The disappearance of the EgyptAir Airbus 320 jet above the Mediterranean on Thursday is troublesome for everyone. It is still early to determine what caused the crash and the death of those onboard, but there are various analyses and theories about this incident. The plane disappeared during a flight from Paris and Cairo, and claimed the lives of Arab, foreign and Gulf nationals, in addition to the Egyptian crew.
Unfortunately, news about aircraft crashes is becoming commonplace these days. The problem is that determining the cause of a plane crash is not as quick as that of a collision between cars. It is a completely different matter because of the complex technical efforts required to find the black boxes that record what really happened in the cockpit. What complicates everything in all aircraft accidents at this time is that no one can deny the possibility of a terrorist act. With the Egyptian plane, this scenario is a default one and must be taken into account.
In Oct 2015, a Russian Airbus 321 jet crashed in Sinai after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh, killing all 224 people onboard. IS’ branch in Sinai claimed responsibility for the attack. This tragic incident had a very negative impact on tourism in the area and the region’s economy. In March this year, another EgyptAir plane with 55 passengers was hijacked. The pilot was threatened by a passenger wearing an ‘explosive belt,’ which forced the pilot to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus. After arrival in Larnaca, all the passengers were freed, and the hijacker turned himself in after six hours of negotiations with Cypriot authorities. It was not a terrorist act, but it created panic.
Hypotheses about the recent incident are three: A technical fault, an act of terrorism or human error, and these reasons or even one of them are usually the direct cause of any aircraft crash in the world and not just the Egyptian plane. But, because of the situation in Egypt internally and externally, the possibility of a terrorist act comes first to mind. Security of airports and aircraft shouldn’t be overlooked or taken lightly, because laxness can cause grave damages, loss of lives and aircraft and can impact nations.
By Muna Al-Fuzai