Working Theory in Jet Crash: iPhone in Cockpit Is to Blame

Investigators say co-pilot may have used wrong outlet in EgyptAir crash
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2017 6:39 AM CDT
Working Theory in Jet Crash: iPhone in Cockpit Is to Blame
This picture posted May 21, 2016, on the official Facebook page of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesman shows part of the wreckage from EgyptAir flight 804.   (Egyptian Armed Forces Facebook via AP, File)

Investigators still don't know what caused an EgyptAir jet to crash last year en route from Paris to Cairo, but they're seriously looking into the possibility that a co-pilot's iPhone or iPad Mini is to blame. The theory is that the co-pilot plugged the device into a socket not meant for such things, which eventually caused the lithium battery to explode and ignited a fire in the cockpit. The French-language newspaper Le Parisien details the theory about the crash that killed 66 people, with a translated summary at the Daily Beast.

"Cockpit plugs are not made for toasters or coffee pots," one source tells the French newspaper. "They’re for professional use." Earlier this month, a report in al-Jazeera said investigators had ruled out the possibility of a terrorists' bomb being to blame and were instead convinced it was an accident of some kind. "At this stage, the combustion or self-combustion of a tablet in the cockpit is the working hypothesis," a source told the outlet. In January, Fortune noted that pre-flight video from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport showed the co-pilot putting his iPhone 6S and iPad Mini 4 atop the cockpit's instrument panel. (Read more EgyptAir crash stories.)

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