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At 1:22 a.m. on October 31, 1999, a Boeing 767, bound for Egypt, took off from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. The 217 passengers on board, including crew, were settling in for a long ten-hour flight, when, just thirty minutes after departure, the plane suddenly began diving towards the Atlantic Ocean. After descending more than 15,000 feet, the plane leveled off briefly, before continuing to fall and crashing into the ocean. All 217 people were killed.
The investigation that ensued was long and complicated. Because the incident occurred in international waters, and involved a foreign airline, protocol called for Egypt to lead the charge. But Egyptian authorities lacked the capacity to fully investigate the incident, and so turned the reins over. The probable cause of the accident was found to be deliberate actions by the relief first officer, including the deactivation of autopilot and subsequent unsanctioned flight control inputs. The reason for the first officer’s actions was never determined.
The 63 and 62-year-old decedents are survived by their family.