By now, the course of events preceding the crash has become known. The A321 aircraft (registration number EI-ETJ) performed its last successful flight on October 30, taking passengers from Samara to Egyptian Sharm el-Sheikh. In Egypt, the liner has undergone the necessary maintenance and was prepared for the next flight. The next morning the plane was supposed to go to St. Petersburg. In 05: 49 local time (06: 49 Moscow time), an airplane carrying 217 passengers on board took off and headed for the Mediterranean Sea, moving over the Sinai Peninsula. In 06: 13 communication with the liner has ceased. A few minutes later he crashed in 50 km from the city of Nehel.
The case of the crash of the plane of the Russian airline Metrojet is being investigated by experts from several countries. The main role in the investigation, in accordance with existing international standards, is played by representatives of the aviation authorities of Egypt. Also in the investigation involved experts from Russia, France, Germany and Ireland, as well as representatives of Airbus, who built the fallen plane. In addition, the Russian Investigation Committee opened criminal cases under articles 263 and 238 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Finding out all the causes of the tragedy will take some time. Representatives of the investigation and aviation authorities of Russia and Egypt announce some details of the investigation, but the full picture of the incident is still a secret even for specialists. Despite this, the disaster over the Sinai Peninsula has already become the ground for the emergence of various versions, rumors and speculations. In the domestic and foreign press there are various arguments on the causes of the disaster, as well as various unverified and unconfirmed information. Participants of numerous discussions keep up with the press.
It should be noted, the press reports still allow us to draw up an approximate picture of the catastrophe, and also allow us to receive new data on the investigation progress in a timely manner. However, some media outlets do not disdain to publish information from unverified or anonymous sources. Such information is of insufficient value, but it can still be a reason for discussion and controversy. Consider the press information and versions offered as an explanation of the causes of the disaster.
The overwhelming majority of aviation incidents and incidents, including those resulting in casualties, occur due to technical reasons or due to so-called. human factor. In this case, the causes of accidents and disasters are improper maintenance of equipment on the ground or incorrect actions of the crew during the flight. To identify the wrong actions of pilots or technicians, careful examination of the flight recorders, the wreckage of the aircraft, various documentation, etc. is required. This takes some time, because of which the identification of such possible causes of the incident cannot be completed as soon as possible.
This feature of the investigation of catastrophes can be used by some unscrupulous individuals who are trying to get their "dividends" from the current topic until the appearance of full-fledged official information. In addition, because of this, various "stuffing" are not excluded.
Despite the difficulties in determining the technical prerequisites for accidents, some versions of this nature have already appeared. So, already a few hours after the plane crashed, the NTV channel reported on some technical problems of the EI-ETJ board. With reference to the widow of the deceased second pilot Sergei Trukhachev, it was reported that he had complained before the flight about the condition of the airliner. Other details, for obvious reasons, were not reported.
On November 2, Kogalymavia Airlines published documents on the maintenance of the crashed aircraft. In addition, the relevant papers were handed over to the Investigative Committee. From the documents it follows that the aircraft A321 regularly underwent inspections and maintenance, so that was in good condition and could be used for the transport of passengers. In addition, in March next year, the aircraft had to undergo a comprehensive form of service (the so-called C-Check).
Representatives of the airline operator believe that the crash was not caused by any failure of the onboard equipment or other accident. During the November 2 press conference, deputy general director of Kogalymavia for the organization of flight operations, Alexander Smirnov, said that due to the equipment failure, the plane had to fall to the ground and only then collapse. Nevertheless, the liner collapsed in the air, which indicates a certain external influence.
The specialists of Kogalymavia / Metrojet do not adhere to any specific versions yet, however, they completely eliminate problems with equipment and pilot errors. In addition, A. Smirnov urged to wait for the completion of the official investigation.
In the context of the technical problems of the aircraft, a version is expressed, according to which the October 31 crash resulted from the 2001 incident of the year. According to foreign and domestic press, in 2001, the crew of the A321 made an inaccurate landing, during which the tail of the fuselage hit the runway. Soon the car was repaired, after which its operation continued. Some experts believe that the damage received by the liner back in 2001 could have been felt through 14 years.
As indirect evidence of this, the results of the investigation of the crash of Boeing 747 aircraft near Tokyo and over the Taiwan Strait in 1985 and 2002 respectively are presented. In both cases, there was damage to the units of the tail section of the aircraft in case of improper landing, repair and destruction of damaged parts in flight after several years. Thus, at the moment it is impossible to completely exclude the possibility that since 2001, some fatigue damage appeared in the EI-ETJ aircraft design, which led to the recent catastrophe.
