Lets open the floor for comments on this about Egyptair flight 990..

Most likely (in my humble opinion):
A fully loaded 767 left the ground, and some fairly warm weather, in NYC. It was loaded to the gills with fuel for a long flight, lots of luggage, lots of carry-on weight. A little way up and out over the Atlantic it encountered a little reality, courtesy of Mother Nature, probably a mass of very cold, very wet, Arctic air bulging south over the ocean. The plane iced up, couldn’t handle the weight, and went down. It wouldn’t be the first time a fully loaded airliner went down due to icing. There ain’t no need for the usual urban legends and paranoid theories that people seem to enjoy.

“Three people can keep a secret if two are dead”.

But hey, whatever gets you through the day. If you wake up in the morning and a birdy is singing in the tree outside your window and you want to think that little birdy is singing especially for you and it helps you get through your day, what is wrong with that?

E1Skeptic, where are you ??

Al Zheimers said:

Icing @ 30+Kft ?? Is this possible ?
I thought there was only ice crystals that high/cold. Can there be supercooled droplets at that altitude ??


I’d almost rather believe the crazy conspiracy theory than what is coming out in today’s news about the theory that a co-pilot – who was apparently NOT the person who was sitting in that seat when the plane left New York – deliberately took it down.

We had an insured on that plane. A lady from Orange County who was looking forward to this “trip of a lifetime.” She had spoken with one of our people the Friday before the crash. I think this may be the first time I’ve ever had even a tangential relationship with someone in a commercial plane crash. Makes it seem more real, somehow.


Oblio wrote:


However, all commercial airliners are equipped with de-icing equipment – usually pneumatic boots on the leading edges of the wings and stabilizers (you inflate the boots and it breaks the ice off).

So icing isn’t really a problem any more.

There are also various Anti-Ice Valves that are opened to allow bleed air from the engine to melt the ice from below the skin of the wing (or nose cowl).

I used to to stress analysis on aircraft valves. Among those projects were a few anti-ice valves.

From tracer:

I stand corrected, sir. Thank you for your assistance.

Will work for sig line.


Not doubting you, but a little more info please, or refs. I was under the impression that at that altitude that all visible moisture would be frozen and unable to adhere to control/lift surfaces. If true I am going to cancel my deposit on my new Lear :wink:


Well, looking at it from the standpoint of chemistry, I’ve no clue.

I would think that at that altitude, with that low a pressure, and at that temperature, the water would either be frozen or gaseous. Obviously a cloud is frozen (I find clouds counterintuitive. I must think wrong), but there’s more moisture in the air than just clouds. Well, say that a water molecule hits the wing surface. Due to the wonderful polar nature of water, it’s quite adhesive and cohesive. One sticks, it induces others to stick. The airflow over the wing cools and freezes the now condensed water molecules. Thus, ice.

Hi guys! Before talking icing conditions let me say something: Accidents like the Egypt Air’s one, or Taesa’s, or the UN’s ATR42 are always kinda’ upsetting to me (for obvious reasons), and I just HATE to speculate about it. But sometimes speculation is all you can do.

Now, to read about weird laser beams directed at airplanes and german pilots witnessing the whole thing, makes me wanna puke. Maybe Banks is well intentioned, but he’s obviously not a critical thinker, and his knowledge of aviation is not enough to allow him to form an educated opinion on the subject.

So, my response to the OP would be: Let’s not.

Now, regarding icing. It is possible to get into icing conditions at almost any altitude, given the right conditions (moisture+temperature). But, when the icing happens at such a high altitude as 33,000ft, even in the worst case scenario, you will probably get rid of the ice as soon as you descend and the temperature increases. The problem would be if you get enough ice over the wings to destroy the wing’s performance and you stall. (Notwithstanding the anti-ice devices, ice can sometimes build up over the wings, or at the engines’ inlet surprisingly fast)

In that case (which is definitely not very usual) it is possible that the airplane gets into a “spin”, and that could account for the extremely rapid descent showed by the Egypt Air’s 767. But then again, this is all mere speculation.

There are just too many factors involved here, too many variables, and too little information. We need to wait some more.


2 posts by the joker above me, both proving stupidity and idiocy. One was already deleted.

