WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The speed with which the Russian Kogalymavia (Metrojet) flight 7K9268 airliner was descending over Egyptian airspace suggests that the crew had lost control of the aircraft, a former Boeing safety engineer said Tuesday.
"The data from the Metrojet flight implies that during a normal cruise condition, the aircraft began to rapidly lose both airspeed and altitude. The available data does not explain why the aircraft departed from cruise flight," Todd Curtis told RIA Novosti, commenting on revised Flightradar24 software data.
According to revised data, the Airbus A321 made a sharp descent of 5,000 feet in 26 seconds before disappearing from radar screens and crashing in the Sinai early Saturday. Raw Flightradar data released last Saturday indicated flight 9268 climbed to 33,500 feet at a speed over 465 miles per hour (mph) before descending to some 28,375 feet at 71 mph.
The aviation expert distinguished between data "broadcast by the aircraft and received by a variety of receivers on the ground" and flight recorders recovered at the crash scene.
"This is not the same as the information that would be in the black box," Curtis said, suggesting that software data "may not reflect what happened chronologically during the flight."
The largest civil aviation disaster in Russian and Soviet history claimed the lives of all 224 people on board.