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Egyptair Wreckage Found in Mediterranean

crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19. Wreckage is in several locations.

 

The Egyptian government announced Wednesday that it has discovered the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, in several locations.

A vessel contracted by Egyptair to join the search “identified several main locations of the wreckage" and the first images of the wreckage were provided to the investigation committee, the Associated Press reported. Searchers plan to map the wreckage's distribution on the seabed.

The flight seemed to be proceeding normally until it approached Egyptian airspace. Greek controllers talked to the pilot when the plane was near the Greek island of Kea at 37,000 feet at an air speed of 519 mph. Everything seemed fine at that point.

At 2:27 a.m., shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek airspace, controllers tried to reach the pilots to transfer control to Cairo authorities. Despite repeated attempts, they received no response, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said. The plane passed into Egyptian airspace two minutes later. Forty seconds later, radar contact was lost, the authority said.

Weather conditions were clear at the time, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said. Airplane Black boxes only broadcast for thirty days, and it is 26 days since the crash. So searchers were up against a deadline.

At 2:29 a.m., just after it had entered Egyptian airspace, the plane swerved 90 degrees to the left, and then 360 degrees to the right before plunging first to 15,000 feet, then 10,000 feet, before dropping off radar, Kammenos, the Greek defense minister, told reporters.

The French ship LaPlace detected pings from the plane's recorders on June 1st. The Egyptian government contracted with Deep Ocean Search to send the ship John Lethbridge to the scene with a remote-controlled underwater vehicle capable of scouring the ocean floor nearly 2 miles deep. The Comanche 6000 vehicle uses video cameras and limbs to sample and recover objects.

Fifty six passengers and ten cabin crew members and security officers lost their lives in the crash. The passengers were mostly Egyptian - 30 in all - but also aboard were 15 French citizens, including an infant; two Iraqis; and one from each of the following countries: Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada, according to Egyptian aviation minister Fathi.

The Airbus A320 had routine maintenance checks in Cairo before it left for Paris, an airline official said. The jet was also in Eritrea and Tunisia, data from flight tracking websites show.There was no special cargo on the flight and no notification of any dangerous goods aboard, according to Capt. Ahmed Adel, a vice chairman at EgyptAir.

The plane has been part of EgyptAir's fleet since November 2003, according to Adel. It had about 48,000 flight hours. The plane's captain had about 6,000 flying hours, he said.

 

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