...Crew, Passengers Alive; Flight Attendant At Controls?
Among the most important pieces of evidence missing is the body of the aircraft's captain -- his is one of three bodies missing. Meanwhile, a Macedonian news service is reporting that at least two flight attendants remained conscious and one, who had some private pilot training, tried to land the plane. Greek air force pilots sent to intercept the flight reportedly noted movement in the cockpit, while the co-pilot was slumped over the controls and the captain wasn't visible. And the coroner reports thus far that at least 20 of the 121 people aboard were alive when the plane went down. Hampering the investigation is severe damage to the already-retrieved cockpit voice recorder (the flight data recorder is apparently in better shape) sent to France for evaluation.
The airline is now defending its safety record in spite of the co-pilot's son who said in a television interview that his father told him that "if his diary was published, then the company (Helios) would close." The alleged "diary" is believed lost in the wreckage. The airline's former chief mechanic, Kyriakos Pilavakis, said a simple decompression couldn't have caused the crash. He told the Independent that there must have been other system failures and/or errors compounding the decompression to cause the crash. A final note: air force pilots could see clearly into the 737 and reported what they saw inside the aircraft, but a variety of experts interviewed by various news sources insist the windows would be frosted over if a sudden decompression was to blame.