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Official: Mozambique plane crash intentional

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) - Preliminary investigations into a November plane crash that killed 33 people aboard show that the pilot intentionally brought the Mozambican plane down, an aviation official said.

The Mozambican Airlines plane was bound for Angola with six crewmembers and 27 passengers, including 10 Mozambican, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, and one citizen each from France, Brazil and China, according to the airline. The aircraft went down Nov. 29 in a Namibian national park near the border with Angola.

"There was an intention to crash the plane," Joao Abreu, chairman of the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute said Saturday after gathering recordings and preliminary investigations.

The pilot's motives are unknown, and investigations will continue, he said, naming the pilot as Herminio dos Santos Fernandes. The co-pilot was in the bathroom at the time, he said.

Radar data showed that, at an obligatory reporting position over northern Botswana, the plane suddenly started to slow downwards rapidly. The plane's movements were normal before that, with no mechanical functions, he said. The altitude selector was then manually altered three times, bringing the plane's altitude down from 38,000 feet to 592 feet, Abreu said, reading the preliminary report to reporters.

Low and high intensity alarm signals can be heard on recovered recordings from the plane, along with the sounds of repeated banging on the cockpit door, he said. The investigation report does not say who was banging, but Abreu asserted that the co-pilot was not in the cockpit at the time of the crash and not responsible for the crash. The "black box" flight recorders were recovered intact and sent to the United States National Transport Safety Board in Washington to be decoded and transcribed.

Other indicators show manual operations were used, he said, adding that "all these operations required detailed knowledge of the plane's controls, and showed a clear intention to crash the aircraft."

The control tower had lost voice and radar contact and set search operations in motion. The wreckage of the plane was found in the following days.

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Paul December 22 2013 at 12:17 PM

I am surprised to be able to get on this blogging now. HP wants everyone to be on FB to be able to get on this " conversation ". I refuse to join FB again , I was on it before and had a hard time getting off. If you are on FB beware Big Brother is watching

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5 replies
John December 22 2013 at 11:26 AM

This is the 2nd time that the pilot or copilot has committed suicide or suspected of committing suicide. Remember the North Atlanta crash a few years ago? When you fly the terrorist might be in the cockpit.

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1 reply
kmems836 John December 22 2013 at 11:41 AM

This may not be a terrorist..just a sick human being. The only way you can protect yourself is to live in a box and never trust anyone. That's not a way to live..

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handyfixer December 22 2013 at 11:18 AM

I realy cant belive this whats wrong with thease people and as for religon what religon says lets kill people that dont belive as we do????????????

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jlzivney December 22 2013 at 11:16 AM

Terrible outcome, so sad....

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carolyn9m December 22 2013 at 11:16 AM

Peoplr can crack under stress without warning. This was a terrible loss for all the families. I pray a religious fanatic wasn't the cause and by the way a persons name doesn't signify what religion a person is nor does it mean a person even belongs to a religious group.

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rjm105 December 22 2013 at 11:13 AM

They walk among us.

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1 reply
andys64chevy rjm105 December 22 2013 at 11:19 AM

I guess we don't live in Peasantville anymore. Now we have idiots who want to go bring us back to the Stone Age. Give them an AK 47 and 72 Fantasy Virgins and off they go to find Allah. I wish I was still in the Army so I could help them find there way there.

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2 replies
john emond andys64chevy December 22 2013 at 11:40 AM

At this point the person responsible has not been identified, yet you automatically presume both the person and their religion. You may be right, you may be wrong, but the fact that you already made up your mind and you condemn an entire religion, points to bigotry. Timothy McVee, the Oklahoma bomber, was certainly not an Islamist radical. There is entirely too much hatred in this world along with people all too ready to blame a particular group without bothering to wait for facts to emerge.

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nonyelu andys64chevy December 22 2013 at 12:10 PM

By the way, you appear ignorant of the fact that going by the name "Herminio dos Santos Fernandes", is christian until proven otherwise, so how you came to interject Allah into the discuss shows some preconceived religious bigotry. I am sure you do consider yourself a pious God fearing man.

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ann vitasek December 22 2013 at 1:07 PM

These type of psychopaths should be eliminated like a cockroach. They have no meaning in our world!

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2 replies
dave and mary ann vitasek December 22 2013 at 1:15 PM

The day is coming when they will be. When Jesus Christ returns, all will be exposed for who they are and will receive their just reward or punishment. And it will be final.

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3 replies
timjofred ann vitasek December 22 2013 at 1:15 PM

You have to find them first.

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Helen December 22 2013 at 1:24 PM

What the heck is wrong with oeople ??

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tkngclk December 22 2013 at 11:02 AM

another terrist issue here it looks like?

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1 reply
lakat47 tkngclk December 22 2013 at 11:32 AM

Terrorism requires all of us to know who did it and why so we can be scared to fly or whatever people were doing when they were killed by terrorists. It doesn't work if it just happens and no one knows how or why or who.

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frank1946 December 22 2013 at 11:01 AM

This is so shocking and sad, how can a person murder in a position of Trust ?

Sorrow and Sadness to all the Passenger's Families and Friends.

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