An Egyptian investigation panel has said that it will challenge the course of investigations into the 1999 crash of an EgyptAir airliner and their findings.
The panel issued a statement Thursday night, rejecting the U.S. conclusion on the tragedy and terming it as "inadequate and inconclusive," Egypt's official MENA news agency reported on Friday.
On Thursday, the U.S. transportation safety authorities blamed the crash of the aircraft on its co-pilot without giving reasons for his actions.
In its final report on the crash, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said that the copilot, Gameel El- Batouty, was alone in the cockpit when he disconnected the autopilot and sent the plane downward.
The plane plunged into the sea off the Massachusetts coast on October 31, 1999, soon after it took off from New York en route to Cairo. All 217 people aboard were killed.
"There was no evidence of any airplane system malfunction, conflicting air traffic, or other event that would have prompted these actions," the report said.
The plane began to plummet after El-Batouty took control, the report said. While the pilot, Mahmoud el-Habashy, tried to bring the plane out of its dive, El-Batouty continued to keep it heading downward and shut off the engines, it said.
According to the Egyptian penal, its technical report showed that all evidence cleared El-Batouty of deliberately doing that.
It also demanded that information on radar and air control circumstances be made available to complete the probes. "Until this is done, there is no way to know the possible cause behind this incident," the statement said.
The Egyptian penal presented its comment on a final U.S. report on the crash in June 2001, in addition to a 225-page technical report to be appended to the U.S. report, the statement said.
Egypt has previously rejected the U.S. theory that a suicide action was behind the tragedy, insisting that mechanical problems with the ill-fated plane's flight control system might have been to be blamed.