Apple finds itself on the receiving end of a new lawsuit and this time it is altogether more serious than a notebook’s keyboard failing. Claimants are suing Apple over an iPhone’s alleged role in the downing of EgyptAir flight 804.

The theory of some of those whose loved ones died in the crash which killed 66 people in 2016, is that an iPhone 6s or iPad mini belonging to the copilot overheated in the cockpit, causing a fire which then led to the crash.

The flight was one from Paris to Cairo that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19th, 2016 with all 66 of those on board losing their lives. Two years later the cause of the loss of the plane is still unknown, although it is reported that there was smoke detected on the plane before it crashed.

The suit, first reported by gossip website TMZ, is unknown in many ways. We do not know in which jurisdiction it has been filed or for how much in damages. Most importantly we do not yet know why the plaintiffs believe the copilot’s technology was responsible for the flight’s crashing, although an investigation published last year suggested that a copilot had placed his phone or tablet on a glare-shield in the cockpit.

This was backed up by CCTV footage. However, David Learmount, a former pilot and operations and safety editor at Flight International magazine told The Daily Telegraph that he believed this to be a “red herring.”

“A phone bursting into flames just below the windscreen is a fairly spectacular thing to take place on a flight, and they would have told somebody on the ground. Nobody has mentioned this,” Learmount said in the Daily Telegraph interview. “The key point is while there were warnings about the window heating systems, there were also smoke alarms in the toilet and avionics bay under the floor. How would the fire have got under there? It doesn’t make sense.”

Learmount instead believes that the computer in the avionics bay was damaged, causing false warnings to be issued to the pilot following a malfunction.

(Source: Telegraph, TMZ)

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