Version 2016-05-21-17 CET
1. 66 people were on board. None of the people on the manifest were on a terrorism watchlist.
2. Leaked passenger list: According to a leaked passenger list, only very few of the passengers have a non-Arabic name. A leaked passenger list can be found on a anti-Muslim website http://www.shoebat.com
2.1 Strangely, the plane mentioned on the leaked crew list is SU
, but at least two confirmed victims (among them, French photographer Pascal Hess) do appear on the passenger list.
2. Earlier that day, SU
-GCC flew to Asmara (Eritrea) and Tunis, returning to Cairo each time.
3. According to BBC, no terrorist organization has credibly claimed responsibility.
1. Flight entered Athens FIR at 2:24 AM
. Last successful communication was at 2:48, the flight was cleared to the exit of Athens FIR. "The pilot was jocund and thanked in Greek."
2. Several ACARS messages beginning at 3:26 AM
00:26Z 3044 ANTI ICE R WINDOW
00:26Z 561200 R SLIDING WINDOW SENSOR
00:26Z 2600 SMOKE LAVATORY SMOKE
3. At 3:27, Athens Area Control Center (ACC
) tried to communicate with the flight, to hand it over to the Cairo FIR. Repeated calls, also on the emergency frequency, went without any response. At the same time, 0:27Z, there was a "2600 AVIONICS SMOKE ACARS" message.
4. ACARS message:
00:28Z 561100 R FIXED WINDOW SENSOR
5. The flight passed the FIR boundary at 3:29 AM
. At the same time, these ACARS messages were sent:
00:29Z 2200 AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT
00:29Z 2700 F/CTL
SEC 3 FAULT
After those, no more ACARS messages were received.
6. At 3:29:40 AM
, the flight was lost from ATC radar, almost 7 nm southeast of KUMBI (KUMBI lies on the FIR boundary). The civilian ATC radar track shows that the plane never departed FL370.
7. The Greek Air Force was called, they were unable to track the plane with their radars (as it had already crashed at this time).
8. Supposedly, the Greek Air Force's primary radars did record the plane's flight. Panos Kammenos, Greek Minister of Defense: "It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 38,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet." Radar horizon has to be taken into account here.
1. First debris spotted at around noon of May 20th, about 290 km north of Alexandria. Among the first objects found are seats, life vests, luggage and body parts.
2. Possible oil slick photographed by the European Space Agency's Sentinel satellite.
1. The crew did not respond to repeated calls by Athens ACC
, yet the flight didn't disappear from radar until a few minutes later. This suggests the crew was either incapacitated or unable to respond due to an emergency.
2. The time span between the attempted calls by Athens ACC
and the disappearance rules out an explosive event that would have totally crippled the plane.
3. An on-board fire. In 2011, a cockpit fire before pushback lead to a hull loss of a Boeing 777 (EgyptAir flight 667). The probable cause was an electrical fault or short circuit, possibly in connection with a crew oxygen hose.
What can be reasonably ruled out?
1. A struggle in the cockpit, including a hijacking.
2. A bomb that led to a decompression (though not an incendiary device).
3. Helios-type of accident (crew incapacitation due to asphyxiation) is improbable, as the plane would have simply continued the flight.