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MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Thu Nov 11, 1999 9:42 am

What I found far more intriguing than the fact that neither thrust reverser inadvertently deployed, was that the NTSB described the drop to FL190 as a "controlled descent".

Assuming that their preliminary assesment ios correct, why would the crew of a passenger airliner make such a drastic descent - FL330 to FL190 without notifying ATC?

I mean is there a precedent for such a change in altitude without seeking ATC consent outside of the realm of hijacking incidents?

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RE: MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:01 am

This is where the CVR becomes critical. If the crew wasn't aware that the autopilot failed.......That you explain the decent profile that was shown on the military radar track.

I belive that there have been several crashes both general and commercial planes that have gone in for autopilot gliches.
Tom in NO
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RE: MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:14 am

It seems to me that the Silk Air 737 incident of a couple of years ago was a suicide attempt by the pilot, I doubt he notified ATC.

Sounds to me like there was some sort of scuffle in the EgyptAir cockpit that caused the original descent. All the "controlled descent" notation means is that it was a consistent descent in that someone was at the controls. The NTSB has not said either the rate of descent, or the time of the descent.
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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RE: MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Thu Nov 11, 1999 3:27 pm

I remeber a crash years ago (BAE 146) caused by a digruntled employee killing himself and all on board including his former boss. He walked through security with a gun because he still had his employee badge, got on board, and killed the flightcrew before flying the aircraft into a mountain.

It is extremely unlikely that all three A/Ps failed simultainiously. And even a complete and total electrical failure wouldn't necessarily cause a crash. Hydraulic pressure could be provided from the RAT, and the aircraft should have remained controllable.

The aircraft was ETOPS certified, which means that it had all sorts of redundant power selections and sources.

Since the reversers are ruled out, suicide or the flight crew becoming incapacitated seem to be the most likely new theories to me.

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My Thought

Thu Nov 11, 1999 8:09 pm

How about a failed hijack attempt? (or successful attempt depending on the hijackers goals!) The cockpit voice recording will tell us this I think
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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American 767
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RE: MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Fri Nov 12, 1999 12:14 am

I also think that the thrust reversers were not related to the crash , although one of the two was inoperative. Because if this was really the problem, the aircraft would have fallen right away from FL330 all the way down before impact, and the FAA would have already grounded all PW powered 767's. The analysis that was followed form the Flight Data Recorder still doesn't show anything, I would say that a malfunction of the autopilot system and the loss of hydraulic pressure could be likely the cause of the crash. The other black box, the Cockpit Voice Recorder, has not been recovered yet. The other possible thing is a hijack, but I doubt about that.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano
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Was It Shot Down?

Fri Nov 12, 1999 12:28 am

Could it be that there was somebody *important* on board who messed up with government and as a result, for everything to look like an accidental death, the plane was somehow taken-off the air by some authorities? I realise this sounds horrible and threatening, but we need versions coming until we solve what happened.

Why otherwise still cannot they recover the CVR?? The weather is blamed all the time and stuff... is that gonna be a problem in case of a real war or BIG emergency?? This is weak...
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RE: MS990 DFDR: No T/R Deployment

Fri Nov 12, 1999 3:20 am

I don't personally think anything particularly sinister brought down MS990, but reading SashA's comments, while paranoid, do strike a chord of sorts. I think the cause will prove to be a gross jet upset caused by a trim problem but there were all those early reports of the delay being caused not by a tire change at LAX but an unscheduled stop at Edwards. Also, there were thirty Egyptian military officers onboard, and coincidentally only thirty pax on board from LA to NY. Were they the same people? There was a room set up at LAX for grieving family members but only four (one family) showed up. Who were the pax that orginated in LA?

Anyway, I don't think anything happened deliberately to the flight but it is surrounded by many startling coincidences. I'm sure there will be books and websites about how it was all the CIA's fault, when for once it isn't.

By the way, the sea out there IS rough, and the wreckage is very deep - this isn't TWA 800. They'll recover the CVR in the next few days.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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Fri Nov 12, 1999 3:52 am

Cedarjet wrote:
> Also, there were thirty Egyptian military officer onboard,
> and coincidentally only thirty pax on board from LA to NY.
> Were they the same people?

Are you sure about there being only 30 pax on the LAX-JFK sector? A lot of the pax were elderly tourists from the western states. I would've expected them to have boarded 990 at LAX?

Also, the NY Times reported that several of the military officers were in Georgia for their training and many of them did in fact emplane at JFK.

I have no recollection of the aircraft making any stop at Edwards Air Force Base at all!! Was that an unconfirmed earlier report or is there anything to that at all?!?!

As to a trim problem causing the accident, while its certainly within the realm of possibility, you'd think that FL330 gives you a pretty good cushion to recover from any such hiccups due to elevator trim problems. And in any case, that still dosent explain the lack of notification to ATC regarding the descent to FL190

Just my thoughts
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Slow Recovery Of CVR

Fri Nov 12, 1999 4:23 am

I'm from Massachusetts and Martha's Vineyard is town under the jurisdiction of my state. I can attest about these late Autumn/Winter storms. I have had the 'pleasure' of predicting them for my school. I was my school's designated 'meteorologist' by ex officio.

At this time of year, the weather tends to be very windy and unsettled. Low pressure systems aren't quick in moving, nor are they predictable. The 11 foot seas aren't surprising.

I hate to say to say it, but security around airports is quite lax. They have only one bomb detection system and I think it's installed in the British Airways terminal, because BA paid for it... stemming from the political instability in Ireland. The metal detectors aren't much more than a nuscance. If someone wanted to bring a gun aboard, just get one that's small and made out of plastic. The technology is there to search a person for minute particles of bomb chemicals, but it's not being used.

- Neil Harrison
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Boeing 747_600

Fri Nov 12, 1999 5:39 am

I didn't know that some of the Egyptian military brass caught the flight at Kennedy. But yes, there were only 30 passengers from LA. And CNN, for their first six or so hours of coverage, said that the plane DEFINITELY landed at Edwards after leaving LAX, and were asking various airline pilots and other interviewees whether this ever happened (unanimously 'no'). Then they stopped reporting it, if there was a retraction I must have missed it cos they just stopped talking about it. I did a post elaborating on this which may be in the archive if you ask for 'Egyptair Conspiracy Theories'.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
David L
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RE: Edwards AFB

Fri Nov 12, 1999 5:56 am

Cedarjet, I think you'll find the landing at Edwards suddenly disappeared from CNN's reports because someone heard the flight had landed at EWR (Newark) and incorrectly guessed it was Edwards AFB. That was the explanation at a press conference, anyway.

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