VIDEOS: Black-Box Signal Found for #EgyptAir A320 Flight #MS804, carrying 66 people, crashed in Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris to Cairo
JUST IN: A signal presumed to be from one of EgyptAir MS804's black-boxes has been found deep inside the Mediterranean Sea, French aviation safety investigators have confirmed.
The signals were picked up by the French vessel Laplace, Remi Joutry, director of France’s Office of Investigations and Analysis, confirmed to Fox News and Sky News.
Fox News adding: In Cairo, the Civil Aviation Ministry cited a statement from the committee investigating the crash as saying the Laplace deep-sea vessel (shown below) received the signals. The French Navy also confirmed the Laplace arrived on Tuesday in the search area and picked up the signals "overnight." The specific location of the black-box is still yet to be determined, which could take days perhaps even weeks to finally recover.
An Airbus A320-232, Registration Number SU-GCC, performing as EgyptAir Flight MS804, (shown above), vanished from radar at 37,000 feet (11,000 meters) over the Mediterranean Sea, and eventually crashed, the air carrier has confirmed, about 130 nautical miles north of Alexandria (Egypt), and about 210 nautical miles northwest of Cairo (Egypt), according to FlightRadar24, en route from Paris (France) Charles de Gaulle International Airport to Cairo International Airport early Thursday morning, May 19, 2016.
This international aviation safety and security story is continuing to unfold as international breaking news, and live rolling updates to this piece on BeBEE English is ongoing and forthcoming.
JUST IN: Discussing #EgyptAir #MS804 search for Airbus A320-232 crash wreckage on Fox Happening Now with .@JonScottFNC at 1:45pm ET Thursday, May 19, 2016 (see below), and "After Hours with Kevin McCullough" at 5:30pm ET Thursday on AM 970 Radio: "The Answer in New York City", and also on Aljazeera English Live on Thursday and Saturday, May 21, 2016 via Doha, Qatar at 5pm (local) 9am ET. (see below).
Watch Videos Here:
.@JonScottFNC .@OliverMcGee analyze #EgyptAir #MS804 crash on Fox Happening Now, Thursday, May 19, at 1:45pm ET
Discussing #EgyptAir #MS804 below on Aljazeera English Live via Doha, Qatar, 5pm (local time) 9am ET on Thursday, May 19, and later on Saturday, May 21.
"Associated Press reports that Ihab Raslan, a spokesman for the Egyptian civil aviation agency, told SkyNews Arabia that EgyptAir's Airbus A320-232 (then most likely, but now confirmed has) crashed into the sea," The Guardian (U.K.) live continuing update reports.
Egyptian armed forces search and recovery continues at the moment for the Airbus A320-232 airliner (built on July 25, 2003, and delivered to the state-owned Egyptian flag-carrier on November 3, 2003), carrying 56 passengers (including one child and two babies) and 10 EgyptAir crew, the Egyptian air carrier has confirmed.
(via Reuters, Reporting by Megan Cassella; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) "U.S. President Barack Obama received a briefing on the missing EgyptAir plane by Lisa Monaco, adviser for homeland security and counter-terrorism, the White House said on Thursday, May 19, 2016. Obama asked to be updated throughout the day on the situation, in which a jet carrying 66 passengers and crew disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean. He directed administration officials to reach out to their international counterparts to offer support and assistance, deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement."
(via Reuters, Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop) "Britain has offered its support to Egypt over the missing EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, adding that one Briton was on board. Hammond said it was too early to speculate on why the plane had disappeared. "We know that there's a British passport holder on board, who got onto the plane in Paris," Hammond said. "We have offered assistance to the Egyptian authorities but so far we have not had any requests for support," he told reporters in the margins of a NATO foreign ministers meeting.
"Ships and planes from Britain, Cyprus, France, Greece and the United States are taking part in the search for the debris from the aircraft, including the black-box flight recorders (including the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, shown above, sourcing Australian Transportation Safety Bureau, courtesy of BBC News), the DailyMail (U.K.) reports adding, "a French vessel that joined the effort is equipped with sonar that can pick up the underwater 'pings' emitted" by the flight data recorder and flight cockpit recorder for the next 30 days.
