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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo, British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in premier edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

EGYPTIANS CONFIRM DIGITAL SIGNAL FROM CRASHED EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 804

EGYPTIANS CONFIRM DIGITAL SIGNAL FROM CRASHED EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 804






UPDATE 31st MAY 2016 Julian Bray writes: Egyptian authorities have now confirmed a digital signal was recorded from Egyptair flight 804 when it crashed in the Mediterranean with 66 people on board. 


The emergency locator beacon would have been triggered by contact with water.  European companies are being contracted to try and locate the two flight data recorders to finally establish what happened to the Paris to Cairo Egyptair Airbus A320, but first thyey have to pinpoint the crash site.            


An official from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated an emergency beacon was picked up by satellites minutes after the airliner disappeared from radar on 19 May.


The Egyptian  State Information Service website said investigators had “received satellite reports indicating receiving a 'ping' from the plane’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT)”. The co-ordinates were being used to narrow down the search area, the statement said.
The fly-by-wire aircraft disappeared from radar 2.29am (local). An ELT on the plane began transmitting 2.36am (local). The signal picked up by five satellites, triggering alerts to a ground station in Cyprus confirming the identity of the Egyptair A320 and subsequently narrows the recovery ground to around three square miles.  A ground station in Maryland, US, also received “two bursts” from orbiting satellites but apparently not long enough to capture the beacon location co-ordinates.


Investigating authorities estimate more than a week is still needed until they can recover the plane’s “black box” flight recorders.


The flight recorders have enough battery power to emit and guarantee signals for 90 days, but  possibly much longer .


Egypt and France have now signed contracts with two specialist deep water search companies, Alseamar and Deep Ocean Search (DOS). Both French owned.


“Those two companies have complementary roles: the first is for locating the pings of the black boxes (the signal being emitted by the black boxes’ beacon), while the second is for diving and recovering them” with the help of a robot, a source close to the investigation An official was commenting to Agence France-Presse in Cairo, requesting anonymity.


“But the DOS specialised ship only left the Irish Sea on Saturday and it will reach the perceived crash site in 12 days, after collecting Egyptian and French investigators in Alexandria.”


Investigators are searching at a depth of around 3,000m in a zone 290km (180 miles) north of the Egyptian coast.


Alseamar’s Detector-6000 acoustic submersible detection systems, detect pings at 4,000m to 5,000m below sea level. Left the French island of Corsica on board the Laplace, a French navy ship.


“While we are waiting for the DOS ship, equipped for detecting the pings in deep waters, but more importantly the robots capable of descending up to 6,000m to recover the black boxes, we will not be wasting time as Laplace will be trying to locate them in the meantime,” confirmed an official. “There is a very good chance of recovering the flight recordings thanks to the combination of these two French companies”.


Two members of the French aviation safety agency BEA are on board the Leplace.  The aircraft transmitted ACARS automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin, toilet, window cracking and a fault in the flight control unit minutes before losing contact.






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 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com

Aviation Incidents May 2016

Iberia A320 at Paris on May 27th 2016, rejected takeoff due to slow engine acceleration
An Iberia Airbus A320-200, registration EC-IEF performing flight IB-3417 from Paris Orly (France) to Madrid,SP (Spain), was cleared for takeoff from Orly's runway 08 when the crew rejected takeoff at low speed (about 20 knots) reporting one of their...
Read full story »


United B763 near Nashville on May 7th 2016,electrical burning odour in cabin
A United Boeing 767-300, registration N653UA performing flight UA-879 from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Houston Intercontinental,TX (USA) with 106 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 40nm northwest of Nashville,TN (USA) when the crew decided...
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PIA B773 near Karachi on May 30th 2016, computer glitch
A PIA Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-300, registration AP-BHV performing flight PK-741 from Islamabad (Pakistan) to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), was enroute at FL320 about 380nm north of Karachi (Pakistan) when the crew decided to divert to...
Read full story »


Lufthansa A321 at Frankfurt on May 30th 2016, engine problem
A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200, registration D-AISF performing flight LH-178 from Frankfurt/Main to Berlin Tegel (Germany) with 198 passengers, was climbing out of Frankfurt when the crew stopped the climb at FL120 reporting problems with an engine...
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Canada E190 near Toronto on May 25th 2016, fire in avionics bay
An Air Canada Embraer ERJ-190, registration C-FHOS performing flight AC-361 from Boston,MA (USA) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 65 people on board, was enroute at FL360 about 270nm eastsoutheast of Toronto when both integrated drive generators (IDGs)...
Read full story »


