Flight 9268 was an international flight flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg, Russia. Just 23 minutes after its take off it fell off radar, experienced a rapid decent and crashed in Sinai, Northern Egypt. Everyone on board died in the crash, making it the deadliest air crash of 2015. Both black boxes have been recovered.
The cause of the crash is unknown however. The plane had an “excellent” safety record, according to the airline. The pilot had 3,800 flight hours with this type of plane alone and over 12,000 hours in total. One thing that has emerged is that there is evidence to suggest that the plane split in two in mid air, but why this would happen is unknown as the plane underwent mandatory safety checks in 2014. This particular Airbus A321 has sustained a tail strike (where the tail of an aeroplane hits the runway first upon landing) in 2001, which took 3 months to repair. During the initial investigation of the crash site, the tail and nose were found several kilometres from each other. Of course, that could just be the result of the plane coming into contact with the ground.
One more theory has floated to the surface as a result of ISIS claiming on social media that they shot the plane down in retaliation to the recent Russian air strikes in Syria, against ISIS. The group claims to have shot the aircraft down with an anti aircraft gun, but political experts doubt this; the aircraft was travelling at 31,000 feet when it hit whatever problem brought it down. The experts doubt that ISIS has the weaponry to shoot down a plane travelling at that altitude. There is also a theory that the group could have planted a bomb on the plane, but it would be difficult to plant a bomb on a passenger plan, such is the security around airports nowadays, especially at a tourist destination such as Sharm el-Sheikh.
Some of the main people pushing forward the investigation disagree on the cause. The Egyptian prime minister has said that he believes a technical fault was to blame. This has been backed up by a statement from the widow of the co-pilot, who said that the plane’s condition “left much to be desired”. The airline running the plane, Kogalymavia say that they don’t believe the crash to be the result of a technical failure and that some kind of external force was to blame. They do not say what this could potentially have been. Whichever theory is correct will most likely become clearer once the investigation is completed, but until then, there can only be speculation on what happened to Flight 9268.