Julian Bray, Aviation Expert writes: Today Monday 2nd November is a significant day in the quest to find the answers as to why an Airbus A321-200 crashed. We've witnessed two major press conferences held in different Cities and finally those involved are beginning to break ranks.
The airline operator held the first press conference with an impassioned plea to the assembled media to print only the truth, then a platform party of senior management initially gingerly putting their side of the corporate story.
Nothing really to get worked up about but suddenly the tone changed with the airline stating "something went out of our control, not normal to break up.
Our translator said it was an 'outside force' other news organisations picked it up as 'external forces' but whatever was said, it caused Russian Television to cut its live streaming, and go to black... meanwhile the company helpfully told the assembled media that the tail section of the A321-200 had been repaired and replaced twice. Such things do happen in aviation and provided it was done correctly no problem. Possibly another reason to site one of the black boxes elsewhere.
In a complex round of TV and Radio both in the UK and around the World all through the technical magic of ISDN, telephones and SKYPE. I've been asked the same questions over and over.. Was it a bomb? Was it shot down? Who did it?
Clearly the two recovered 'black boxes' will have all this data but it is clearly data that might embarrass those in power, both in Russia and in Egypt. Normally the 'black boxes' both flight and data recorders are located together in what was at one time, the unpressurised tail section, but in recent years, the galley roof void has been favoured.
During the press conference it emerged this particular aircraft had extensive tail section repairs during its history AND the replacement of the whole tail section.
Hopefully it will also embarrass those in the UK Foreign Office, who have repeatedly turned a Nelsonian blind eye to many war and conflict zones allowing British holidaymakers to be flown over or through conflict zones.
If the two 'black boxes' are properly decoded in Cairo, and frankly this is highly questionable, then preliminary answers should be available within 7 working days, more detailed information takes much longer, two years for a final report.
WE can however safely say:
The pilot did NOT report any technical problems during the flight.
No technical problems were outstanding before take off.
The plane was suddenly lost from radar tracking screens, suggesting a 'catastrophic event ' it was possibly blown apart and the debris scattered over a 20 square kilometre 'debris field.
None of the passengers and crew survived, and death would have been almost immediate as the cabin rapidly depressurised following a blast wave throughout the cabin.
It is suggested that the plane didn't immediately drop out of the sky but 'bunny hopped' on for some while before dropping. It could be that if an incendiary device was delay detonated, the fire randomly knocked out operational avionics, whilst the 'fly-by-wire' capability would be frantically trying to work around any technical problem.
Then the sophisticated 'fly-by-wire' possibly finally gave up as key components were knocked out, and the 'catastrophic failure' occurred. But all this is pure speculation.
What is required is a concerted international effort to get the 'black boxes' fully decoded by an impartial technical team such as the BEA in Paris or the UK's facilities at Farnborough. What we don't need is a politically edited version. Those who died, their families and aviation in general, deserve a full and very robust investigation and a publicly issued full unvarnished report of their findings.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Aviation Expert, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 (ALL CODECS) e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 iPhone 0743 530 3145 www.aviationcomment.com Contrib. Account #104764 53 FEED: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog