Saturday 16 December 2017

Pilot deliberately crashed plane, killing all 33 passengers on board

A handout picture released by the Namibian Transport Ministry shows the wreckage of a Mozambican Airlines plane
A handout picture released by the Namibian Transport Ministry shows the wreckage of a Mozambican Airlines plane
A handout picture released by the Namibian Transport Ministry shows the wreckage of a Mozambican Airlines plane

Josie Ensor

THE pilot of a Mozambique Airlines plane that crashed, killing all 33 people on board brought it down deliberately, aviation officials said.

Flight recorders showed flight TM470 went down on November 29 while Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes manipulated the autopilot in a way that "denotes a clear intention" to bring the plane down, said Joao Abreu, the head of the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute.

The plane was heading for Angola, but went down in torrential rain in the swamps of Namibia's Bwabwata National Park, killing its six crew and 27 passengers.

Mr Abreu told a news conference that the pilot locked himself in the cockpit and ignored warning signals moments before the Embraer 190 hit the ground.

"During these actions, you can hear low and high-intensity alarm signals and repeated beating against the door with demands to come into the cockpit," he said.

CONTROLS

"All these operations required detailed knowledge of the plane's controls and showed a clear intention to crash the aircraft," said Mr Abreu, adding that the pilot's motives were unknown.

The black boxes were analysed at the US National Transport Safety Board in Washington. (© Daily Telegraph)

Irish Independent

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