Jim Termini, Redline’s Commercial Director spoke this morning with Jon Snow on Channel 4 news about the recent Russian plane crash. To see the full interview please click on the photo below:
The recent tragic air crash in Egypt has raised a number of concerns for aviation security in Egypt. On 31 October, Metrojet Flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg fatally crashed over Egyptian airspace, leaving no survivors.
Redline’s Commercial Director Jim Termini was recently interviewed by Channel 4’s Jon Snow to provide his expertise on the potential causes of the crash.
Jon Snow: Well joining us now is an Aviation Security expert, Jim Termini. He also as it happens is a former Airbus A321 pilot, which is exactly the pilot which is involved in this. And the first question obviously is this statement by the Russian airline or Russian owners, can you be as definitive as that, no technical, no pilot error at this point.
Jim Termini: No, in my opinion MetroNet have made a very rash decision making this statement so early; there is no possible way of definitively ruling out the technical error or even pilot error at this early stage. I mean, they really should wait for the technical investigation to take place.
Jon Snow: Now in the early days of the Airbus, of this particular model too, there was this question of tail scrape; i.e. the tail might be scraped as it took off doing some sort of fairly serious damage to the craft. Is that a possibility?
Jim Termini: A tail scrape, is – I believe it actually happened to this particular air frame, the A321 –
Jon Snow: Some time back?
Jim Termini: Yes apparently so. The A321 has a propensity for tail scraping, either on take-off or on landing and it’s one of the things that as a new A321 pilot you’re taken through in great depth in the simulator and taught exactly how to avoid that situation. But because it has a propensity to scrape the tail, Airbus have a very well-practised and managed repair regime in place, so a botched repair to an aircraft of this style and this type in this age is, very difficult to imagine to be honest.
Jon Snow: And I don’t want to sound prejudice, but, even in the hand of the Russians?
Jim Termini: Absolutely, it’s a well-known, rehearsed repair regime that is mandated by the manufacturers, Airbus.
Jon Snow: So what would it take, to catastrophically destroy, break up this plane in the way that it did, for it not to have been a bomb?
Jim Termini: I’ve asked myself that question, ever since we saw the tragic incident the other day, and to be honest, I personally can’t think of a scenario that would lead to a technical failure of this magnitude at the altitude we’ve seen it go. So at flight level 310 or 31000 feet, it just established into the cruise at a cruising speed, looking at the data, it appears that it slowed down enormously in a very short space of time and lost an enormous amount of height. And from the grainy video that has been released as well, you can see large sections of the aeroplane falling to the ground and also lots of smaller sections.
Jon Snow: Well there is one big enough section; we can look at it right now, that was took, we can talk about skin peel?
Jim Termini: Yes, in the event there is an event inside the fuselage, typically the air investigators will look for evidence the skin peeling from the inside out.
Jon Snow: And what can we see in this shot?
Jim Termini: To the left of this shot, this is clearly the tail section that we are looking at and you can see one of the passenger doors there in the middle of the shot. But just to the left of that, you can just about make out where the skin itself has peeled outwards, which typically indicates that there has been an over pressure or event inside the aircraft that’s caused the skin to peel that way. It’s by no means conclusive; it’s a very good indicator for the investigators.
Jon Snow: But how in the last 12 hours has your view changed, and changed to what direction?
Jim Termini: I think my initial reaction, was that it was going to turn out to be a tragic accident of one sort or another. Much in the same way the German wings accident turned out to be something that was not really related to terrorism. As I’ve seen news feeds coming in and all the open source information that is available at the moment, with my knowledge of what even a small device can do to a pressurised fuselage, to me now it does look increasingly likely that this could be a device inside the aircraft.
Jon Snow: Jim Termini, thank you very much for joining us.
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