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Plane rudder ‘not cause’ of Egypt crash

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) – The rudder on an Egyptian charter plane was not the cause of its fatal crash earlier this month, a top French aviation official said Saturday.

The comment by Paul-Louis Arslanian, head of the French office of civil aviation investigations and analysis (BEA), followed news that the Flash Airlines flight which careened on January 3 into the Red Sea, killing all 148 aboard, had at one point made an unexpected turn off its original flight path.

 An Egyptian official heading the investigation into the accident had said Wednesday he was puzzled by the abrupt right-turn made by the Boeing 737 before it plunged into the sea.

His comments fueled media speculation that a defect in the plane’s directional system had been responsible for the crash.

“I confirmed to families that there was no problem with the plane’s rudder,” Arslanian told a press conference after he and Justice Minister Dominique Perben met with 350 families and friends of the crash victims.

The only hard evidence investigators had so far, he said, was that shortly after take-off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Paris-bound plane “continued to rise, veered away in the other direction and at an altitude of 5,500 feet (1,800 meters), it nose-dived and crashed in a violent manner.”

A Moroccan, 13 Egyptian crew members and 134 French tourists were killed.French and Egyptican investigators have found no evidence of a deliberate


                                                              Subject: France news