sábado, 31 de outubro de 2015

Crash: Metrojet A321 over Sinai on Oct 31st 2015, disappeared from radar in climb over Sinai

A Metrojet (former Kogalym Avia, Kolavia) Airbus A321-200, registration EI-ETJ performing flight 7K-9268 from Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) to St. Petersburg (Russia) with 217 passengers and 7 crew, was climbing through FL307 out of Sharm el Sheikh over the Sinai Peninsula (Position N30.16 E34.17, 60nm south of Al-Arish) at 04:12Z when the aircraft disappeared from radar. Wreckage of the aircraft was later located in mountaineous terrain about 20nm south of Al-Arish (Sinai, Egypt). No survivors were found.

Egyptian sources were reporting the aircraft was believed crashed, a search for the aircraft in Sinai was ongoing.

Egypt's Prime Minister confirmed the aircraft has crashed. In the evening of Oct 31st 2015 the Prime Minister reported that 129 bodies have been recovered and taken to Cairo.

Egyptian Authorities reported first parts of the wreckage have been located. There is no evidence of hostile/missile activity around the flight path of the aircraft. 50 ambulances have been dispatched to the crash site, any injured would be flown to Cairo with helicopters. The flight data recorder has been recovered.

Reuters quotes an Egyptian Offical involved in the ongoing rescue operation, that the aircraft has broken up in two major parts, a small part being the tail plane caught fire, the other larger part impacted a rock. Bodies still belted to their seats are around the crash site, around 100 bodies have so far been recovered, the rest still inside the wreckage, however, there are also voices heard from inside a part of the wreckage. 50 ambulances have been dispatched to the crash site.

Russia's Rosaviatsia (Civil Aviation Authority) reported the A321 of Kogalym Avia carried 217 passengers and 7 crew.

Sources in Sharm el Sheik reported the captain of the flight reported technical problems and requested to return to Sharm el Sheikh.

A ground observer reported a large number of helicopters are departing their Cairo airbase in the direction of Sinai.

Egyptian media report with reference to an Egyptian government meeting that the crew reported engine (V2533) trouble, subsequently lost control of the aircraft and communication ceased.

Airbus confirmed the loss of EI-ETJ, that disappeared from radar while flying overhead Sinai, with 217 passengers and 7 crew. The aircraft, built in 1997 and powered by IAE V2533 engines, had accumulated approximately 55,772 flight hours in 21,175 flight cycles.

The airline reported the captain of the flight was experienced with more than 12,000 hours total and 3,800 hours on type.

Egypt's Accident Investigation Commission opened an investigation. The chairman stated, that preliminary facts point towards a technical failure.

Russia's Transport Ministry called a video surfacing in the Internet claiming to show the shoot down of 7K-9263 by Islamic State as not credible and fabricated. 

The Russian Embassy to Egypt reported, that no survivors have been found at the crash site, all occupants of the aircraft perished.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority reported that there was no Mayday Call from the crew, communication with the aircraft was normal until the aircraft disappeared from radar.

Lufthansa and Air France announced they are going to avoid overflying the Sinai until the cause of the crash has been determined. There have been warnings issued by the FAA to American Operators as well as by Germany to German airlines to operate above FL260 while flying over the Sinai.

On Oct 31st 2015 around 19:00Z Eurocontrol's Air Flow Traffic Management (CFMU) issued following statement by NMOC Brussels: "Attention to Aircraft Operators: The point PASOS in LCCC (Cyprus) FIR is not available for flight planning. FPLs filed via this point will be rejected by IFPS. Please re-file via points: LAKTO or RASDA." LAKTO's position is N32.633333 E32.083333 on airway J863 to Port Said, RASDA's position is N33.100000 E30.950000 on airway A16 to BALTIM, both routes west of Sinai avoiding the Sinai.

According to flightplan the aircraft was tracking between waypoints TBA (Egypt: N29.362420 E34.475080) and PASOS (Cyprus FIR, N32.216667 E33.100000) when it disappeared. Eurocontrol's Air Flow Traffic Management (CFMU) issued a note to all operators along the route TBA-PASOS and vice versa shortly after the aircraft disappeared, that due to technical problems all flights will be tactically rerouted via MELDO (N32.033611 E31.077778) until further notice. The notice was removed a couple of minutes later. Airway UL550, connecting PASOS and TBA, remained in use throughout the day.

More impressions from the crash site (Photos: STR/EPA/Picturedesk):
More impressions from the crash site (Photo: STR/EPA/Picturedesk)

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