Mozambique Airline Crash Kills 33
The preliminary investigation into the crash of the Mozambique Airlines (LAM) Embraer-190 in northern Namibia on 29 November shows that the disaster was caused deliberately by the pilot, according to Joao de Abreu, chairperson of the regulatory body, the Mozambique Civil Aviation Institute (ICAM).[…]It's believed the pilot clearly intended to crash the aircraft. Currently, it's not known why.
Reading out the statement from the investigating committee, Abreu said that the plane was flying normally, with no mechanical malfunction.
But a few minutes before the crash, the co-pilot went to the bathroom, leaving the pilot, Herminio dos Santos Fernandes, alone in the cockpit.
It was then that the altitude selector was manually altered three times, bringing the plane's altitude down from 38,000 feet to 592 feet. This happens to be below ground level at Bwambata. The throttle control was set to idling, but the velocity selector was operated manually several times, to bring the speed up to the Embraer's VMO (Maximum Operating Velocity).
The airbrake parameters showed that the aerodynamic resistance plates on the wings were deployed and held in that position to the end of the recording, again indicating manual operation.
These actions set off low and high intensity alarm signals which can be heard on the recording. Also plainly audible is repeated banging on the cockpit door.
The report does not say who was banging, but presumably the co-pilot was trying enter the cockpit, but found the door locked against him.
En route to Angola after leaving Maputo, the plane carried 27 passengers and six crew.