NBC News reports, "Leaders of the Egyptian investigative team said at a news conference on Thursday, May 26 in Cairo that signals from one of the three pieces of locator equipment on the plane had allowed them to narrow the primary search to about a 3-mile area."
EgyptAir Flight MS804 Officially Declared As Crashed and All Lives Lost
The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (shown above) has issued a statement saying:
“The presidency with utmost sadness and regret mourns the victims on aboard the EgyptAir flight who were killed after the plane crashed in the Mediterranean on its way back to Cairo from Paris.”
Photo Credit: Associated Press, The office of Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, issued a statement expressing its condolences to the relatives — which marked the first official recognition Friday by Egypt’s government that the missing plane has crashed.
The Egypt president's issued statement is an official recognition establishing the crash of the missing plane, as required by the Egyptian flag-carrier's sovereign under United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), also amounting to Cairo’s official confirmation of the deaths of all 56 passengers, 7 EgyptAir flight crew, and 3 sky marshals on-board. Hence, the search and rescue mission has officially shifted to a search and recovery mission.
However, first, until the flight data recorders and flight cockpit recoders (known as the black-box) are found inside the Mediterranean Sea, second, until victims are indeed recovered from the wreckage, or third, until the airliner's hull is recovered using deep-sea robots from up to a mile seabed depths of the Mediterranean in order to perform aircraft debris forensics of any alleged explosion on-board the Airbus A320-232 airliner, altogether to accurately determined the exact causes of the uncontrolled last moments of this catastrophic crash, EgyptAir Flight MS804 remains as a crash investigation among numerous theories ongoing, including a general belief growing towards an alleged act of terrorism, definitively as to what happen to the missing Airbus A320-232 airliner. However, no group has claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft.
Photo Credit: Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, announcing on Friday, May 20, 2016 that EgyptAir Flight MS804 victim body parts, passenger luggage and Airbus A320-232 debris found in eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. #Greece #EgyptAir #MS804
"The Egyptian military found the personal belongings of passengers and other debris from an EgyptAir jet floating in the Mediterranean, Cairo said on Friday, May 20, 2016, confirming that the plane had plunged into the sea with 66 people on board," reports The Huffington Post via Reuters.
"The navy said it had found the debris about 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of the coastal city of Alexandria and was sweeping the area in search of the plane’s black-box recorders."
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi urged patience Sunday, May 22, 2016, as the search for the wreckage of EgyptAir Flight MS804 "concluded a third day with scant progress," Los Angeles Times reports. "Government investigators said it would be a month before they would release preliminary findings."
Los Angeles Times added: "Egyptian officials, who speculated following the crash that terrorism was the likely cause, have sounded a more cautious note in subsequent days, since no militant group has claimed responsibility, and Egyptian military units have recovered only bits of debris and human remains from the sea."
EgyptAir has also said in a statement:
"EgyptAir sincerely conveys its deepest sorrow to the families and friends of the passengers on-board Flight MS804." #MS804 #EgyptAir
Our heartfelt prayers go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the 66 persons on-board crashed EgyptAir Flight MS804.
Amongst the 56 passengers were 30 Egyptians, 15 French, 2 Iraqis, 1 British, 1 Belgian, 1 Kuwaiti, 1 Saudi, 1 Sudanese, 1 Chadian, 1 Portugese, 1 Algerian and 1 Canadian.
The 10 EgyptAir crew consisted of the captain, first officer, and 5 cabin crew plus 3 sky marshals, given the numerous Egyptian aviation security incidents in recent months.
EgyptAir also said the pilot, Captain Mohamed Said Ali Shoukair (pictured above), the copilot, Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed, were both among the 66 passengers and crew who died on Flight MS804.
The pilot-flying captain (pictured above via a recent Newsweek feature), who is allegedly believed to have frantically attempted to save the doomed jet, amassed 6,275 flying hours, including 2,101 on A320 airliners.
The pilot-monitoring copilot, Mohamed Mamdouh Ahmed (shown above via a recent Newsweek feature), logged 2,766 flight hours.