Any chance this guy can be removed from the board’s memory.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

I know I’ll be flamed for this, but isn’t it possible that the gov does posses technology ahead of what we commonly assume? 9 years ago when I got my TS clearance, I had to sit through a brief that showed some pretty impressive stuff…and I didn’t even have that high a level of clearance. Why do you find it so hard to believe that weapons might be more “fantastic” than you realize? I don’t buy that idiotic story any more than the rest of you…skipped most of it. But I do know that they have more than they’re telling…a lot more.

“Know thyself. If you need help, call the CIA.”

I think the current theory that one of the pilots was trying to commit suicide is far more plausible than the USA accidentally bringing the plane down with an exotic weapon.

I also understand that suicide is much less common among Muslims than it is among others. But OTOH, I think they’ll soon rule out suicide and figure out it was mechanical error.

I’m not an expert in aviation, so here’s my WAG: the plane’s auto-pilot failed. It also somehow scrambled the on-board computer. So the co-pilot turned off the auto-pilot and called for the pilot to return. The pilot returned, and asked “What are you doing?” (Wouldn’t you ask that?) The two men tried to get the plane back under control, following standard procedure. Unfortunately, the computer, for some reason we don’t know now, was sending the wrong signals to the tail flaps. So they accidentally crashed before the two could figure out what was wrong.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

Let me make clear something that may not be apparent in my post above: (These are my opinions only)

Theories on the crash of Egyptair 990
in order of credibility

  1. Mechanical failure
  2. Pilot error
  3. Some combination of 1) and 2)
  4. Suicide by the co-pilot
  5. On-board sabotage (through conventional explosives and/or sabotage of the avioincs and other hardware and/or software)
  6. Accidentally shot down by the USA military using conventional weaponry
  7. Deliberatley shot down
  8. Accidentally shot down with exotic weaponry
  9. Deliberately shot down with exotic weaponry
  10. (a, b, c, d) Same as above, but by foreign military
  11. Deliberately or accidentally crashed by alien spacecraft
  12. God made them crash


Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

jab1 speculated:

Nitpick: they’re called elevators, not “tail flaps.” (Unless you’re talking about the control surface on the back of the VERTICAL stabilizer, in which case it’s called a rudder.)
Oh, an Oblio: You’re probably right about supercooled water being impossible at 30 thousand feet. I was thinking the ram rise of the plane’s bow shock mught melt the ice, but if it did it wouldn’t be supercooled, would it? And even if ice could form that high, don’t cancel your order for that business jet – they have de-icing equipment, too.

I meant the horizontal control surfaces. Over at Ted & Jane’s News Service http://cnn.com/US/9911/18/egyptair.01/ they refer to them as “elevators” and then as “flap-like” devices.

Still, the error is mine.

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

You can color Klanman gone.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

Bless you, TubaDiva.

Speculation, speculation…
From CNN News:

This statement from CNN could easily lead to a lawsuit from Boeing or the NTSB, since it is a bunch of sh**. It is totally misleading, specially for an already frightened public. No wonder the media is so generally mistrusted.
From NTSB Press Release Nov 17:

This is the actual statement from the NTSB. They mention the pilot and copilot’s positions as a reference in order to identify elevator # 1 from elevator # 2. How easy it is to twist someone’s words!!

Please visit this: NTSB Press Releases


Uh, yes.

Ok, quibble about the numbers, and whether the subsequent deaths during nuclear weapons tests are part of the Manhattan Project, and such, but the fact is, that yes, the government killed American citizens, and citizens of other countries with whom we were not at war, and covered up the killing.

Hell, we killed people inventing Radar! Covered it up, too.

No, I don’t think flight 990 was shot down by Illuminati pawns using stolen Government particle beams. I think it might just be possible that it was the work of one man, possibly in a disturbed mental state. Or, it might be outrageously simple mechanical failure, not understood after the fact. Doesn’t seem likely to me that we will have any real final say on this one.

The co-pilot prayed, just before the dive started. If he saw something he thought meant they were going to die, he might well have put himself into the hands of Allah. I know I would have. I would have still tried to save my worldly ass, mind you, but I would definitely have been praying. He might have decided to cash in his accident insurance for his daughter, too. The man is beyond our judgement now, even if he was guilty. No one has brought up even a shred of evidence that there might be any other parties involved in the accident. The evidence we have thus fare on him would not get you an indictment in the US. You couldn’t even win the civil case for wrongful death against him, with what we have now.

<p align=“center”>Tris</p>


No, you prefaced it with “Could something like this really be true?” which indicates that you, possibly, lend credence to it.

There’s a world of difference between what you said you said and what you actually said. Next time, scroll just a tad higher.