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Monday, 30 May 2016

BOEING TO GET £2 BILLION UK MOD CONTRACT FOR FIFTY APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTERS AND LONG TERM SERVICE PACKAGE





Julian Bray writes: The USA based Boeing Company is to be offered an astonishing £ 2-billion-pound long term contract by the heavy spending UK Ministry of Defence, for some 50 new Apache Attack military helicopters, at a knock down all inclusive price, which includes servicing throughout its 25 year service life.


This will come as a blow to European manufacturers, as any change in future UK governments, will not negate this deal.


Its claimed the price was discounted, as it had been added to the ideally timed production run for a 'substantial order' from the US Military.  The official announcement was set to become public in July 2016, well after the UK had voted either to leave or remain in the European Community.  


Industry sources suggested that Italian aerospace manufacturer Finmeccanica SpA had also been in the running for the contract; however according to insiders, the uncertainty over the future state of the Euro and the possible breakup of mainland Europe, generally also helped tip the scales heavily in favour of the USA, Boeing and the US Dollar.


The original fleet of some 67 UK Apaches was produced by Westland in Yeovil, assembly started in 1995, however, cost overruns, with the addition of many US-built components soured the deal.  That led to a doubling of the unit price to around $64 million. Westland is now part of Italian government-backed LeonardoUK Westland will end production after its last model rolls of the line in 2017.

Bloomberg suggests Defence circles want 'primacy over delivery, rather than reliant on domestic production with the scope for delays and possible industrial unrest.

UK Unions fear the deal will finish Britain’s ability to build combat helicopters at home. It will.

Sources point out that buying the Apaches is just 30 per cent of the total contract, he balance allocated to supporting and servicing them during their projected 25-year service span.






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 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com

Saturday, 28 May 2016

SOUTHAMPTON MAIDEN FURIOUS, HARMONY OF THE SEAS NOT ON HER MAIDEN VOYAGE (which is May 29th!)



This intentional 'cutaway' view of  the new Harmony of the Seas' will all be safely contained before the 'maiden voyage'.




Julian Bray writes: A quick trip to Rotterdam on the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas is certainly not and was never intended to be a maiden voyage (which is scheduled to depart on its official maiden voyage tomorrow May 29th, fireworks and all from Southampton to Barcelona), but more a trip to pick up the bulk of soft furnishings, music and theatre kits, drumsets, amplifiers, retail shop stores and products from all over Europe and beyond, from the worlds largest Europort which just happens to be Rotterdam.

BOEING GOING?......ANOTHER SEVERAL HUNDRED 'GEEKS' GONE....





According to a report in The Seattle Times, and as forecast a few weeks back by this blog, Boeing is after many more job cuts. This time Boeing has distributed 60-days involuntarily layoff notices for several hundred people in the IT department in the Puget Sound region.

A Boeing representative confirmed the reduction of the workforce, but would not comment on the specific numbers involved. The reductions are due to the tech-support related work decline and include both managers and line employees. So the 'geeks' must go.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

THOMAS COOK AIRLINE CABIN CREW SET TO STRIKE OVER REST BREAK SAFETY ISSUES





Thomas Cook cabin crew have voted in favour of a strike over a health and safety dispute, involving rostering rest breaks, according to the Unite union.

74% of union members (approximately half of the TC membership) are backing industrial action.
 
Thomas Cook Airlines claim they have plans in place to ensure customers would still go on holiday in the event of strikes.


For a strike to go ahead, the union needs to give Thomas Cook seven days' notice, and that notice has not yet been served.

FRENCH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL STRIKE HITS UK FLIGHTS FROM UK AIRPORTS AS FRANCE FALLS APART UNDER WIDESPREAD INDUSTRIAL UNREST OVER NEW LABOUR LAWS







+++ FRENCH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS +++
+++ ON STRIKE +++ WIDESPREASD DISRUPTION +++ 


As we flagged up several  weeks ago, French air traffic controllers [ATC] are on strike, Its a long running dispute and the 47th period of strikr action by French ATC and many flights into and out of  France, and through French air space have been cancelled. The best advice is talk to your airline BEFORE heading to the Airport


Also due to widespread strike action with millions of French workers on the streets protesting about new harsh labour laws, they are specifically targeting and halting petrol and fuel distribution.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Recent Aviation Incidents May 24th 2016




Easyjet A320 near Madeira on May 24th 2016, electrical problem


An Easyjet Airbus A320-200, registration G-EZWK performing flight U2-8704 from Tenerife South,CI (Spain) to London Gatwick,EN (UK) with 167 passengers and 5 crew, was enroute at FL340 about 60nm east of Porto Santo Madeira (Portugal) when the crew...
Read full story »


Republic E175 at Washington on May 24th 2016, engine shut down in flight, suspected bird strike


A Republic Airways Embraer ERJ-175 on behalf of American Airlines, registration N423YX performing flight YX-4378/AA-4378 from Washington National,DC to Memphis,TN (USA), departed runway 01 and was in the climb about 2.5nm from the runway when the...
Read full story »


Endeavor CRJ at Toronto on May 9th 2016, runway incursion


An Endeavor Canadair CRJ-900 on behalf of Delta Airlines, registration N307PQ performing flight 9E-4067/DL-4067 from New York JFK,NY (USA) to Toronto,ON (Canada) with 71 people on board, had landed on Toronto's runway 24L and was instructed to...
Read full story »


Southwest B733 near Seattle on May 23rd 2016, cabin pressure problems
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300, registration N389SW performing flight WN-2701 from Seattle,WA to Saint Louis,MO (USA), was climbing through FL230 out of Seattle when the crew initiated a rapid descent to 10,000 feet, the passenger oxygen masks...
Read full story »




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 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com

Friday, 20 May 2016

EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 804 ROLLING UPDATE : FRENCH NAVY SHIP A793 LA PLACE LOCKS ONTO BLACK BOX PINGER AS DIVE SHIP CLOSES ON NARROWED CRASH SITE

Saturday 21/05/2016 Debris recovered and confirmed as being from Flight NS804
Julian Bray Aviation Security & Operations
Courtesy Daily Mail

 
BREAKING NEWS THREAD: THIS POST WILL BE FREQUENTLY UPDATED ON A TIMELINE.

The primary objective will be to fully consider, but strip out many of the 'wilder suggestions' and drill down into, and highlight important core elements. Technical terminology and jargon explained, but being kept to a minimum. All comments welcome use box below post. 

Julian Bray 
LATEST UPDATE:  SUNDAY JUNE 26th  BLACK BOX RETURNED TO EGYPT.  PARIS PROSECUTOR OPENS MANSLAUGHTER LEGAL PROCESS,,


http://julianbrayrecessionbuster07944217476.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/egyptair-ms-804-paris-prosecutor-opens.html














UPDATE: FRIDAY JUNE 24th BLACK BOXES BEING SENT TO PARIS BEA LABS 'FOR REPAIRS'


EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 804: TWO BLACK BOX FLIGHT AND DATA RECORDERS RECOVERED FROM UNDERWATER SEA WRECK SITE



UPDATE SATURDAY JUNE 18 2016


Graphic Courtesy BBC


Julian Bray writes: Local Egyptian sources have positively (albeit unofficially) confirmed that both the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (known as 'black boxes') have now been recovered from a depth of 10,000ft by a remote submersible submarine, equipped with specialist cutting and recovery gear, linked back to its dedicated search vessel.


The recovery operation had to be completed in several stages from the crashed EgyptAir Airbus A320 flight to Cairo from Paris, when it vanished from radar screens just inside the 'Egyptian Area of Responsibility' also known as Egyptian Air Space.


The plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19 between Crete and the Egyptian coast and accounts suggest the nose portion of the fuselage 'drilled deep' into the sea bed, which at that location is constantly silted by the River Nile, so relatively soft and level.

On Friday, the Egyptian Military committee co-ordinating the search said in a statement that the recovery vessel John Lethbridge, contracted by the Egyptian government, extracted the initial data recorder from the sea 'in stages' and the memory disk stack portion of the FDR.



