Metrojet Defends Its Plane and Pilot

A Russian airplane crashed in Egypt, killing 224 people, and the cause still eludes investigators. The airline, Metrojet, has ruled out mechanical failures and pilot error, anxious to rebuild its reputation.

But the head of Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency said, "...it is very premature to talk about the reasons. I would like to call on the aviation community to abstain from premature statements." Russian President Vladi¬≠mir Putin said, "Everything must be done to create an objective picture of what happened so that we know what happened and react accordingly."

Metrojet is still at the center of the investigation. Turns out, the company hasn't paid its employees in two months, and a pilot's wife says her husband complained about poor plane maintenance. Also, the Metrojet plane had suffered a tail strike, and investigators are wondering whether the problem was properly fixed. In a video statement, Metrojet denied mechanical and pilot errors.

Recent reports indicate a flash picked up by a U.S. satellite, which could point to an explosion on board, such as a fuel tank or a bomb.

Meanwhile, ISIS has taken responsibility for the crash. Although officials won't yet rule out terrorism, few seem to believe the organization's claims.

Putin expressed his condolences and investigation plans via video.

Discussion Starters:

  • How well is Metrojet handling the news and its defense?
  • How does the background information about Metrojet-potentially missing payroll, for example-influence your thinking about the situation?