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Monday, August 15, 2005

Sounds like the Cypriot 737 got Wellstoned

The plane full of frozen people is most reminiscent of the 1999 Payne Stewart crash, but it might remind more people of the 2002 Wellstone crash in Minnesota if that crash had been properly investigated. While yesterday's crash is apparently being blamed on rapid decompression, there seem to be holes in the story. If the decompression had been so rapid as to prevent the pilots from putting on their oxygen masks and diving to a lower altitude, there shouldn't have been time for a passenger to send off a text message or for other passengers to go into the cockpit and try to take control. If it was simply a problem of cold, surely the pilots could have taken the plane lower or found a place to land before everyone froze to death. As with the Wellstone crash, the simplest explanation to me is that the crew was quickly incapacitated by a gaseous poison, like the fentanyl the Russians used in the Moscow theater hostage crisis (which amazingly happened at almost the same time as the Wellstone crash on October 25/26 2002). In the Wellstone crash, the plane was in final approach for landing when the pilot seemed to stop flying the plane. The plane was probably not on autopilot, and continued its bank while losing altitude until it crashed in the forest. The Cypriot 737 was on autopilot, so it continued to fly for quite a while.

My suspicions immediately went up when I read this:
Greek Defense Ministry officials said no chain of events could be ruled out in a crash that baffled many aviation experts, though by late afternoon terrorism was being discounted.
Probably because Cyprus has such a peaceful history.

Previous posts on the Wellstone crash: