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Article from BTNews 2 NOVEMBER 2015

Airbus Sinai crash

An Airbus A321 belonging to the Russian airline Metrojet crashed on Friday (30 November) in the central Sinai desert en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg. There were no survivors. Both cockpit voice and data recorders were reported to have been recovered, and with the debris for the most part in a limited area, easily accessible, confirming a cause should be reasonably straightforward.

The French authorities will probably take the lead with investigations, having the skills and experience to deal with the incident, and acceptable to both Egypt and Russia.

The aircraft was on the Irish register as EI-ETJ (Manufacturer Serial Number 663), and assembled in 1997. Operated since 2012 by Metrojet, it had accumulated some 56,000 flight hours in nearly 21,000 flights, powered by IAE-V2500 engines.  

When owned by Middle East Airlines in 2001, 663 had been involved in a tail strike at Cairo Airport. Whether there was undetected residual damage will be part of the investigation. In the past, Soviet-built commercial airliners did not have a good safety record, and even in the current modern era question marks have been raised when it comes to engineering support and operating procedures, certainly with the many minor carriers. www.metrojet.ru

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