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Egypt Air Jet Sent Smoke-alarm Warnings Before Crash

31 May 2016

A senior official at the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry has denied media reports that EgyptAir Flight 804's cockpit voice and flight data recorders, commonly known as the black boxes, have been located.

A French ship joined the worldwide effort to hunt for the black boxes and other wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804 Monday, searching for clues to what brought the plane down, as Greek and Egyptian authorities diverged on what happened to the plane during the crucial final minutes before it crashed into the Mediterranean, killing all 66 people on board.

The Egyptian military said in statements on Friday that its naval forces discovered debris, personal belongings of passengers, luggage, aircraft seats, and body parts in the Mediterranean Sea, 290 km north of Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria.

The plane's black boxes, pieces of equipment that record details about a flight and help pinpoint the cause of a crash, are yet to be retrieved.

Egyptian aviation minister said Thursday that a terrorist attack is more likely behind the crash than a technical failure. Why, for example, did whatever occurred not take place until - as has been said - after the aircraft was over Egyptian air-space?

Egypt's military has released pictures of wreckage recovered so far, including a pink bag decorated with butterflies, a life vest, shredded seat covers and mangled debris showing the EgyptAir's name.

The publication cited information transmitted through the plane's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which transmits data from the plane to the ground in a series of messages.

Egypt has sent a robot submarine to join the hunt for an EgyptAir plane which crashed in some of the deepest waters of the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Sunday.

Egypt Air MS804 Debris Found as Families Mourn Victims
EgyptAir MS804 Debris Found as Families Mourn Victims

"All assumptions are possible", Sisi said in a televised speech during an inauguration ceremony of a petrochemical project in Damietta governorate.

In France, aviation officials revealed Saturday that the plane sent automatic messages about smoke in the front of the aircraft just before it crashed early Thursday.

Airport security in Paris is considered up to global aviation standards but one expert says the chilling reality is that security is ultimately fallible. Pings from the black boxes can be detected up to a depth of 20,000 feet.

The report published by the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Directorate says in 2013 pilots returned to Cairo airport shortly after take-off when they received a warning message indicating the engine overheated.

"As soon as the results are out people will be informed". Aviation experts have said that overheating is uncommon yet is highly unlikely to cause a crash. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the crash.

The plane lost contact with radar early yesterday above the Mediterranean Sea about 280 kms from the Egyptian seacoast at 02:30am (local time) as the flight was expected to arrive Cairo Airport at 03:15 am (local time).

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he and other officials - including representatives of Paris Aeroport the French prosecutor, EgyptAir, and the Egyptian ambassador to Paris - had met with about 100 family members to express "our profound compassion" over the crash. The checks were thorough, but there were no outward signs of extra security in the waiting area as passengers boarded the plane as usual. A French security team did walk through the plane's aisles, however, before the aircraft took off.

Egypt Air Jet Sent Smoke-alarm Warnings Before Crash