It was still unclear how damaged the 'black boxes' are, the combination of high water pressure, saline and the crash impact, will hamper any swift de-coding resolution, as the Egyptians are adamant they wish to keep the black boxes at their own specialist laboratory complex in Alexandria, and not send them to the French BEA Centre or to Farnborough in the UK.


The recovered units right up to the point of laboratory examination will have been kept submerged in sea water tanks, then progressively dried out, to preserve data stability.

However an official (not authorised to comment) claimed the investigators had already started analysing the cockpit voice recorder.



Sources: AP, ABC, CNS, BBC, and local engineering  






UPDATE JUNE 16th  2016  EGYPTAIR MS804 'DAMAGED' BLACK BOX RECOVERED AND ON WAY TO LAB FOR DECODING




The cockpit voice recorder from the crashed Egyptair flight MS804 has been located, recovered by search teams who removed  the black box 'in stages', as it was damaged, the Egyptian investigation committee has said.


A specialist vessel MV John Lethbridge owned by Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search, and previously working the Irish sea oilfields, was diverted and rapidly steamed to the search/recovery zone and had been able to recover the cylindrical memory disk stack from the Airbus cockpit voice recorder.


“The vessel’s equipment was able to salvage the part that contains the memory unit, which is considered the most important part of the recording device,” the statement said.


Egypt’s public prosecutor then ordered the recovered device, one of two 'black boxes' on Airbus, be immediately transferred to the Egyptian investigating team in Alexandra for decoding and analysis.

The unit transferred from the John Lethbridge ship to the coastal city of Alexandria where representatives from the public prosecution and investigators received it, the statement said.


The announcement comes a day after the committee said the MV John Lethbridge, which was contracted by the Egyption government to join the search for the plane debris and flight recorders, had spotted and obtained images from the wreckage of the EgyptAir plane.


The crash killed all 66 passengers and crew. These included 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens, two Canadians, two Iraqis and people from Belgium, UK (Wales) , Algeria, Chad, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Portugal.


No group has so far claimed the crash as a terror attack. Egypt’s aviation minister, Sherif Fathi, told an earlier news conference he didn't want to draw any conclusions prematurely, but “the possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of a technical failure”.


Sources: AP, AFP, CNS, Guardian, BBC,


UPDATE WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE 2016 Egyptair flight 804. Egyptian officials examining wreckage from the seabed positively linked to the crashed Airbus A320 EgyptAir aircraft.

Egyptian officials and search contractors are examining newly found wreckage from the seabed positively linked to the crashed Airbus A320 Egyptair flight 804 aircraft.

The plane, which disappeared from radar  screens and spiralled into the Mediterranean Sea, was declared missing nearly a month ago.  56 passengers and 10 crew members make up the total of 66 people who died in the crash. Subsequently the passenger lists revealed the majority of the passengers were Egyptian and French, although sources confirmed one UK passport holder from Wales.

The Egyptian Ministry for Aviation in a statement confirmed a search team and investigators on board the search vessel are agreeing a major search strategy which will split resources to search and locate the main  crash site wreckage.


"Immediately a meeting was held between the investigation committee members to study thoroughly the actions taken during the past period and in order to plan how to best handle the wreckage in the coming period."  Tellingly missing from the statement was any reference to the flight data recorders (so-called black boxes) which are crucial to understanding what happened on board  Egyptair flight 804.  

EgyptAir 804 departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. local time on May 18, contact with the radar tracking system was lost over the Mediterranean Sea at 2:45 a.m., just inside Egyptian air space (Egyptian area of responsibility as it is known locally) and at the point the plane would have started its descent to the destination Cairo airport.

The latest sightings come at a time when the guaranteed underwater pinger locator signal ( see picture above) directly from the black boxes is due to fade after a  programmed 30 day period, although depending on local conditions on the seabed, the pings could well continue for weeks to come and continue to positively aid the search and recovery process.