Photo Credit: Egyptian Military Search for Missing EgyptAir Airbus A320-232 Airliner
EgyptAir Flight MS804 Crash Now Deemed a Search and Recovery Mission
Egyptian authorities formed on Friday, May 20, 2016, the Eygptian Accident Investigation Commission (EAIC) to investigate the EgyptAir Flight MS804 Airbus A320-232 crash, including three investigators of the French BEA, altogether working to pour over radar images, and Paris to Cairo flight path data, and to assess the history of the Airbus A320-232 airliner's maintenance.
"The Egyptian investigation team, in cooperation with French investigators, are studying all aspects of the probe, giving high priority to recovering the bodies of the victims and specifying the site of the two black-boxes," the EgyptAir MS804 EAIC statement said, adding the Egyptian Armed Forces Search and Rescue Center is coordinating the now ongoing search and recovery mission.
JUST IN: The Egyptian military said early Friday morning May 20, 2016 they have found debris and passengers' belongings from the crashed EgyptAir Flight MS804 about 290 kilometers north of the coastal city of Alexandria (near where an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was positioned (as indicated below in the Google map of the Mediterranean Sea).
The navy is reportedly sweeping the area for the Airbus A320-232 airliner wreckage and black-boxes, which is well-within the 30 day-limit of locator ping signals, identifying where the black-boxes and the aircraft wreckage potentially rests on the Mediterranean Seabed up to a mile below the sea surface.
Egyptian and Greek authorities had previously reported on Thursday, May 18, 2016 finding debris and wreckage floating off the coast of Greece. But, then subsequently, authorities walked those statements back in a denial those debris finds floating on the Mediterranean Sea near Greece were from the downed airliner.
France is joining the search and recovery efforts dispatching ships and aircraft into the search area, which is already being scanned by Greek and Egypt aircraft and ships.
"EgyptAir is following the situation closely with the relevant authorities through the integrated operations centre."
JUST IN at 08:25am local time (06:25 GMT) EgyptAir reported on Thursday, May 19, 2016 that Egyptian military search and then-rescue, just after the Airbus A320-232 airlinrer disappeared from military radar and air traffic control at 2:29am (local time), had picked up an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal at 2:36 am (local time) (as indicated below in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of Egypt at Alexandria), as daylight began at 04:26 local time in the area. Water-activated ELTs, which are typically located in the Airbus A320-232 aircraft's tail section, automatically go off when wet upon water impact.
As The Guardian (U.K.) also confirms, "a posting on Egypt’s State Information Service website said investigators had “received satellite reports indicating receiving an electronic distress call from the plane’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT)”. The co-ordinates were being used to narrow down the search area, the statement said."
Remarkably here the Airbus A320-232 wreckage and debris spread after falling out of the sky from 37,000 feet cruise flight altitude could be enormous across the Mediterranean Sea, typically on average closed to a mile (or about 1,500 meters or 4,900 feet) deep to the seabed, whereupon EgyptAir Flight MS804 allegedly landed.
Aviation Herald reports: "Greek Authorities reported at 14:55 local time (12:55 Zulu) that search aircraft have spotted two objects floating on the sea surface about 50 nautical miles south of the last transponder position and about 230 nautical miles southeast of Crete (Greece). The objects were white and red and appeared to be made of plastics."
Searchers allegedly found possible wreckage of EgyptAir Flight MS804, including floatable seat cusions, EgyptAir's Vice President Ahmed Adel told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview from Cairo on early Thursday afternoon.
However, "Greece's lead air accident investigator Athanasios Binis later Thursday said the wreckage found near the Greek island of Karpathos was not from the Airbus A320," according to BBC News.
Mr Binis, who chairs Greece's Air Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Board, said: "An assessment of the finds showed that they do not belong to an aircraft."
Speaking separately to AFP news agency, he said: "Up to now the analysis of the debris indicates that it does not come from a plane, my Egyptian counterpart also confirmed to me that it was not yet proven that the debris came from the EgyptAir flight when we were last in contact around 17:45 GMT."
Whenever that debris wreckage is allegedly recovered, say possibly within weeks, aircraft foresenics by French BEA could then determine if mechanical failure from any alleged catastrophic (even explosive) event occurred, causing the aircraft to plunge into the Mediterranean Sea.
