so conclusively.
10th Jan 2004, 22:48
thanks for that. could you or someone start a great cover-ups thread ? amazing what does get covered up.
For exactly the opposite approach, I occasionally used to get to see the Cathay flight safety publication. They publish in great detail every incident..and accept any bad publicity as the cost of truly promoting flight safety in their airline. Best I´ve ever seen.
10th Jan 2004, 23:25
Waketurb, as tantalising as that prospect sounds, I doubt the mods here would relish the prospect of more libel than you could shake a stick at.
Having said that, a quick search of my posts should reveal all that I am prepared to say about BD and Aviance in public, which constitutes everything I have proof of, but certainly not everything I suspect or know yet do not have proof of. Since I do not use an alias or conceal my identity from those I accuse/criticise, I feel obliged to follow the rules of this site and law in general. I'm sure there are others that won't, so be careful what you wish for.
There is of course a subtle difference in actually 'covering up' and putting a good 'spin' on things. Anyone who works in this industry knows that any management claim of "Safety is No 1" is basically missing the out the qualifying part; "...as long as it is cost effective in the long run". Does that mean that they are covering up the fact that safety is not as good as it could be in every respect?
The generalisation that we won't ever hear the truth from the ME/E cultures is as misleading as the assumption that we will always hear the truth from our erstewhile management/government in the west. The subtleties lie in how good the respective cultures are at convincing their own people. We may not believe what they claim, and they probably trust our claims to the same extent. It gets interesting when you solicit comment from each culture about their own respective management/government claims.
Since the M/E airline market is mostly from the M/E, they only have to fool some of the people all of the time. I doubt they give a toss what we think about the truth or their version of it.
As you point out, the exceptions are to be applauded and encouraged. I have to say that BA's QAR system is above and beyond the call of duty, regarding costs as well as personal sacrifice (in terms of privacy) from the pilots. Then again, they aren't making the information it gathers public. So is that a cover-up?