For John, BLUF: It is still too soon to tell. Nothing to see here; just move along.
At this blog post I speculated on what might have brought down the Russian Airliner out of Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt. Here is some additional thoughts, from Maram Mazen and Nour Youssef of the Associated Press: "Noise in last second of Russian plane's cockpit recording".
To reprise, a 31 October flight out of the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh came apart at 30,000 feet and provided a debris field stretched over 8 miles. There were 224 souls on board (SOBs), most of them Russian tourists. The aircraft was an Airbus A321-200.
Here is an important paragraph out of the article:
"All scenarios are being considered ... it could be lithium batteries in the luggage of one of the passengers, it could be an explosion in the fuel tank, it could be fatigue in the body of the aircraft, it could be the explosion of something," said [Ayman] El-Muqadem, who is Egyptian and leading the investigation committee that includes experts from Russia, France, Germany and Ireland, where the plane was registered. El-Muqadem appeared alone at the news conference in Cairo.While we await the findings, TSA is going to be trying to tighten up. Some action will be effective and some won't.
UPDATE: A friend who monitors Russian media noted this AM that "One of the early speculations in the Russian media was the plane broke up during evasive maneuver to avoid colliding with a Western fighter jet."
Regards — Cliff