Search This Blog

Sunday, 1 November 2015

'Structural failure'? Western propaganda rag creates narrative on the Russian A321 plane crash

Clive Irving
The Daily Beast

The jet split in two near the tail, which could mean a "tailstrike" in 2001 was never truly fixed.

The suddenness of what happened to the Russian-operated jet that crashed in the Sinai is highly unusual. According to reports the pilot had reported a technical problem and a diversion to the nearest airport. But the problem was apparently so severe that his plan was overtaken by events and the airplane literally fell out of the sky from its cruise altitude of 31,000 feet.

In theory the Sinai is dangerous air space. Much of the Sinai is a closed military zone where the Egyptian army has frequent skirmishes with Islamic terrorist groups. There have been claims by a jihadist group linked to ISIS that it brought down the flight, but the airplane's altitude put it well beyond the range of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, or MANPADS, the only relevant weapon fielded by such groups, and first pictures of the wreckage offer no evidence of a missile strike.

Instead investigators will treat as much more credible the possibility of a sudden structural failure. The Airbus A321 was 18 years old, but with a modern airplane like this and regular maintenance that is not in itself a cause for concern.

What does, however, jump out from this particular airplane's record is an accident that it suffered on November 16, 2001 while landing at Cairo (while owned and operated by Middle East Airlines). As it touched down the nose was pointing at too high an angle and the tail hit the tarmac - heavily enough to cause substantial damage.

Tail strikes like this are not uncommon. The airplane was repaired and would have been rigorously inspected then and during subsequent maintenance checks. Nonetheless investigators who will soon have access to the Airbus's flight data recorder will take a hard look at what is called the rear pressure bulkhead, a critical seal in the cabin's pressurization system. Images from the wreckage in the Sinai show parts of the tail and rear fuselage near the site of this bulkhead lying clear of the rest of the debris, suggesting a possible break-up in flight.

Read more

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...