Pilot 'Deliberately' Crashed Plane, Killing 33
Mozambican Airlines pilot locked door, took plane down
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2013 1:03 PM CST
This Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 file photo shows the wreckage of a Mozambique Airlines plane that crashed Nov. 29 in the Bwabwata National Park, Namibia, killing all 33 on board.   (AP Photo/NAMPA, Olavi Haikera, FILE)
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(Newser) – A Mozambican Airlines plane that went down in Namibia last month, killing all 33 aboard, was no accident according to preliminary investigations. With the co-pilot in the bathroom, pilot Hermino dos Santos Fernandes locked the cockpit door, reports the AP, then "made a deliberate series of maneuvers" that systematically lowered the plane's altitude three times—bringing it from 38,000 feet all the way to 592 feet. Dos Santos Fernandes had a "clear intention" to crash the plane, Civil Aviation Institute chief Joao Abreu said yesterday, per the BBC.

"During these actions you can hear low and high-intensity alarm signals and repeated beating against the door with demands to come into the cockpit," Abreu said. "The reasons which may have given rise to this behavior are unknown."