Something Catastrophic Happened On-Board EgyptAir MS804, But Was It Allegedly Perhaps Mechanical Breach, Explosion or Terrorism?
Remarkably, an Egyptian official, who declined to be named, said "the logical explanation is that it was an explosion" that may have brought down the Airbus A320-232 airliner over the Mediterranean Sea, the DailyMail (U.K.) reports Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
"His assessment was backed up by the head of the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority," the English online periodical adds.
Dr. Hesham Abdel-Hamid told MailOnline the "body parts recovered from the Mediterranean had injuries consistent with an explosion."
He said: "Analysis of the remains of the victims flight MS804 indicated there was an explosion on the plane."
"The remains had been ripped apart because of a bomb. However we have not found any bomb fragments as yet."
Be that as it may, spectacularly chaotic and conflicting communications surrounding this aircraft crash continues, as the chief of Egypt's forensics authority quickly has denied the above statements made by Dr. Hesham Abel-Hamid that an initial examination of human remains from EgyptAir's Flight MS804 revealed any evidences indicated by an explosion, Egypt's state news agency MENA first reported, and subsequently picked up and widely reported internationally by the Associated Press Tuesday, May 24.
“Everything published about this matter is completely false and mere assumptions that did not come from the forensics authority,” MENA quoted Dr. Hesham Abel-Hamid as saying in a statement.
Whatever happened on-board EgyptAir Flight MS804 was catastrophic, as the Airbus A320-232 dropped off radar and a couple hours later the above emergency locator transmission (ELT) went off in the Mediterrean Sea. Technical speculation outside any black-box recovery for French BEA safety experts to analyze, it was generally believed until recently as Tuesday, May 26 the Airbus A320-232 fell 22,000 ft and spun (or the #EgyptAir flight "swerved 90 degrees left and then 360 degrees to the right" before plunging, CNN reports) per what radar data allegedly appeared to reveal before it fell off radar completely.
"Officials say the plane is more likely to have been brought down by a terrorist act than a technical fault," BBC News reports.
"It made two sharp turns and dropped more than 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) before plunging into the sea," Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told reporters.
Greece Defense Minister Kammenos added: "The picture we have at the moment on the accident, as it emerges from the Greek air force operations centre, is that the aircraft was approximately 10-15 miles inside the Egyptian FIR [flight information region] and at an altitude of 37,000 feet.
"It turned 90 degrees left and then a 360-degree turn toward the right, dropping from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and then it was lost at about 10,000 feet."
Video Credit: CCTV, EgyptAir Flight 804 "did not swerve at 37,000 feet moments before the doomed jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea", officials confirm.
JUST IN: Remarkably, BBC News reports a "discrepancy between the Greek and the Egyptian aviation official's accounts of the crash is not clear."
The official, Ehab Azmy, who is head of Egypt's state-run provider of air navigation services, told the Associated Press that the plane had been flying at its normal height of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters) before dropping off the radar.
"That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar," he said.
"There was no turning to the right or left, and it was fine, when it entered Egypt's FIR [flight information region], which took nearly a minute or two before it disappeared."
Photo Credit: DailyMail (U.K.)
JUST IN: According to French BEA investigators, EgyptAir MS804 had smoke in the laboratory near cockpit and most critically smoke in the avionics, including several fault indications from the Flight Automation Computers (FAC), which ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) messaged about the condition of the Airbus A320-232, just three minutes (between 00:26 Zulu and 00:29 Zulu) before the airliner disappeared from radar early Thursday morning, May 19.
However, no evidences of explosives or fire ignition substances have been detected by investigators, Reuters has reported.
Interestingly and speculatively, without the black-box data at-hand and only from this important ACARS data, it appears EgyptAir MS804 is allegedly looking somewhat more analogous to the Airbus A320 "digital glass-cockpit" human factors error findings discussed inside the AirAsia Flight 8501 Crash Final Report circumstances, discussed in more detail here.
