Thursday, March 21, 2002
The 1999 crash of an EgyptAir plane after takeoff from New York was finally, officially determined to be a suicide/murder. Investigators say a EgyptAir copilot, Gameel El-Batouty turned off the autopilot, pointed the plane downward and then finally cut the engines.
Of course, EgyptAir is blaming the plane itself, saying that the NTSB didn't do a good job and ignored other evidence.
Walid el-Batouty, the co-pilot's nephew and spokesman for the families of the Egyptian victims, disagreed with the report's conclusion.
``We are not giving this report any consideration as it is not based on fact. The Americans still have to prove the suicide theory,'' he said. ``It was very clear from the beginning that all the Americans cared for was to protect their interests, such as Boeing's interests.''
EgyptAir's chief official investigator objected to the NTSB findings and called for a reopening of the American investigation.
``We want the Americans to reinvestigate the case as they have not considered several points presented by Egyptian investigators'' including proper checks on the plane's tail, cockpit voice recordings and radar and flight control data, Mohsen El-Messiri told reporters in Cairo.
Riiiiiiiight. Of course, it must be the plane. It's just not credible that a Muslim man from the middle east would commit suicide and take hundreds of innocents with him. Nope. Not credible.