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Possible Motive of EgyptAir Suicide Pilot Revealed
New York Times ^
| Matthew Wald
Posted on 03/15/2002 10:39:47 PM PST by glorygirl
WASHINGTON, March 15 A former EgyptAir pilot told American investigators two years ago that the co-pilot of EgyptAir 990 crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean to take revenge on a company executive who had just demoted him and was riding as a passenger, a person involved in the investigation said today.
American aviation investigators say they do not know whether the explanation given by the pilot, which was first reported today in The Los Angeles Times, is true. Since the crash of the Boeing 767, Egyptian officials have argued that there was no evidence that the co-pilot, Gamil al-Batouti, committed suicide.
For their part, American investigators have focused mainly on whether a mechanical flaw caused the crash. They concluded that it did not and now firmly believe that Mr. Batouti deliberately crashed the plane into the Atlantic about 60 miles south of Nantucket, killing himself and all 216 others on board.
The Los Angeles Times said it conducted nine hours of interviews with a former EgyptAir pilot, Hamdi Hanafi Taha, who laid out the revenge motive.
Mr. Taha said that EgyptAir's chief Boeing 767 pilot, Hatem Rushdy, had told Mr. Batouti that he would be taken off the United States route because of accusations of sexual misconduct.
Mr. Taha sought asylum in London a few months after the October 1999 crash, saying he feared persecution in Egypt because of his revelations about the state-owned airline. At that time, Egyptian officials said that Mr. Taha did not have any information about the crash.
American investigators did confirm that Mr. Batouti had been told he was being taken off the route and that Captain Rushdy was a passenger on the flight.
"The thing that was clear was, he did it," said an American official involved in the investigation.
"Why, I don't know that we'll ever know," the official said, "but this is what the defector's story was."
Egyptian investigators might have been able to establish a motive but did not seek to do so, the official said, with the Egyptians saying the cause might be a failure in the system that maintains the plane's nose-up and nose-down attitude.
Removal from the route from Cairo to Los Angeles with a stop in New York, would have been a financial blow for a pilot who was likely to supplement his modest salary by buying consumer goods in the United States and selling them in Egypt.
"That was how these guys made a living," said the American official.
The chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Marion C. Blakey, said on Thursday that her agency might issue its final report next week. But people at the board say although the report will say the co-pilot crashed the plane, it will not explore his motive.
TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: 1999; 199910; 19991031; 200203; 20020316; airlinesecurity; albatouti; batouti; boeing767; bullcrap; cairo; coverstory; coverup; egypt; egyptair; egyptairflight990; egyptairflt990; egyptus; elbatouti; faa; gameelalbatouti; gameelelbatouti; gamilalbatouti; hamdihanafitaha; hamditaha; hatemrushdy; isolatedincidents; jihad; latimes; lax; libmyths; losangeles; mushroomfood; newyork; ntsb; rushdy; taha; terrorattack; terrorism; unnamedsources; usegypt; workplaceaccident; workplaceviolence
posted on 03/15/2002 10:39:47 PM PST
Thank you "American Official," for wrapping this one up in a nice little package for all of us idiots. Since when do Arabs give a spit about sexual misconduct? Sensitivity training does not appear to be a part of their culture. I really, really, don't want to break open my handy tinfoil hat, but I think that this dead Egyptian 767 pilot crossed paths at some point with another dead Egyptian 767 pilot, who smashed a plane into a certain tower in NYC. The crazed Egypt Air pilot who crashed off Nantucket got cold feet and backed out of the plan (or an earlier version thereof). Pardon me, but I ain't trusting any of 'em. What do you all think?
posted on 03/15/2002 10:56:06 PM PST
Those Islamic/Arab/muslims seem to really have a fascintion with crashing/blowing up jetliners. They must be banned from all flights worlwide!!
posted on 03/15/2002 11:04:45 PM PST
Could be, but Batouti reportedly had two wives, a big salary,and a drinking problem. So why not murder the boss and 200+ others?
posted on 03/15/2002 11:09:21 PM PST
Well, Ms. Glory, I have no wife(s), crappy salary, and a drinking problem, and it has yet to dawn on me to crash a 767 into the Atlantic! ;-) (BTW, several months ago I read the cockpit transcripts of this EgyptAir Flight. Absolutely chilling. Another pilot can be heard screeching "Pull up with me! What have you done?!" or something along those lines. Ugh. This second pilot, it appears, went to the lavatory and was pretty much knocked off his feet by the sudden dive, so by the time he made it back into the cockpit, the deed was done.
posted on 03/15/2002 11:17:57 PM PST
Comment # 4 was meant to be sardonic. BTW, I have no husband, NO salary (currently), and no drinking problem, (although I do smoke.) :) And I haven't even gotten on a plane since September 11. But isn't it wild, when you think about how shocking the Egyptair crash was at the time? Chilling? Yes, but compared to 911 ....!
posted on 03/15/2002 11:23:44 PM PST
Well, here in Boston, the whole Nantucket connection stood out as it was down that way where JFK Jr. crashed, so the same local Coast Guard and Nantucket - M's Vineyard harbormasters and such were on our TV's...again..! Additionally, after 9/11 there were rumors that something bad was going to happen on Halloween. That was the anniversary of the night EgyptAir crashed, right? So I think someone in the government was putting two and two together. Everyone up here was paranoid that day (and week!).
posted on 03/15/2002 11:41:41 PM PST
Oh yeah, you gotta watch out for those Harbormasters.
Seriously, I used to live out on the Island and Mr. Holdgate was kind enough once to reset my boat's anchor when it was dragging in a gale. Can't vouch for the others though. Bit of a pogue job if you ask me.
posted on 03/16/2002 12:03:25 AM PST
I guess he showed the boss a thing or two!
posted on 03/16/2002 1:21:15 AM PST
My local harbormaster pulled a crazed Perp outta the cold Atlantic two weeks back. They are lucky men, the H-masters. A job they love and get paid for. Cool boats, too.
posted on 03/16/2002 5:44:44 PM PST
OUCH , bump
posted on 03/16/2002 9:45:47 PM PST
islamic/muslims/arabs have some fetish for detroying jetliners. They must be stopped!!
posted on 03/17/2002 9:20:26 AM PST
islamic/muslims/arabs have some fetish for detroying jetliners. They must be stopped!! But how??!
posted on 03/17/2002 9:21:02 AM PST
posted on 03/18/2002 7:40:39 AM PST
posted on 03/18/2002 2:38:25 PM PST
bump against islamic/muslim terrrorists
posted on 03/18/2002 4:46:27 PM PST
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