EGYPTAIR 804 JUNE 2nd 2016 FRENCH NAVY SHIP A793 LA PLACE LOCKS ONTO BLACK BOX PINGER AS DIVE SHIP CLOSES ON NARROWED CRASH SITE

UPDATE THURSDAY JUNE 2 2016


A specialist deep water dive support ship - recently working in the Irish Sea, on an oil industry contract - the MV John Lethbridge  is currently steaming towards the narrowed down crash search and recovery site of Egyptair 804. An earlier Egyptian report of 'pings' from an externally mounted locator beacon, are now being attributed to one of the two data recorders inside the aircraft, each has its own pinger or homing device, and it is this source, the French Navy ship A793 La Place, seems to have locked on. 



 Asked by BBC Radio Foyle earlier this morning, why the Egyptair 804 crash seems to have slipped off the media agenda? Aviation Analyst and Broadcaster Julian Bray suggested that in search terms great progress had in fact been made and quickly, but the process has to be painstakingly precise, carefully mapped and really needs the Remote Submersible Vehicle owned by the French company Deep Ocean Search  ( and on board the MV John Lethbridge ) to physically pinpoint and recover the 'black boxes' which in reality are painted a bright orange colour to aid identification.  



EgyptAir's Airbus A320,  made at least 3 emergency landings 24-hours prior to its last journey, according to  French media reports. The Aircraft warning systems [ACARS] signalled  a malfunction on board after the take-off on three several occasions. The alert messages were investigated every time but the plane was cleared to take off.


Routine maintenance checks were performed on the plane before the final flight from Paris to Cairo, officials told CNN.






EGYPTIANS CONFIRM DIGITAL SIGNAL FROM CRASHED EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 804




UPDATE 31st MAY 2016


Julian Bray writes: Egyptian authorities have now confirmed a digital signal was recorded from Egyptair flight 804 when it crashed in the Mediterranean with 66 people on board. 


The emergency locator beacon would have been triggered by contact with water.  European companies are being contracted to try and locate the two flight data recorders to finally establish what happened to the Paris to Cairo Egyptair Airbus A320, but first they have to pinpoint the crash site.            


An official from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated an emergency beacon was picked up by satellites minutes after the airliner disappeared from radar on 19 May.


The Egyptian  State Information Service website said investigators had “received satellite reports indicating receiving a 'ping' from the plane’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT)”. The co-ordinates were being used to narrow down the search area, the statement said.

The fly-by-wire aircraft disappeared from radar 2.29am (local). An ELT on the plane began transmitting 2.36am (local). The signal picked up by five satellites, triggering alerts to a ground station in Cyprus confirming the identity of the Egyptair A320 and subsequently narrows the recovery ground to around three square miles.  A ground station in Maryland, US, also received “two bursts” from orbiting satellites but apparently not long enough to capture the beacon location co-ordinates.


Investigating authorities estimate more than a week is still needed until they can recover the plane’s “black box” flight recorders.


The flight recorders have enough battery power to emit and guarantee signals for 90 days, but  possibly much longer .



Egypt and France have now signed contracts with two specialist deep water search companies, Alseamar and Deep Ocean Search (DOS). Both French owned.


“Those two companies have complementary roles: the first is for locating the pings of the black boxes (the signal being emitted by the black boxes’ beacon), while the second is for diving and recovering them” with the help of a robot, a source close to the investigation An official was commenting to Agence France-Presse in Cairo, requesting anonymity.


“But the DOS specialised ship only left the Irish Sea on Saturday and it will reach the perceived crash site in 12 days, after collecting Egyptian and French investigators in Alexandria.”


Investigators are searching at a depth of around 3,000m in a zone 290km (180 miles) north of the Egyptian coast.


Alseamar’s Detector-6000 acoustic submersible detection systems, detect pings at 4,000m to 5,000m below sea level. Left the French island of Corsica on board the Laplace, a French navy ship.


“While we are waiting for the DOS ship, equipped for detecting the pings in deep waters, but more importantly the robots capable of descending up to 6,000m to recover the black boxes, we will not be wasting time as Laplace will be trying to locate them in the meantime,” confirmed an official. “There is a very good chance of recovering the flight recordings thanks to the combination of these two French companies”.


Two members of the French aviation safety agency BEA are on board the Leplace.  The aircraft transmitted ACARS automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin, toilet, window cracking and a fault in the flight control unit minutes before losing contact.



