"A petrol spill was found some 17 miles from Moroni, the Islands’ capital where the plane was heading, and several bodies have already been recovered. It seems weather conditions were rough during the landing approach, with strong winds and high seas, but it is unknown what exactly caused the plane to crash."
From this article:http://www.euroweeklynews.com/2009070159698/news/international/sole-survivor-of-yemenia-flight-626-speaks-out.html"They apparently tried to land once – but aborted the approach – turning around in a “black hole” – itself a perilous maneuver - especially for a crew that would be a bit rattled and distracted by their predicament – and were, no doubt, dog tired after a long day of flying."
From the Miles O'Brien article Dave linked to...
Regardless of the airplanes maintenance history, and the fact the the airplane itself was not allowed in European airspace (7O-ADJ was on the "Black List"), the airplane was sound. The aircraft had been in service with this airline since 1999, and performed about 17,300 cycles. The weather was bad. The crew was tired. The precision approach was on the other end of the runway, but the winds didn't allow them to approach form the opposite direction. "It is the perfect recipe for losing focus on your gauges – and forgetting which way is up – and how far is down."
The last line in the Miles O'Brien article (above) stands out to me. I think Crew Fatigue and Bad Weather will be the predominant factors in this case. The fact that the precision approach is on the other end of the runway will be a factor as well. They were flying blind.
I am not making a CAUSE prediction here. I think there are way too many unanswered questions at this point. But I do think "Mechanical Failure" is less likely then "Weather" or "Crew Error".
And, yes, I agree with jonnevin, Miles O'Brien does put together nice articles.