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Egyptair 804 crash cause according to BEA

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Egyptair 804 crash cause according to BEA

Old 7th Jul 2018, 00:36
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Egyptair 804 crash cause according to BEA

... a fire in the cockpit, French investigators said on Friday July 6, 2018.

They said onboard recorders suggested that the blaze had spread rapidly through the plane.

The findings contradict Egypt's earlier statements that explosives had been found on victims' remains, suggesting the aircraft had been bombed.
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FULL BEA TEXT BELOW
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Accident to the Airbus A320, registered SU-GCC and operated by Egyptair, on 05/19/2016 in cruise off the Egyptian coast [Investigation led by AIB / Egypt] - 06/07/18 18H15

- Download the full press release

Review of situation on 6 july 2018 18H15

Following the accident on 19 May 2016 over the Mediterranean Sea involving an Airbus A320 registered SU-GCC operated by EgyptAir, a safety investigation was immediately opened. In compliance with the international texts in force, as the accident occurred in international waters, Egypt, as the State of Registry and State of the Operator of the aeroplane, is in charge of carrying out this investigation. The BEA appointed an Accredited Representative to represent France as the State of Design of the aeroplane, assisted by technical advisers from the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus. The NTSB (1) also appointed an Accredited Representative to represent the United States as the State of Manufacture of the engine.

France contributed to the safety investigation from the very outset. Initially, the BEA’s work consisted in acting as advisor to its Egyptian counterpart and then in participating in sea search operations for the aircraft wreckage. At the same time, the three States collaborated in collecting and analysing the first elements available - in particular the ACARS (2) messages.

Once the wreckage had been found, the debris was inspected and the flight recorders were located, retrieved and immediately sent to Cairo in order to start the initial work to recover and read the data. These operations, collectively decided on and carried out by the Egyptian, American and French specialists, did not succeed in reading the recorded data due to the severe damage to the data media. Advanced repair work was then necessary and the BEA was asked to carry it out in its laboratory in France.

The work on the flight recorders was carried out under the authority of the Egyptian Investigator In Charge, on the BEA premises, and at the beginning of July 2016 the data from the two flight recorders was extracted, read and decoded.

During this work, the Egyptian authorities published the following elements about the accident:

- The flight recorders stopped operating while the aircraft was in cruise at an altitude of 37,000 feet;

- The aircraft systems sent ACARS messages indicating the presence of smoke in toilets and the avionics bay;

- The data from the data recorder confirms these messages;

- The playback of the cockpit voice recorder reveals, in particular, that the crew mentioned the existence of a fire on board;

- Several pieces of debris were retrieved from the accident site. Some of these had signs of having been subject to high temperatures, and traces of soot.

Once the data from the flight recorders had been retrieved, the Egyptian authorities continued their work in Egypt.

In addition, the BEA had collected the following elements:

- A signal from an emergency locator transmitter was sent at 00:37 (source CNES (3) ) i.e. around eight minutes after the transmission of the last ACARS message;

- Data from a Greek primary radar (sent by the Greek authorities to the BEA) shows that the aeroplane had descended in a turn until collision with the surface of the water.

Based on these elements, the BEA considers that the most likely hypothesis is that a fire broke out in the cockpit while the aeroplane was flying at its cruise altitude and that the fire spread rapidly resulting in the loss of control of the aeroplane.

For its part, the BEA’s Egyptian counterpart announced in December 2016, the discovery of traces of explosive on human remains. It stated that, in accordance with Egyptian legislation, this finding led it to transfer the file to the Egyptian Attorney General who would from now on be responsible for carrying out the investigation.

The BEA’s proposals concerning further work on the debris and recorded data were not, as far as the BEA knows, followed up. The technical elements of the investigation already collected by Egypt, including those provided by the BEA, are protected by the Egyptian judicial investigation.

In an effort to continue the safety investigation mission, the BEA asked to meet the Egyptian Attorney General. This took place at the end of May 2018. In this meeting, the Egyptian authorities explained that as it had been determined that there had been a malicious act, the investigation now fell within the sole jurisdiction of the judicial authorities.

The BEA’s Egyptian counterpart did not publish the final report which would have allowed the BEA to set out its differences of opinion as authorized by the international provisions.

