‘Not an attack, but a cigarette was EgyptAir MS804 fatal’ | Abroad

According to that report, Egyptian pilots regularly smoked in the cockpit. That would have been no different during the fatal flight MS 804 from the French airport Charles de Gaulle to Cairo, according to researchers.

So far, the Egyptian authorities have maintained that the 66 occupants had been the victims of terrorists, despite an (also French) investigation that indicated a fire in the cockpit. The cause of the fire was still unclear at the time.

According to the latest French report, a fire broke out in the cockpit, presumably due to oxygen escaping from the co-pilot’s mask when a lit cigarette was in the cockpit. Three days before the crash, the relevant mask had been replaced, but set to ’emergency’ instead of ‘normal’. In the emergency setting, a mask continues to release oxygen. It is not clear why the new mask was in emergency mode.

It is clear that Egyptian pilots often smoked in the cockpit; two months earlier, the ashtrays had been replaced, the report said. Smoking was not banned by EgyptAir at the time. The plane had experienced several technical problems on previous trips, “but none so serious that it had to be grounded,” the report said.

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