For John, BLUF: At this point it is all speculation, and someone will guess right. Luck. Nothing to see here; just move along.
On City Life this AM someone asked what brought down the Russian Airliner. There are strong indications the aircraft broke up in flight and fell to earth. That part seems pretty sure.
In this Boston Globe article is a picture of the tail section of the Airbus A321-200 that came apart over Sinai. "Cause of jetliner crash remains uncertain".
But what caused the breakup in flight?
- Highly Unlikely: It is possible that it was hit by a missile. It was over the Sinai, which is controlled by Egyptian Rebels. But, no man portable surface to air missile did this and the chances the rebels have a real surface to air missile are very slim.
- Highly Unlikely: The pilot performing some whifferdill that causes the aircraft to exceed its structural limits. Maybe because he was mad at the airline, or his wife. The likelihood is low because the flight controls may not have the authority to maneuver the aircraft outside of tested and approved flight limits.
- Low Probability: The aircraft is over a decade old and a defect in design or manufacture, aided and accommodated by poor maintenance practices, could have caused some of the skin to rip off, causing major structural failure. That would bring the aircraft down.
- Medium Probability: A bomb could have caused this, but whose bomb?
- Small Possibility: A disgruntled airline employee, looking for revenge.
- Some Possibility: A person rejected in love, striking back.
- Some Possibility: A person looking to ice an inheritance.
- Good Possibility: A Russian home-grown insurgency found an opportunity to strike back.
- Strong Possibility: Daesh, upset with Russian intervention in Syria, strikes back.
- Possible, But Highly Unlikely: Something we haven't yet thought of.
Regards — Cliff