Strange sounds were heard from the recovered black box recordings on-board the tragic Russian passenger jet which crashed over Sinai on Saturday.
According to Russia’s Interfax news agency the sounds in the cockpit moments before the aircraft disappeared from radar, were “uncharacteristic of a standard flight”.
Interfax said the recordings suggest “there was a sudden emergency situation on board which took the crew by surprise, and the pilots did not have time to send a distress signal”.
This news comes just after revelations by US broadcasters that satellite images had detected a heat flash at the same time.
DPA International reports:
All 224 onboard the 18-year-old Airbus were killed in Saturday’s crash, making it the worst in Russian aviation history. The black box flight recorders are currently being analysed in Cairo.
Kogalymavia, a small airline that operated the flight under the name Metrojet, said on Monday that the disaster was most likely caused by a mid-air “impact” and that the plane had no technical problems.
That followed Egyptian and Russian authorities categorically ruling out claims from an affiliate of the Islamic State extremist militia that members of that group had downed the plane with a rocket.
Speculation of a possible bomb onboard has continued, however, with Russian officials saying the plane broke up in mid-air.
“Before the moment of the disappearance of the aircraft from radar screens, sounds are recorded, which are not characteristic of a normal flight,” Interfax quoted an unnamed security source in Cairo as saying.
The source said that, shortly beforehand, there were normal conversations between pilots and air-traffic controllers with no evidence of irregularities as Russian tourists flew home from the sunshine resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg.
US satellites recorded a heat flash over Sinai at the time of the crash, several US television networks reported, but there was no evidence of a rocket launch.