UPDATE TUESDAY MAY 30 2016

The search continues, meanwhile media attention turns to the Egyptair operational record.  http://news.aviation-safety.net/2016/03/29/ms181-is-eighth-hijacking-involving-an-egyptair-flight/


UPDATE WEDNESDAY MAY 25 2016

The systematic grid pattern search continues, with specialist ships and remote submersibles being deployed. Egyptian Government collecting DNA from relatives of the victims, however local officials adopting an exceptionally hard line on media reports and speculation. Locally based journalists and broadcasters targeted. Egyptian tourist industry particularly badly hit as cancellations continue to rise.

UPDATE TUESDAY MAY 24 2016

Associated Press are reporting comments of 'a lone Egyptian forensics officer' that human remains recovered and examined strongly suggest an explosion on board the Egyptair Airbus caused flight 804 to crash.  Julian Bray will be updating reports LIVE on National and International Networks starting with RT Television after 11am (UK BST) 

CAIRO (AP) — A senior Egyptian forensics official says human remains retrieved from the crash site of EgyptAir flight 804 suggest there was an explosion on board that may have brought down the aircraft.

The official is part of the Egyptian investigative team and has personally examined the remains at a Cairo morgue. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to release the information.

He says all 80 pieces brought to Cairo so far are small and that "there isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head." The official adds that "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion."



All 66 people on board were killed when the Airbus 320 crashed in the Mediterranean early Thursday while en route from Paris to Cairo.
Since the publication of that early Associated Press report, and Julian Bray Aviation Security on AP Radio, a furious row has broken out. The Egyptians not known for being totally open to media scrutiny or a lack of censorship put out a series of blistering rebuttals:
 MENA news agency.
A statement from the government's investigative committee also warned media outlets to be cautious about what is published "to avoid chaos and spreading false rumors and damaging the state's high interests and national security."

The Egyptian expert told the AP that all 80 pieces that have been brought to Cairo so far are very small. "There isn't even a whole body part, like an arm or a head," said the official, adding that one piece was the left part of a head.

He said the body parts are "so tiny" and that at least one piece of a human arm has signs of burns - an indication it might have "belonged to a passenger sitting next to the explosion."

"But I cannot say what caused the blast," he said. He did not say whether traces of explosives were found on the human remains retrieved so far.

The expert's comments mark a new dramatic twist surrounding last week's crash, which still remains a mystery.

The plane's black boxes have yet to be found and photographs of retrieved debris published by the Egyptian military over the weekend were not charred and appear to show no signs of fire.

Egyptian officials have said they believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, or some other catastrophic event, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight reported by the Greek defence minister suggests a bomb blast or a struggle in the cockpit.

But so far no hard evidence has emerged on the cause of the disaster.

Also Tuesday, the investigative team led by Ayman al-Moqadem issued its second report on the case, saying that so far pieces of the plane wreckage have been taken to Cairo in 18 batches. It added that the priority is to locate the black boxes and to retrieve more bodies.

France's aviation accident investigation agency would not comment on anything involving the bodies or say whether any information has surfaced in the investigation to indicate an explosion.

A French patrol boat took one doctor on board to help with searches when and if the body parts are found. But the French Navy said that if it finds debris and body parts, this would be first reported to Egyptian authorities and French justice officials.

In a search for clues, family members of the victims gave been arriving during the day Tuesday at the Cairo morgue forensics' department to give DNA samples to help identify the remains of their kin, a security official said. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Also, a technical team from Egypt's forensic medicine department went to a hotel near the Cairo International Airport where relatives of the victims are gathered to take DNA samples to use in identifying the bodies.

The EgyptAir crash shocked a nation struggling to revive its ailing economy and contain a resilient insurgency by Islamic militants.

Safety onboard Egyptian aircraft and at the country's airports have been under close international scrutiny since a Russian airliner crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October, killing all 224 people on board, shortly after taking off from an Egyptian resort.

The crash - claimed by the Islamic State affiliate in Sinai and blamed by Moscow on an explosive device planted on board - decimated Egypt's lucrative tourism industry, which had already been battered by years of turmoil in the country.

If mechanical or structural failure is found to be behind the crash of Flight 804, that would deal another severe blow to both tourism and the national carrier.

If downed by an act of terror, the Egyptians can point to security at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, from which the plane took off.

Egypt has dispatched a submarine to search for the flight's black boxes and a French ship joined the international effort to locate the wreckage and search for the plane's data recorders.

