Sunday, May 22, 2016

Aviation Update

Once again an aviation tragedy gets turned into a political football.   But this isn't all about Trump. 

Yes, the Donald showed poor judgment in jumping on the terrorist bandwagon as soon as the news reports came in on EgyptAir 804.  While that might have been everyone's gut reaction, a president cannot always operate off gut reactions.  Imagine Trump in the White House reacting this way then later the crash is blamed on a mechanical issue.   And that's no endorsement of Hillary, who also got on the bomb theory bandwagon albeit after unnamed US officials leaked what might amount to the same suspicions everyone else had.

Of course those US officials were echoing Egyptian officials in the early terror pronouncement.   And yes, the media has already started a whitewash campaign to pretend that Hillary really didn't endorse the terrorism angle on day one just like Donald, and will use it as a cudgel against him.   But he allowed it.

Meanwhile, those same initial reports indicated there was no distress call from the jet to Egyptian air traffic control after it was 'handed off' from Greek controllers. Some news stories suggested there was no contact at all--the plane just went down.  That's presumably what got many in the US media going down the terrorism road.     

Now today it was reported that there was actually an extensive conversation between Egyptian ATC and the doomed plane as it made an emergency descent due to a fire.  Wow, how did that get lost?  So that begs the question: were early reports from Cairo bungled or was it a deliberate deception?  Perhaps that's why someone on the inside leaked ACARS reports to Avherald that showed the onboard fire.  

Does all this mean the Donald goofed up and there was no terror attack?  Yes and maybe no.  Yes, he goofed up by jumping the gun, but yes it might still be an attack.  We know there was a fire, it started somewhere/somehow.  Terrorists these days are likely using small incendiary devices they can get past security--recall the Daallo Airlines A321 event where the idiot succeeded in blowing himself out of the jet and killing nobody else. The plane landed safely.  He smuggled the device in on his wheelchair.  So just because the aircraft didn't suffer a complete hull failure and immediately fall from the sky doesn't mean it wasn't attacked by someone. 

Also, just because the fire might have started in the electronics bay or lavatory doesn't necessarily mean there was no sabotage involved-- see the New York Times story today about what EgyptAir employees scrawled on the outside of that very same aircraft after current president Al-Sisi couped out Muslim Brotherhood terrorist sympathizer Mohammed Morsi two years ago.  That might amount to Jihadi sabotage, which most people would consider the same as Islamic terrorism. 

Still, all this new information certainly tips the scales of likely cause away from terrorism and more towards mechanical failure.   The question then becomes why the Egyptians allowed the erroneous information to percolate in the world media for days?   Was their concern legal liability or were they seriously trying to deflect while giving them time to comb their airports for Morsi/ISIS sympathizers?  Is the submarine they are sending in meant to locate the wreckage or maybe manage it?

Whatever the case, it behooves politicians and other officials to reserve judgments on these kinds of events for at least a few days.      

MORE  5/23/16

In another example of how most media outlets shouldn't be trusted to even report on a 3td class presidential race, much less important worldwide events, now they are saying there was no extended conversation.   And no, it doesn't mean that was deception or misdirection, it was likely some media twit misunderstanding the source. 

Also, on CNN's coverage this evening they were saying that whole 90 degree 360 degree turn thing might be fiction as well, since that information was presumably gleaned from primary radar only.  If the leaked ACARS messages indeed ended abruptly only minutes into the event, along with the secondary radar transponder track, then it seems we are back to Trump's original speculation.  At least right now.  The only definitive way to settle this will be the old-fashioned way, analyzing the recorders and wreckage.   But politicos don't have time to wait.   

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