MS804: EgyptAir Plane Did Not Swerve and Change Direction before Disappearing
According to a senior Egyptian aviation official, EgyptAir MS804 that crashed in the Mediterranean did not swerve and change direction before disappearing.
The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard when it vanished from radar early on May 19.
According to Greece’s defense minister, the plane turned 90 degrees left and then did a 360-degree turn towards the right before plummeting.
Ehab Azmy, the head of Egypt’s state-run provider of air navigation services, said there was no unusual movement.
He told Associated Press the plane had been flying at its normal height of 37,000ft before dropping off the radar. Some debris has since been found.
“That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar,” he said.
Greece’s defense minister Panos Kammenos had said the radar showed the Airbus A320 making two sharp turns and dropping more than 25,000ft before plunging into the sea.
Ehab Azmy added that there were no problems with the plane as it entered Egyptian airspace, where it was tracked for “nearly a minute or two before it disappeared”.
Greek aviation officials had said air traffic controllers spoke to the pilot when he entered Greek airspace and everything appeared normal.
They tried to contact him again at 02:27 Cairo time, as the plane was set to enter Egyptian airspace, but “despite repeated calls, the aircraft did not respond”.
In a statement to Egypt’s al-Ahram newspaper, Ehab Azmy also denied a report there had been contact between the pilot of the plane and Egyptian air traffic control.
Ehab Azmy did not elaborate on his denial to al-Ahram in further interviews with AP and Reuters.
On May 22, Egypt deployed a robot submarine to search for the flight data recorders of the missing EgyptAir plane.
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said there was “no particular theory we can affirm right now” for what caused flight MS804 to crash.
Egypt’s civil aviation minister has said the possibility of a terror attack was stronger than technical failure, but President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said establishing the cause could take a long time, adding “all scenarios are possible”.
The Egyptian military released images on May 21 of life vests, personal items and debris showing the EgyptAir logo which were found during the search in the Mediterranean Sea.
The search has also reportedly found body parts and luggage. The main body of the plane and the two “black boxes” which record flight data and cockpit transmissions have not yet been located.