Friday, May 20, 2016

EgyptAir Crash

It's a terrible story.  My deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.
The TV newsies have been talking and talking about the story, mostly revealing their total ignorance of aviation.  For instance I heard one of the saying the winglets (little upturned fins at the wingtips) were there to improve maneuverability.  No way.  Winglets reduce the drag caused by the wing tip vortexes.  No body talked about the time the vertical stabilizer snapped clean off an Airbus departing New York, causing a crash that killed all on board.  At the time, Airbus claimed the failure was caused by the pilot applying too much rudder.  The newsies mostly let Airbus get away with this canard years ago.  Real aircraft are built strong enough to withstand the force of hard over control surfaces.  In an emergency the pilot needs to apply full control forces and not have to worry about the aircraft breaking up in mid air.
   Lotta talk about terrorism.  It's certainly a valid suspicion.  So far there is no evidence (at least on TV) of terrorist action.  Evidence like hearing "Take this plane to Mosul" on the cockpit voice recorder.  Or flight data recorder showing massive failures all over the plane at once.  Or some low life confessing that he put the bomb on the plane.  Or intercepted phone or text messages, or email, or snail mail of the low lives gloating about their success.  So far we don't even have any terrorist claiming the hit.
  I got my suspicions, just like the rest of you, but so far, they are just suspicions. We need to find the wreck and recover the recorders before we know anything. 
  Also note, EgyptAir is a government of Egypt operation with a mediocre to poor safety record.  The Egyptians have plenty of motive to blame the crash on terrorists, as opposed to shoddy maintenance or poorly trained aircrew.  It was the Egyptians who first started crying terrorist within hours of the tragedy. 

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