Ships and planes from Britain, Cyprus, France, Greece and the United States are also taking part in the search for the debris from the aircraft, including the black boxes.




Julian Bray writes: Although the ACARS coverage is widespread, it is a system
employing legacy technology, there are substantial 'service unavailable'
parts of the world (see map) where the AM delivered ACARS
one line data reports will not immediately be transmitted to
ground stations, but stored until the next AM ground station
is in range and can take the data, then onwards to individual airline
 engineering centres.  So consider if an incendiary device was triggered, after it exited the
earlier transmission area, the contaminated smoke could have been spreading for a considerable time before ACARS alerts were generated and relayed to the Egyptian ground station.
 


The supposed position of the
search site would suggest the ACARS transmissions were picked up
immediately the EGYPTAIR aircraft entered into Egyptian 
 'area of responsibility' and the descent pattern
triggered not only an ACARS transmission
 but possibly an explosive device   
Decent Flashcard - easily available, incident might have initiated at FAVA
(start of side 2 of the flashcard above. Click on picture to enlarge.  

UPDATE MONDAY MAY 23 2016:


Unconfirmed, rpt UNCONFIRMED. lengthy report but from local usually reliable well placed source, suggesting same 'terror' cell usually dedicated to the production of IEDs is behind both the Metrojet and the Egyptair incidents.


Source continues: Small device taped to an 'off the shelf' flight level indicator (barometric) device and a cell/satphone chip and one source now suggesting (BUT UNCONFIRMED) possibly powered by USB 'dongle' style  from aircrafts own power system (detailed Airbus technical training on flashcards are easily available).

Repeated Ground/land based calls from within Egyptian area of responsibility (or from small boat in area) is made by phone to arm/prime the device, possibly just outside air responsibility boundary. As plane starts descent into Cairo - and inside Egyptian air space the pre-set altitude trigger is released. Airbus probably carried hidden device for several days, if not weeks. New chilling development in terror technology. Needs a new aviation security rethink. 


Smoke reports via ACARS although immediately detected, might not be so quickly transmitted as ACARS is patchy only operates on AM radio spectrum over land and the transmission coverage map shows a dead transmission area extending from the 'Heel of Italy' to the approximate search area, in other words collected ACRAS reports were transmitted in a burst once it encountered the Egypt based ACARS AM receiver.  


UPDATE SUNDAY MAY 22 2016: First funeral has been held, for a member of the air crew. Many of the mourners still in Egyptair uniforms. French Maritime & US Navy specialist ships steaming towards search zone. Julian Bray will be live on CNN International commenting on latest developments after 10am  (UK time  BST) which is 5am (EST) and later LIVE on FRANCE 24.


ACARS DATA READOUT FROM FLIGHT NS804



UPDATE SATURDAY MAY 21 2016: Automatic data system for airline engineers based on the ground [ACARS - Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting System] report series of automatic data transmissions (pings) as smoke detectors were triggered in front toilet area moments before all systems went down.  System also flagged up problem with 'F/CTRL SEC 3 FAULT in addition to 'AVIONICS SMOKE' and 'SMOKE LAVATORY SMOKE'   Egyptair has now (Sat 10:00am) confirmed validity of the ACARS messages. ACARS messages use the AM air band frequency (TX duration each message under 1 second) and are mainly transmitted during take-off and landing segments  of the overall flight, suggesting the aircraft was possibly starting its descent to the destination airport in Egypt.


The change in altitude (descent) may have set off a timer enabled barometric trigger on any device covertly placed or carried on board. But this is pure speculation.



Human remains have been recovered along with more debris, seats, luggage from search area.  Oil slick detected by satellite also reported but might not be related to Egyptair NS804. It could be a ship illegally discharging waste oil while cleaning ouit its tanks for a new cargo.  To add to the complicated recovery logistics, sea conditions in the search zone have deteriorated, with white tipped waves and gusty wind conditions  


An irate Egyptian Tourism Minister Yehia Rashid said: "The tourism problem isn't just an Egyptian problem - but a problem for all of us" commenting on reports that "tourists 'in droves' are boycotting Egypt and Turkey"   

UPDATE FRIDAY MAY 20 2016:  Debris and luggage from EgyptAir flight NS804 has been found says the Egyptian Army.

Julian Bray writes: The authorised Egyptian Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, who uses social media for announcements, posted a statement on his Facebook page earlier today confirming Egyptian jets and naval vessels from several countries including the Royal Navy, participating in the search for the missing plane have found “personal belongings of the passengers and parts of the plane debris,” 180 miles north of the city of Alexandria.

EgyptAir flight MH804 crashed after vanishing from radar screens. The Airbus 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo. 

This chilling statement now effectively confirms the status of the aircraft is no longer 'missing' but 'lost and destroyed' The 'search and rescue mission' is now in effect 'a recovery operation'. Later reports confirm 'a human body part' has also been recovered, along with part of an aircraft seat 

The current sea conditions in the search areas is rated as 'Sea State 2 which means that waves are less than half a metre and will not present an issue for the recovery teams. 


The sea depth at the recovery point is around 10,000 ft so a remote underwater vehicle will first locate the 'pinger' then map the area. The two data/voice recorders, the 'Black boxes' will be found, cut out of the wreckage and recovered. Then depending on the results of the mapping and photography of the recovery site, a master plan and logistics agreed to recover other items and/or structures.   


THURSDAY >>>>
An EgyptAir Airbus A320 (flight NS804) carrying 66 passengers and crew from Paris to Cairo disappeared from radar screens  over the Mediterranean on Thursday in a crash that Egypt said may have been caused by a terrorist attack.


Air travel expert Julian Bray in a series of radio and television interviews said no alert being made could mean the airliner suffered a “catastrophic failure” possibly as a result of an explosion. It would only take a small amount of 'home-made' explosives, a barometric trigger device, possibly a timer or cellphone, meaning the device probably no larger than a soda drink can could have been covertly introduced at any number of airport stops, where security and monitoring is not up to western standards.



This particular airbus had recently visited destinations all over North Africa passing through active conflict zones. Igniting such a device at say 34,000 ft  would cause an immediate loss of cabin pressure, possibly imploding and destroying parts of the computer driven 'fly-by-wire' technology. But this is just one so far unsupported theory, as the seemingly painfully slow investigation enters day two. Egyptian media still refer to the aircraft as 'missing' in an attempt to shield relatives who are converging on a reception centre set up in an Cairo hotel, families have been offered free air tickets from Paris to Cairo, the Egyptair Airbus started its journey from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris.  


Twenty four hours later, still no answers to many questions and the Egyptians are now withdrawing comments that debris has been found.  The small items did not come from the missing  EgyptAir Airbus A320 (flight NS804).  


The UK is joining in the search with Royal Navy ships, helicopters, and the Royal Air Force assisting in aerial investigations of the search zone. Merchant shipping and cruise ships are also converging on the area.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said it was too early to rule out any explanation for the crash.  The country's aviation minister said a terrorist attack was more likely than a technical failure.


The Egyptian civil aviation ministry initially reported Greek authorities had found "floating material" and life jackets likely to be from the plane, an Airbus A320.


However, late on Thursday EgyptAir Vice President Ahmed Adel  reversed his position and told CNN that the wreckage had not been found.


"We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on," Adel said.


Greek defence sources told Reuters the material was discovered in the sea 230 miles (370 km) south of the island of Crete. 
 
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the civil aviation ministry, the army's search and rescue centre, the navy, and the air force to take all necessary measures to locate debris from the aircraft.


Officials from multiple U.S. agencies told Reuters that a U.S. review of satellite imagery so far had not produced any signs of an explosion aboard the EgyptAir flight.


The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the conclusion was the result of a preliminary examination of imagery and cautioned against media reports suggesting the United States believed a bomb was responsible for the crash.


They said the United States has not ruled out any possible causes for the crash, including mechanical failure, terrorism or a deliberate act by the pilot or crew.


Greece had deployed aircraft and a frigate to search for the missing plane. Egypt said it would lead the investigation and France would participate. Paris said three investigators would arrive in Egypt on Thursday evening.


In Washington, President Barack Obama received a briefing on the disappearance from his adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, the White House said. A White House spokesman said it was too early to know the cause of the crash and offered condolences.


Sources: Reuters, CNN, BBC, AP, France24, CBC, Egyptair,




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