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News Sinai plane crash -- Terrorists responsible?

  1. Oct 31, 2015 #1
    An airliner crashed in the Sinai peninsula in Egypt carrying 217 passengers (214 Russians and 3 Ukranians). All presumed dead.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34689870

    What a tragedy! My thoughts go to their families.

    ISIS affiliate in Egypt, the so-called Sinai Province, has claimed responsibility for shooting down the plane. Russian and Egyptian authorities say this is very unlikely as the shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles the terrorists known to have are not capable of reaching 30.000ft.

     
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  3. Oct 31, 2015 #2

    russ_watters

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    The fact that the pilot was able to make a radio distress call bodes well for the odds that the black boxes will quickly tell us what happened.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2015 #3
    In prior reports there were mentioned ideas like pilot reporting technical problems but it is no longer claimed.

    The altitude is a bit too high for average terrorist, they would rather need something like... BUK launcher or so. Also a one with such high tech stuff would rather try to score a hit against for example Israel or so. Or some western country.

    My guess? I haven't seen anyone connecting the dots so far... but Russian tourist industry is right now in really awful shape (local people when become poorer as first area slash their holiday spending). I'd consider as quite likely desperate cost cuts on safety or keeping blind eye to some minor problems in order not to lose a contract. Let's wait and see.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2015 #4

    russ_watters

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    Crappy Russian airliners are practically a meme, so I wouldn't rule out spectacular mechanical failure either. It's getting rare, but it can still happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  6. Nov 1, 2015 #5

    Astronuc

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    Too early to tell what might have initiated the plane crash, but it apparently broke apart "in the air," a senior official with Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee said Sunday. If not an explosion, it would indicate a serious structural failure.

    http://news.yahoo.com/russian-plane-broke-apart-air-russian-aviation-official-144118046.html

    If not terrorists, it could potentially implicate a failure in maintenance/surveillance for fatigue and/or corrosion, particularly stress corrosion cracking.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2015 #6

    russ_watters

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    This made me think of the Alaska Airlines crash caused by a failed horizontal stabilizer control rod. When it failed completely, it was like getting a full nose down control input.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2015 #7

    Astronuc

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    Official: Russian jet broke up at high altitude over Egypt
    http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-official-says-doomed-russian-plane-good-shape-105628831.html# [Broken]
    I'm wondering, what broke apart initially? The tail, a wing, engine, . . . . ?

    This was an Airbus A321-200. Lack of maintenance certainly could compromise structural integrity, or failure to secure a cargo door, among various possibilities.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_811
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Airlines_Flight_981
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Nov 1, 2015 #8

    mheslep

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    That kind of failure doom but doesn't destroy the aircraft until impact. This breakup at high altitude had to be something entirely different. I can't think of a similar failure.
     
  10. Nov 1, 2015 #9

    mheslep

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    Even those disasters doomed or almost doomed the aircraft, but did not destroy it altitude.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  11. Nov 1, 2015 #10
  12. Nov 1, 2015 #11

    mheslep

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  13. Nov 1, 2015 #12
  14. Nov 1, 2015 #13

    russ_watters

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  15. Nov 2, 2015 #14

    Astronuc

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...suffered-prior-damage-linked-to-other-crashes

    There have been conflicting comments from the Metrojet officials and the Russian government.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...c-experts-begin-identifying-passenger-remains
    Clearly there have been accidents attributed to the catastrophic failure of the rear bulkhead.
     
  16. Nov 4, 2015 #15

    nsaspook

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  17. Nov 4, 2015 #16
    US and UK officials: it may have been a bomb
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34728901

    The jury is still out.
     
  18. Nov 4, 2015 #17

    russ_watters

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    That would surprise me. I know it can't necessarily be said that terrorists are very rational, but I don't see how it would be in ISIS's best interest to draw Russia further into the war.
     
  19. Nov 4, 2015 #18
    I would also be very surprised if it turns out to be ISIS. One potential motive is to hit tourism in Egypt. I remember reading that Russians are the highest proportion of foreign tourists in Sinai. Another could be a response to their recent involvement in Syria, though that would backfire badly, but as you said they're not very rational. It could also be a simple matter of access to plant the bomb, i.e; if a passenger or a crew member was involved willingly then the flight choice would've been restricted.

    I'm more surprised that this is possible at all. I would've thought by now security checks would make it very hard for someone to plant a bomb, in Sharm El-Sheikh of all places...
     
  20. Nov 4, 2015 #19
    Security checks are generally just to make the passengers feel safe. I've been to Egypt twice and can remember the airports and security. It looks like smoke and mirrors to me with around 100 ways to infiltrate starring you in the face. All it really takes is to turn someone working on the plane and then it's easy.
     
  21. Nov 4, 2015 #20
    That's my experience of Cairo airport as well but I thought Sharm would've been different. I've never been there but I know for instance that Egyptians going there by land pass through many military checkpoints and it's not unlikely to be turned away in one of them.
     
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