When people think of the worst thing that can happen when flying on a plane, there are a few things that come to mind. Maybe getting stuck with a screaming kid on a transatlantic flight or the airline losing their luggage. What about having a pilot that wants to crash the plane? Unfortunately, that may be the case for one Mozambican Airlines flight that went down in Namibia.
An investigation has been launched to see why a Mozambican Airlines flight went down at the end of November, killing 33 people. Most people first assumed that the plane went down because of an accident. If that was what happened, the case would be closed. However, the investigation has turned up some startling news. Investigators believe that the captain of the plane had clear intentions to crash the plane, killing everyone on board.
Police located the flight recorder of the Mozambican Airlines flight that went down on November 29. Joao Abreu, of the Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute, said that Captain Herminio dos Santos, who was flying the plane, manipulated the autopilot on the Embraer 190 that would demote a very clear intention that he wanted to bring down the plane. However, that the reason why the captain wanted to crash the plane is still completely unknown at this point.
According to police, the plane went down during torrential rains. It finally came to rest in a swamp located in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park. This killed 27 passengers and six crew members. At the start of the investigation, it was believed that the torrential rain caused the plane to crash.
Abreu added that the pilot locked himself in the cockpit just before the plane went down. He also ignored all of the warning signals that started going off in the cabin just before the plane hit the ground. The captain refused to open the door for anything and did not even let his co-pilot back in the room.
It was believed that the co-pilot stepped out of the cockpit for a moment. The captain then locked him out. When the co-pilot noticed the odd flight path, he attempted to re-enter the cockpit but was unable to.
During this time, Abreu continued to explain, the flight recorder picks up a very low, but high-intensity, alarm. There is also someone beating on the door and demanding to be let into the cockpit. It is believed that this is the voice of the co-pilot who was trying to get back in.
The altitude of the plane just before the crash was changed three different times. This was from 38,000 to 592 feet below ground level. These same stats also show that the aerodynamic resistance plates on the wings of the plane were deployed. This is proof that the throttle of the plane was being controlled manually.
It is still not clear why Captain Herminio dos Santos would want to crash the plane. He had flown over 9,053 flight hours. He was a captain for nearly 1,400 of those hours. His license to fly planes had also just been renewed in April of last year. During this time, he took part in a medical exam and passed.