The BEA considers that it is necessary to have this final report in order to have the possibility of understanding the cause of the accident and to provide the aviation community with the safety lessons which could prevent future accidents.

As mentioned above, the BEA considers that the most likely hypothesis is the rapid spread of a fire and would like investigations into this hypothesis to be continued in the interests of aviation safety.

The BEA is ready to continue its collaboration with its Egyptian counterpart should the latter restart the safety investigation into this accident.



(1) National Transportation Safety Board: the BEA’s counterpart in the United States.

(2) ACARS: system for sending messages between the aeroplane and the operator, allowing, in particular, the transmission of information for maintenance operations.

(3) Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (National Centre for Space Studies.







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Old 7th Jul 2018, 04:56
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Angry Egyptian head in the sand

What can anyone expect from the useless Egyptian authorities. Same pattern of denying any wrong doing. The 767 out of JFK an example. A possible fire on board is too important to ignore.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 10:02
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Evidence of an explosion and of a fire are not mutually exclusive, a fire could easily have caused a small explosion and vice versa. Which came first is a more difficut question to answer.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 10:10
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Am I the only one to have an SR111 redux feeling?
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 11:00
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Fire in the flight deck?
What are the European regulations around power banks and charging tablet EFB’s / smart phones in the cruise? Anyone from that part of the world know?
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 11:28
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Wrong diagnostics prevent a fix

Originally Posted by The Ancient Geek View Post
Evidence of an explosion and of a fire are not mutually exclusive, a fire could easily have caused a small explosion and vice versa. Which came first is a more difficut question to answer.
Internal fire may sound better than a bomb, but iis often unsurvivable, and the A320 is a workhorse airframe. An indication that an airframe can catch fire "spontaneously" in cruise is much worse news than an indication of failure of ground security. The lag in finding and publicising the cause of accidents due to political constraints is not helping the safety process.

Edmund
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 11:40
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I believe from the evidence we have this fits. IMO BEA gets it right (for once). There have been several cases of O2 fires in cockpits, some fortunately on the ground. I would also remind people theres a photograph of SU-GCC at the gate with the F/O's perfume purchases sitting on the glare shield.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 13:05
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It's a tragedy that dictatorships like that one can get away with putting others at risk in that manner. There should be international sanctions against them if they do not cooperate with an independent investigation.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 13:46
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Simple. A flight deck fire is probably the fault of the airline. A bomb is not. Just as Egypt 990 crashed into the Atlantic due to a mechanical failure by the Boeing aircraft. Not!

Last edited by PAXboy; 8th Jul 2018 at 23:06. Reason: Typo mistake.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 13:52
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It's a tragedy that dictatorships like that one can get away with putting others at risk in that manner. There should be international sanctions against them if they do not cooperate with an independent investigation.
But Egyptians had already filed exceptions form "norms" when agreeing to abide by ICAO investigation rules when judicial investigation were performed. Many other states file similar exceptions.

Sanctions ??"? .there is no such avenue other than not to fly in those states. There of course can be behind the scenes cooperation (identifying shortfalls) as long as it doesn't interfere in an judicial investigations.

The issue to the rest of us is the presumption that the product airworthiness has not been impacted as long as "our" flight operating procedures are followed
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 17:09
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Originally Posted by The Ancient Geek View Post
Evidence of an explosion and of a fire are not mutually exclusive, a fire could easily have caused a small explosion and vice versa. Which came first is a more difficut question to answer.
Evidence of “explosive” is not the same as evidence of an explosion.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 21:38
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What constitutes explosive residue? One reason for asking is ever since I had a heart blockage in 2000 resolved by inserting a stent to keep the blockage open, I have carried nitroglycerin tablets. I've never needed to use one but they are with me. With all the shaking during travel, the tablets often turn to powder. In addition the bottle cap often comes off and the powder is distributed around my pocket, backpack, or wherever I happen to be carrying them. In an explosive residue test would nitro tablets, carried by thousands of Americans, show as an explosive residue? Now that I'm retired my hobby is farming and one of the products I use is ammonium nitrate fertilizer. It ends up on my clothes and I'm not sure washing removes all traces. Will this also result in explosive residue? I have only heard of explosive residue being found - has there ever been further identification of the exact residue to verify it is from an explosive device being detonated? There has been a lot of finite evidence released regarding a fire.
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Old 7th Jul 2018, 23:48
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As far as I'm aware, the Egyptian view that there was an explosion on board was not based on having detected explosive residue, but rather on the fact that none of the body parts recovered from any of the passengers or crew were larger than the size of a hand, and the only identification possible was via DNA.
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 07:13
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Originally Posted by NWA SLF View Post
What constitutes explosive residue?
Basically any trace amounts of cemicals that may be used in an ED. You are quite right in pointing out that many of these chemicals have perfectly legitimate everyday uses. A friend of mine who runs a carpentry shop was picked up on a random test at Frankfurt for alledgedly having explosive residues on hs clothes. The ensuing hassle resulted in him missing his flight, he was let go after an hour with no formal explanation (nor apology or compensation), he had to buy a new ticket.
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 07:27
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
As far as I'm aware, the Egyptian view that there was an explosion on board was not based on having detected explosive residue, but rather on the fact that none of the body parts recovered from any of the passengers or crew were larger than the size of a hand, and the only identification possible was via DNA.

