Apple Inc. iPhone 6s’ or iPad mini 4’s battery may be linked to the still-not-solved crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 that went down last year on May 19th, according to some investigators. The crash killed overall 66 people. The Apple “iPhone battery” role theory has been dismissed by some commentators, and has no official status yet, notes Fortune.
What the data shows?
Unnamed sources revealed the theory to French newspaper Le Parisien. The theory contradicts claims by Egyptian investigators based on traces of explosives found in the bodies of victims. Egyptian investigators earlier speculated that the plane was target by terrorists. However, the French investigators say the data does not blames a bomb; instead the data indicates a fire.
A fire broke out somewhere near or in the cockpit of the plane before the plane crashed, showed the black box data from the plane. In addition, the onboard voice recording point out a fire as well. The videos provided by the Charles de Gaulle airport showed the co-pilot of the plane placing his Apple Inc. iPad Mini and iPhone 6S on top of the instrument panel of the plane before the departure, along with many bottles of perfume.
This particular spot was also the precise location where the first automatic warning messages identified some issues, moments before smoke was detected in a nearby lavatory and under the cockpit.
Can Apple products be blamed?
The phenomenon called “thermal runaway” is at the root of most battery explosions, triggering by extended exposure to direct sunlight. Also, the FAA has recorded a minimal of 140 known incidents of batteries exploding or igniting on planes, which include incidents that caused fatal crashes of cargo planes carrying batteries in large quantities. Many passenger airlines have banned products such as battery-powered scooters and the shipment of phone batteries as cargo for the same reasons, notes Fortune.
But, David Learmount – an air safety expert – told The Telegraph that “pilots don’t leave objects on the dashboard because they know they will end up in their lap when they take off or on the floor and they’ll get airborne in turbulence and could jam the controls.” The fires under the cockpit and in the lavatory appeared too fast to be blamed on a (iPhone or iPad) battery within the cockpit, he said.
Apple Inc. , for its part, stated that they have not been contacted by any authority or GTA investigating this tragic event. Apple said that they had not seen the report, but they understand that there is no evidence to link this event to Apple products. And, if investigators have questions for them, they would of course aid in any way they can.