The Telegraph (U.K.) adds: "Investigators are searching for the black-boxes that record what was said in the cockpit in the flight’s final minutes and show its movements before the crash. The plane is thought have gone down in a deep section of the Mediterranean, where depths can reach up to 10,000 feet. Black-boxes from the 2009 crash of an Air France jet were recovered at 13,000 feet, but the search took two years and required the help of a remotely-operated submarine."
The data on its own is far from definitive, but an European airline pilot speaking to The Telegraph (U.K.) says the ACARS data spells a "terrifying story of a series of cascading faults before the system went dead entirely" and the pilot believed "an internal explosion" seemed the most likely cause, explaining both the sudden problems with the windows and the smoke in the cabin. "It looks like the right front and side windows were blown out, most probably from inside out," a pilot has speculated to The Telegraph (U.K.).
French BEA confirmed on Satuday, May 21, 2016, "there were ACARS messages just prior to breakdown of communications, warning however that they are insufficient to understand the causes of the accident until flight data or cockpit voice recorders have been found. Priority as of current is to find the wreckage and the recorders."
"Until the black boxes are found, nobody is sure whether this was a symptom of malfunction or catastrophic damage caused by an explosion," The Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports, adding: "French BEA investigators have confirmed that the smoke alarms may have been activated even if there was no fire."
The French aviation safety experts told the Financial Times that monitors "can be triggered by air condensing rapidly inside the aircraft following a sudden depressurisation of the aircraft, caused by a catastrophic structural failure".
Airbus airplane manufacturer quickly agreed with the French BEA about caution at this extremely early stage of EgyptAir Flight MS804's Airbus A320-232 airliner search and recovery from the Mediterranean Sea in their statement:
"With the limited data available, the analysis of these ACARS messages does not allow one to establish the sequence of events that would explain the loss of flight MS804. Pending more data, which will become available (in particular the flight data recorders and aircraft parts), Airbus has no specific recommendation to raise at this stage of the investigation."
Weeks Perhaps Months Before EgyptAir MS804's Airbus A320-232 Found in Yet Another Deep-Sea Search Inside Mediterranean Sea Akin to MH370's Search Inside Indian Ocean
Early Saturday, May 21, 2016 (via The Telegraph (U.K.)): "Egyptian government sources are telling CBS News that they have located Flight 804's black-boxes in the Mediterranean and are working to recover them. A military spokesman refused to comment on the report."
However, a source at the Civil Aviation ministry later "denied reports that the black-boxes have been found." They tell the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that if the black-boxes had been found they would notify the public "immediately."
"The chaotic and contradicting claims out of Egypt continue," The Telegraph (U.K.) now reports.
Experts are now more inclined to believe the black-boxes -- perhaps resting on the Mediterranean seabed (with average depths up to a mile (or 1,610 meters) down), and after another extremely challenging deep-sea robot recovery of these all-important flight data and cockpit voice recorders -- could possibly reveal allegedly some sort of ignition event was initiated near the cockpit laboratory (including blowing out fuselage windows) that also catastrophically disturbed the critical avionics and navigation and the essential digital flight automation computer of the doomed Airbus A320-232 airliner during the last three minutes of EgyptAir MS804.
This is further indicated by the detailed ACARS messages uncovered Saturday, and as indicated by the state of the recovered debris that shows some sort of massive catastrophic event occurred on-aboard EgyptAir MS804's Airbus A320-232 airliner akin to what was observed in the wreckage debris at the Boeing 777-200 Ukraine crash site of Malaysia Airlines MH17.
Specifically, from an oceanographer's perspective, the Mediterranean Sea, wherein a massive larger scale deep-sea search for EgyptAir MS804 is about to embark, has an "average depth of 1,500 meters (1.5 kilometers or 4,900 feet) with the deepest recorded point at 5,267 meters (5.3 kilometers or 17,280 feet) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea," according to Wikipedia.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi previously said on Sunday, May 22, 2016, "the Petroleum Ministry has provided a submarine that could reach 3,000 meters (3 kilometers) underwater in an attempt to retrieve the two black-boxes."
Indeed, recovery of the flight data recorder and the flight cockpit voice recorder (commonly known as the "black-boxes") will bring to light more substantive findings at this point in the investigation about whatever was going on during EgyptAir Flight MS804's A320 airliner crash early morning Thursday, May 19.
