Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

 AirWise News

                                                                                      Aug 14, 2000 

       The head of the Egyptian pilots' federation yesterday accused U.S. investigators of withholding key evidence in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the U.S. coast last October, according to Reuters. 

       Walid Murad called for the release of radar images and the evidence of two pilots who said they saw missiles in the area where the plane went down, killing all 217 people on board. 

       He told reporters that U.S. investigators said they were denying access to the radar images because they contained military secrets. "This is a weak excuse," he said. 

       "This American stance is evidence of concealing facts, and we demand the release of these radar images and to hear the testimony of the two pilots, one German and one Jordanian, that they saw missiles where the Egyptian plane crashed," he said. 

       EgyptAir flight 990, headed for Cairo from New York, suddenly plunged into the Atlantic Ocean on October 31. Information from the flight data and cockpit voice recorders led to assertions by some U.S. investigators that relief co-pilot Gamil al-Batouti deliberately caused the crash. 

       Egyptian officials have rejected that line of inquiry and worked on a theory that the plane's elevator panels on the tail, which control whether the nose points up or down, may have jammed. 

       Murad said the Egyptian pilot's federation demanded the recovery of the remaining parts of the aircraft and the completion of an investigation to determine whether there were technical problems in the tail section. 

       By concealing and leaking information, Murad said, the U.S. investigation risked losing credibility. 

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