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)

(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."

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Showing 3 of 52 comments
Steve Steinbeck
Dec 23, 2013 11:29 AM CST
Never fly on an African airline. Those pilots are crazy people.
EdCoulter
Dec 23, 2013 6:33 AM CST
Who's that knocking? This is Avon calling!
recwisey
Dec 23, 2013 3:15 AM CST
And this is WHY I deliberately stopped flying as a passenger in public airplanes. There are soooooooo many pilots out there who are mentally as well as "physically" unfit to be behind the controls of an airplane. As a passenger, you have NO control whatsoever if one of these people decided to crash the plane, or had a heart attack. They say that you are just as unsafe in a car, but at least if I am driving it, I DO have control...