Did pilot’s mobile phone play a role in EgyptAir 804 crash? – Telegraph.co.uk

However, David Learmount, operations and safety editor at Flight International magazine and a former pilot, said he thought the idea that mobile devices were the cause was a “red herring”.

“Firstly, pilots don’t leave objects on the dashboard because they know the they will end up in their lap when they take off or on the floor and they’ll get airborne in turbulence and could jam the controls.”

“Also, a phone bursting into flames just below the windscreen is a fairly spectacular thing to take place on a flight, and they would have told somebody on the ground. Nobody has mentioned this.

“But the key point is while there were warnings about the window heating systems, there were also smoke alarms in the toilet and avionics bay under the floor.  How would the fire have got under there? It doesn’t make sense.”

“My guess is the little computer in the avionics bay was damaged by fire; and issued spurious warnings, which were in fact the box screaming for help.” This could have been started by a short circuit or explosion, he said.

The reported findings came as Egypt is to return the remains of 15 French passengers from the flight next week.

In media briefings not open to the wider public, French investigators voiced scepticism over Egyptian claims that explosives might have been placed on board the aircraft in Paris.

Officially the French air accident agency, the BEA, said it considers it “not possible at this stage to draw any conclusions on the origin of the accident”. Egyptian authorities, it said, had failed to provide sufficiently “detailed information on the conditions in which the samples and measures were taken that led to the detection of explosive traces”.

There was no response from French investigators on Friday.

Apple, the manufacturers of the iPhone and iPad devices used by the pilot, on Friday said it had not been contacted by “any authority investigating this tragic event”, which indicated these did “not believe our products are in any way involved”. 

“We have not seen the report but we understand there is no evidence to link this event to Apple products. If investigators have questions for us, we would of course assist in any way we can,” it said.

“We rigorously test our products to ensure they meet or exceed international safety standards.”

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