It should be noted, the special attention of the press and the public was attracted by the fact that the A321 aircraft collapsed in the air during the incident and fell to the ground in the form of several large parts and many small fragments. Shortly after the completion of the search for the main wreckage, the Interstate Aviation Committee confirmed the information about the dispersion of parts of the liner over a fairly large area. Separate parts of the car fell at a distance of several kilometers from each other. In this case, the tail of the fuselage with the tail fell separately from the rest of the aircraft.
Information about the destruction of the aircraft in the air can reveal some details of the incident and direct the investigation along the right path. Nevertheless, this information further complicates the current picture, and also serves as a pretext for new speculations. The destruction of the liner in flight, followed by a fall to the ground, is attempted to be explained by various factors that are not related to the design or operation of the vehicle.
Already on October 31, reports appeared that the terrorist organization Islamic State (banned in Russia) claimed responsibility for the crash of an Airbus A321 aircraft. The terrorists did not provide any evidence of their version, and soon officials refuted their statements. A number of media outlets, and then the Minister of Transport of Russia, Maxim Sokolov, said that such statements are not reliable. In addition, with reference to unnamed sources, it was reported that there were no traces of the terrorist act on the wreckage of the aircraft.
The version of the involvement of the "Islamic State" quickly spread through various channels, but soon disappeared no less quickly. At the time of the loss of communication, the Kogalymavia liner was at an altitude higher than 9100. Terrorists simply do not have anti-aircraft weapons that can destroy a target at that height. Their portable anti-aircraft missile systems have a significantly lower target height, and systems with higher characteristics are either completely absent or could not be secretly delivered to the disaster area.
Simultaneously with the version of the destruction of the aircraft by a rocket, immediately disproved, an assumption appeared about the possible undermining of an explosive device on board the aircraft, which led to its destruction. Nevertheless, already on the first day after the incident, information appeared about the absence of any traces of the terrorist act, as well as the relevant statements of the officials. As a result, there is every reason not to consider the version of the actions of terrorists as one of the main ones.
In the afternoon of November 2, Reuters news agency reported, citing an unnamed representative from the Egyptian Aviation Accidents Committee, that experts had already begun to decipher the flight recorder records. The source said that the crew of the crashed aircraft did not give distress signals. In addition, during the crash the liner was not exposed to any external influences. The source did not disclose other information, but noted that work with “black boxes” is ongoing.
3 in November (in the evening of 2 in November local time) the analytic agency Stratfor published its report with preliminary conclusions. Using information from their own and open sources, the experts of this organization came to the conclusion that the most likely cause of the collapse of the liner over the Sinai Peninsula is an explosion on board. The Stratforr experts do not exclude the possibility of any technical problems, however, they consider them unlikely. In addition, they call the untenable version of an attack using MANPADS. In this case, the analysts believe that the most likely cause of the disaster is the explosion of an explosive device on board the aircraft.
It should be noted that the first information about the absence of traces of a terrorist act or evidence of the use of explosives appeared only a few hours after the plane crashed, and soon received some confirmation. Nevertheless, Stratfor urges not to completely abandon the version of the explosion of the liner, including because traces of the explosive can be found and those fragments that have not yet been studied by experts.
Stratfor notes that at the time of the disaster, one of the American satellites recorded a thermal flash in the area where the aircraft was located. There are no other suspicious heat traces, which, in particular, refutes the version of the use of anti-aircraft missiles. Satellite data that fell to the Stratfor specialists has not yet been published. The Interstate Aviation Committee, as reported by TASS with reference to a representative of this organization, cannot yet confirm or deny the information of American analysts about the outbreak.
Currently, experts from Russia, Egypt, France and other countries continue to study the wreckage of a fallen plane. In addition, the Emergency Situations Ministry and the Egyptian rescue services continue to search for and evacuate the bodies. The investigation into the causes of the disaster is in its earliest stages, and experts are looking for evidence and evidence that can confirm or deny any of the existing versions.
The investigation will take some time and may last for several months. Its result will be a full-fledged report with all the details of the incident, in which the full picture of the situation will be described, as well as its reasons. However, long before the appearance of the official report, experts who are not related to the official investigation and the public are trying to determine the causes of the disaster using only open data. Press materials have already allowed the formation of several versions that differ in the amount of evidence and plausibility. Which of them most fully corresponds to reality - will show the investigation.
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