Crossair plane grounded in Sharm el Sheikh

Crossair's MD-80 aircraft seats 160 passengers Keystone Archive

A Crossair plane has been taken out of service in Sharm el Sheikh, amid safety concerns.

This content was published on December 7, 2001 - 17:08

The airline confirmed on Friday that the plane - an MD-80, flight number LX8569 bound for Geneva - was being kept on the ground because of "hydraulic problems".

Spokesman Andreas Schwander said it was too early to say what the precise problems were, and that a team of technicians with spare parts had been dispatched from Switzerland to check the aircraft.

He told swissinfo that the grounding was purely a "precautionary measure".

The incident comes two weeks after a Crossair jet crashed on its approach to Zurich airport, killing 24 of the 33 people on board. Flight data recorders revealed that the pilots were in the process of aborting the landing, but showed no evidence of a technical problem.

Already boarded the plane

One of the passengers on the Sharm el Sheikh flight, who asked not to be named, told swissinfo that they had already boarded the plane when they were asked to return to the airport. They were waiting in a nearby hotel to be flown

Schwander could not confirm whether the passengers were on board when the flight was taken out of service, but said a plane had been sent to the Red Sea resort to fly them back to Geneva. He said they had been taken to a nearby hotel to wait for the flight.

He added that they would be delayed by about 11 hours.

The plane was carrying 120 passengers and six crew members.

Crossair, a subsidiary of the collapsed Swissair Group, is taking over two-thirds of Swissair's operations next April.


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