Atlas Air Flight 3591: Looking to EgyptAir Crash for Answers

EgyptAir Flight 990 departed JFK for Cairo. After reaching cruise altitude near Nantucket, it suddenly pitched down and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. There was no apparent reason for the crash. The NTSB ultimately concluded that the cause of the crash was the co-pilot’s “intentional actions.” Specifically, the pilot suddenly pushed the yoke forward and held it there, killing all 217 aboard. The Egyptian government disagreed with the NTSB’s conclusion, instead blaming the crash on a defect in the design of the 767’s elevator system. Boeing knew that if certain rivets in the elevator’s bellcranks fail, the elevator can jam, causing the aircraft to pitch down and become uncontrollable. Instead of requiring that the airlines replace the suspect rivets with more reliable fasteners, Boeing told the airlines to simply inspect the rivets more regularly. But Boeing knew even before the crash of Flight 990 that the inspection protocol was not…

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