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Six questions about the crash of the Russian plane

Des militaires égyptiens sont arrivés près d'une partie de l'avion russe Metrojet qui s'est écrasé samedi 31 octobre. Photo fournie par les autorités russes.

Egyptian soldiers arrived near a part of the Russian plane that crashed Metrojet Saturday, October 31. . Provided by the Russian authorities Photo credit: Maxim Grigoriev / AP

While the “black boxes” have not “spoken” The Russian charter company Metrojet rejected the possibility of pilot error or technical failure. Explanations elements with two aviation experts.

The Airbus A321-200 of the Russian charter company Metrojet crashed at dawn Saturday in the Sinai, 23 minutes after taking off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Russian and Egyptian investigators visited the scene of the crash, in which were found the two flight recorders, the “black boxes”, whose analysis should take several days. Meanwhile, many questions remain unanswered. Answers elements with two aviation experts, who requested anonymity.

1) The unit broke up in flight, about twenty minutes after takeoff from Sharm el Sheikh. Two days after the crash, the head of the Russian company Kogalymavia / Metrojet Monday dismissed the hypothesis of a technical failure or human error and spoke of an “external cause”. What needs to be understood?

Experts interviewed by Le Figaro call for caution. “While we have not analyzed the black boxes, all trails are open,” said one of them. “He was the head of the company sufficient expertise in aviation?” Asks another. “I feel that the company is trying at all costs to clear itself by stating that the aircraft was in excellent condition and its crew is not to blame. You will notice that the manufacturer Airbus has not done … “The day of the crash, suspicions were quickly brought on the plane and the company, the Russian authorities rapidly spreading terrorist track.

2) According to the Russian airline which operated the Airbus, the pilots lost the “total” control of the plane. The captain has issued no distress call before disappearing from radar screens the device … This lack of signal from the cockpit she implies the intervention of a third party that could prevent them from act?

“Not necessarily,” replies the first expert. “It is common that the drivers do not send an alert. They first try to manage the emergency, their priority remains the trajectory of the plane. For example, a crew who loses an engine does not necessarily send a distress signal. In this case, it is quite possible that the pilots were busy with a problem. ” Second option: “If the plane broke apart in the air, the pilots had to quickly find itself in lack of oxygen and the controls were no longer to react,” suppose the other specialist.

3) The contact with that plane to St. Petersburg was lost while he was at over 30,000 feet (over 9000 meters), its cruising altitude. How can we lose touch of a plane?

Different scenarios are possible to explain that the plane’s transponder emits no signal. “Either it was cut deliberately. Either he was deprived of electricity. Let the zone through which the aircraft is not covered by radar, “explains one of the specialists. “If we are assuming an explosion in flight, it is not surprising to lose his touch,” added the second.

4) At this point, experts exclude that EI has the necessary military means to shoot down an airliner in 9000 meters altitude, but do not exclude that a bomb has have exploded on board or that the plane may have been hit by a missile fired from the ground while he was descended below his cruising altitude. These two hypotheses are they credible?

“I have trouble believing that a clean technical problem the plane could explode. The hypothesis of the bomb on board is a possibility, “answers one of them. “Someone was able to place an explosive device in a part of the aircraft or be directly explode”. In contrast, the second hypothesis is not convincing: “This would mean that an accomplice to board the airplane would fly down for others to shoot him. So be in the right place at the right altitude … I think it’s very complicated to implement, “said another expert. A hypothesis also swept by the commission member who reviews the black boxes found at the crash site: according to him, the aircraft was not hit from the outside by a projectile

5) Are Other tracks possible?

Transport bunker risk products is also possible, but one of the two aviation experts mainly sees another possibility: “The loss of control of the aircraft may well have cause overspeed effect, “he supposes. In this case, the charges in the wings become greater than the strength of the structure and the aircraft breaks up. ” But why would they pilot lost control of the device? “Impossible, once again, to know,” he replies.

6) Fragments of the plane were found on the ground on an area of ​​20 km². Travel bags and dozens of colorful suitcases, mostly in good condition, were found on site. If we accept the hypothesis of a bomb, would it not damaged luggage?

“Not necessarily”, say the experts. “A bomb on board can create the destruction of part of the fuselage, near where the bomb exploded. It is possible that the hold has not been affected by the explosion. . This would explain that the luggage had been found for some in good ground “The second expert abounds:” A very violent explosion can break the cabin without destroying the contents. ”

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