From the article above: "For its part, the BEA’s Egyptian counterpart announced in December 2016, the discovery of traces of explosive on human remains. It stated that, in accordance with Egyptian legislation, this finding led it to transfer the file to the Egyptian Attorney General who would from now on be responsible for carrying out the investigation."

No one else found these "traces" except the Egyptians
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 08:03
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Originally Posted by metro301 View Post
From the article above: "For its part, the BEA’s Egyptian counterpart announced in December 2016, the discovery of traces of explosive on human remains. It stated that, in accordance with Egyptian legislation, this finding led it to transfer the file to the Egyptian Attorney General who would from now on be responsible for carrying out the investigation."

No one else found these "traces" except the Egyptians
Yes, I've read the BEA statement.

The pronouncements from various sources are contradictory, to say the least:

"A forensics official has said human remains retrieved from the area where EgyptAir flight 804 crashed point to an explosion on board.

The anonymous official is part of Egypt's investigative team and has examined victims' remains at a morgue in Cairo.

He told the Associated Press that all 80 body parts retrieved so far are small and that 'there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head', adding: 'The logical explanation is that an explosion brought it down...but I cannot say what caused the blast.'

Egypt's al-Watan newspaper quoted another unnamed forensics official as saying the plane blew up in mid-air, leaving remains 'no larger than the size of a hand', but that it has yet to be determined whether an explosive device was to blame.

The head of Egypt's forensics authority denied there was evidence of an explosion later on Tuesday.

'Everything published about this matter is completely false, and mere assumptions that did not come from the forensics authority,' Dr Hisham Abdel Hamid said in a statement quoted by Mena news agency."

EgyptAir crash: Remains retrieved from flight MS804 crash site 'point to an explosion on board aircraft'
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 08:57
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IMHO finding only small body parts are most likely if the airframe was intact but hit the water with high speed close to the mach range. You find airplanes smashed to small pieces by high speed impacts into the ground. The same will happen if it hits water head on at high speed.
A midair explosion would separate seats from the airframe and they will have a much smaller terminal velocity <200kn with larger pieces remaining on water impact.
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 10:35
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IMHO finding only small body parts are most likely if the airframe was intact but hit the water with high speed close to the mach range.
Precisely. And that is exactly what was believed to have been the case according to earlier facts published (which I can't find now).
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 14:52
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It’s shameful that a report has not been released yet. We have all the evidence that we need. Important recommendations for the industry must be published before another incident like this happens again. Time is of the essence.

Just using amateur deductions, this looks very similar to the ground incident at Cario ironically with EgyptAir MS667. Fire accidentally started probably by the charging of an Apple device, then the O2 hose gets involved causing a blowtorch effect spreading down into the electrics bay.
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:10
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Originally Posted by birdspeed View Post
It’s shameful that a report has not been released yet. We have all the evidence that we need. Important recommendations for the industry must be published before another incident like this happens again. Time is of the essence.
It's entirely conceivable that there will never be a report released into the public domain, now that the investigation has been removed from the Egyptian AIB and become a judicial responsibility.

As for the need for timely safety recommendations, I think the lessons from this event have already been learned.
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