Why Did The Russian Plane Crash? KGL-9268 Disappeared From Radar In Mid Air

Debris of the A321 Russian airliner lie on the ground a day after the plane crashed in Wadi al-Zolomat, a mountainous area in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, on November 1, 2015. International investigators began probing why the Russian airliner carrying 224 people crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing everyone on board, as rescue workers widened their search for missing victims. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

A Russian aircraft crashed over the Egyptian region of Sinai on Saturday. The Russian A321 plane was carrying 214 Russian passengers, three Ukrainian passengers, and seven crew members. All 224 people on board were sadly pronounced dead, and at least 163 bodies have been found among the plane's wreckage. Though the incident is still under investigation, experts are already shedding some light on what exactly happened as the passenger jet was traveling from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to St. Petersburg. Why did the Russian plane crash?

Russian Interstate Aviation Committee Executive Director Viktor Sorochenko has surmised that it was some sort of separation of the plane's body that occurred in the air that ultimately brought the jet down, though experts are continuing to gather information. Sorochenko said in a press conference:

It is too early to draw conclusions. Disintegration of the fuselage took place in the air, and the fragments are scattered around a large area [about 20 square kilometers].
Aviation expert Alexander Fridlyand wagered two guesses: that either the plane's power system had malfunctioned or that a bomb had somehow detonated within a luggage compartment. Still, he cautioned that the probe as to what happened to the airbus is still ongoing. Likewise, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned that an investigation could take months to ultimately determine what went wrong to bring the Russian A321 crashing down in the Sinai peninsula. The aircraft's black box has already been recovered and is currently being analyzed by both Egyptian and Russian officials.

Though ISIS has claimed credit for the crash, their involvement appears highly unlikely given the current information presented. The claim has nonetheless spooked fellow airlines, including Air France, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Lufthansa, all of whom are refusing to fly through the Sinai peninsula until the investigation concludes. Communication between the aircraft, operated by Russian airline company Metrojet, (formerly known as Kogalymavia) was relatively normal for the first 23 minutes of the flight until air traffic control lost contact with the plane.

The plane was nearing cruising altitude before it disappeared at around 31,000 feet. It was around that time that the aircraft began a dramatic descent, falling at a rate of around 6,000 feet a minute, according to FlightRadar24. Russian officials have checked fuel quality of the A321, which passed all needed requirements. Likewise, crew members appeared to have no issues as well and were medically cleared to fly. As a precautionary measure, the Russian government has requested that Metrojet ground similar aircraft as the investigation continues.

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