(my post was removed before I could correct the error of violating the no click policy--hopefully I won't violate some other policy--I seem to make posting mistakes often here)
I have seen several reports claiming that EgyptAir 804 made a series of emergency landings immediately prior to the fateful day. At the same time, the report is denied by other officials. I have seen this reported this way on mainstream news sites--and it seems like something that could be verified (maybe by examining FlightAware for deviations between expected flight and where it ended up for those claimed days) somewhat easily. It seems like lazy journalism... Does anyone have the scoop on this?
French media reports the plane made three emergency landings in the 24 hours before the crash. The plane was forced to turn around after taking off to return to airports in Eritrea, Cairo and Tunis. Each time, the airports allowed the plane to leave after inspectors finished technical audits and found nothing wrong.
In that report, EgyptAir's chairman denied these claims
Yes, if you are logged in to Flightaware you can see the history right back to February. I haven't looked through them all, but the only bit of weirdness I can see is this:
A flight supposedly between Borg El Arab (Alexandria) and Cairo actually shows a very small portion of track in Brussels, and then a part just east of Cairo, and then a longer portion from Abu Dhabi. (The tracked parts are in green, and are linked by the white lines of estimated track on great circle routes.)
As you can see there are three separate bits of tracking there: Saturday May 14 at just after 2pm UTC it is in Brussels. At just after 9pm UTC it is in flight over the Gulf of Suez, heading east. And at 1.16am UTC on May 15 it is heading west, climbing out of Abu Dhabi!
Edit: I think what has happened is that Flightaware has picked up portions of other flights on the list and somehow created a phantom flight: for example the first few points on the flight from Brussels to Cairo seem to be missing from the log of that flight, and have been added to the log of the mystery flight.
This is the log of the actual Brussels-Cairo flight. Note that the first reported point is at 3:10:11pm BST, which is 15 seconds after the last one (3:09:56pm BST) of that stretch in the screenshot above. The sequence of points every 15-16 seconds continues perfectly.
I'm pretty sure that's just a Flightaware glitch rather than any unusual flight activity.
Most? Rear lavatory? I don't think anyone's seriously theorising a bomb, at least I've not heard it, and in a rear lavatory? I'd be interested to see any articles on this.
Most unlikely. As I said earlier in this thread, the usual symptoms of a bomb in an aircraft, especially the rear, are a sudden in-flight break up with associated debris field. We did not have this. Any trace of the aircraft was difficult to find.
What we do know from the CVR and the investigation so far is the leak that the word 'fire' was uttered, smoke residue was found on the inside right side of the flight deck and various warnings were triggered. (right side window heating, avionics and toilet smoke).
Taken with no claim of action by any group, my feeling is that it was a tragic accident. My own pet theory is an EFB (Electronic Flight Bag - tablet computer) lithium battery fire. This would have been mounted on the right-side window frame, would have been next to the windows that failed and would have been difficult to fight. A lithium battery fire cannot be extinguished with an extinguisher, it needs to be cooled (put in a bucket of water as per the Airbus drill). If it's mounted in a bracket, you can't get it out and you can't sit next to it, so they are instantly down to one pilot and the flight deck's now full of smoke.
Someone here could perhaps say whether something like an iPad fire in a space 6ft square could be serious enough to cause the crew to be distracted enough to lose control of the aircraft.
Being a better pilot than an internetter my last comment was in reply to this quote and I was a bit wrong in that one should, indeed, at first use a BCF/Halon extinguisher. This is not the end of the story of course. Guidance from the FAA: