The Case about the Downing of an Air Egypt Flight related to Apple Devices is still ongoing with Apple not Involved
In January Patently Apple posted a report tiled "A Weak Circumstantial Theory by French Investigators Points to Fiery Apple Device Bringing Down Air Egypt." At the time the French newspaper Le Parisien quoted Apple stating that "We were not contacted by the GTA or any other authority investigating this tragic event. We have not had access to the report, but our understanding is that there is no evidence linking this event to Apple products. We are entirely at the disposal of the investigators to answer any question. We rigorously test our products to ensure that they comply or exceed international safety standards."
Today a a follow-up report from the Le Parisien surfaced. The French report supposedly asked Apple again for comment on the matter and Apple gave them a response. However, the response was word for word identical to the statement given in January. So it's either that Apple legal has a set response on this matter or the reporter made no such follow-up call to Apple.
With that said, the report notes that there were three investigating judges in charge of the investigation. On May 17 a document was made public. The French paper notes that the "complexity and the technicality of the Mission", the judges chose specialists who were not on the usual list of experts of the Ministry of Justice. They retained a research engineer at the CNRS, a doctor of solids physics from the Ministry of hosts and a specialist in battery and battery engineering, which also depends on the Ministry of the Armies. Their mission? Determine precisely whether these devices, and in particular their batteries, were able to trigger the disaster. Experts are asked to acquire "three iPad mini Wi-Fi 3G Model A 1455" and "three iPhone 6s, both new and used". Smartphones and tablets will be put to the test.
The report further noted that most importantly, experts will have to "provoke a thermal runaway", write the judges in their mission letter. After determining if the devices can catch fire, the experts will have to cause this fire, in order to calculate in particular the heat radiation produced and to analyze the soots and fumes that come out. By this expertise, filmed and recorded, the investigators seek to know whether the tablet and smartphone can ignite spontaneously and, if so, under what conditions and at what speed; And, finally, to determine whether the combustion of the aircraft was able to make the aeroplane uncontrollable and/or asphyxiate the pilots.
Their report must be submitted to the judge before September 30th. This orientation of the investigation comes after careful work of the search section of the Air Transport Gendarmerie (GTA). They had identified the presence of the Apple products through cameras that scanned the cockpit of the device parked at its departure station at Roissy Airport. But also during the passage to the security control of the crews, who scanned their personal belongings. "The equation of this tragedy is perhaps to be found in the connection of these devices between the current delivered by the plugs behind the copilot and the reception of this current by lithium-battery devices," indicates a source close to the record.
Even with the fire on the Southwest Airlines plane due to a fire from a Galaxy Note 7 battery, the fumes didn't overwhelm anyone on the plane. Making the leap to an Apple device fire overwhelming both the pilot and co-pilot seems to be a wild guess. The testing that is being requested is going to take a long time to examine and there's still no way of knowing what will come of the test noted earlier.
With so much terrorist activity in-play these days, it's bizarre that the focus of the investigation in still on Apple devices. Last September a Russian jet blew up over Egypt due to a terrorist device. In the case focused on Apple devices, the UK's Guardian pointed to Terrorism for the crash of flight MS804 being likely, not Apple devices.
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