“They have a submarine that can reach 3,000 meters (3 kilometers) under water. It moved today in the direction of the plane crash site, about 290 kilometers north of the Egyptian coast at Alexandia, because we are working hard to salvage the black-boxes, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said most recently on Friday, May 27, 2016.
Egyptian and French civil aviation authorities also said on Friday in a statement that they have established a contractual agreement with private-sector French firms, Alseamar and Deep Ocean Search (DOS), charged with conducting the Airbus A320-232 airliner search in the pinpointed 3-mile area and executing the recovery process of both the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
As stated earlier in this live updates piece, the Egyptian Accident Investigation Commission (EAIC) said at a news conference on Thursday, May 26 in Cairo that signals from one of the three pieces of locator equipment on the plane had allowed them to narrow the primary search to about a 3-mile area, about 290 kilometers north of the Egyptian coast at Alexandia, according to the French news agency AFP and NBC News.
The newly-brought forward private-sector French firms, Alseamar and DOS, says it has deep-sea vessels and submarines that can operate to sea depths up to 6,000 meters (6 kilometers or 20,000 feet). In addition, the French DOS firm has a robot fully-equipped to map out the Mediterranean seabed.
"Those two companies (Alseamar and DOS) have complementary roles: the first is for locating the pings of the black-boxes [the signal being emitted by the black-boxes' beacon], while the second is for diving and recovering them" with the help of a robot, a source (requesting anonymity) close to the EAIC investigation said to the French news agency AFP in Cairo on Saturday, May 28.
French naval deep-sea search vessel Laplace (pictured below) left Saturday for the believed 3-mile priority search area crash site and is expected to arrive in the Mediterranean Sea in about two weeks.
The priority search area for the crashed EgyptAir flight's black-boxes now has been narrowed from just over 3 miles (or about 5 kilometers) to nearly 1.25 miles (or about 2 kilometers), according to an unnamed source on the EIAC investigation committee.
The EAIC source (requesting anonymity) close to the investigation speaking to the French AFP adding: "But the DOS specialized ship left the Irish Sea on Saturday, May 28, and it will reach the perceived crash site only in around 12 days, expected either Sunday, June 5 or Monday June 6 after having the Egyptian and French investigators embark in Alexandria."
"While we are waiting for the DOS ship, equipped for detecting the pings in deep waters, but more importantly, the robots capable of descending up to 6,000 meters (6 kilometers or 20,000 feet) to recover the black-boxes, we will not be wasting time, as the deep-sea vessel Laplace will be trying to locate (in the Mediterranean Sea the black-boxes in the tighter 1.25 mile (2 kilometer) priority search area) in the meantime,' said the EAIC source, adding "after 12 days, there is a very good chance of recovering the flight data recorders thanks to the combination of these two French companies (Alseamar and DOS)."
On board the French naval vessel Laplace (shown above) along with two French BEA aviation accident investigators are Alseamar's DETECTOR-6000 acoustic detection systems, when submerged, can detect and locate pings from the flight recorders for up to 4,000 to 5,000 meters (4-5 kilometers) underwater below sea level. Alseamar is now transporting on the Laplace three of these DETECTOR-6000 acoustic detection systems from the French island of Corsica to the primary 3-mile search area, about 290 kilometers north of the Egyptian coast at Alexandia, believed to be the crash site on Thursday, May 26.
According to their website, the French private-sector deep-sea salvage recovery firm DOS has pulled to the sea surface precious metals from a World War II ship that sunk to 17,000 feet (about 5.2 kilometers or more exactly 5,182 meters) on the Atlantic Ocean floor.
"The area where Flight 804 went down is believed to be more than 9,800 feet (nearly 3 kilometers or specifically 2,987 meters) deep," reports the New York Post on Sunday, May 29.
Once again, we are undergoing yet another deep-sea search for a massive airliner hull and black-boxes akin to:
(1) AirFrance 447's Airbus A330 crash recovery (after two years of searching after the crash that killed all 228 people on-board on June 1, 2009 seven years ago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in average oceanic depths up to 2-3 miles (or nearly 5 kilometers) down);
(2) Malaysia Airlines MH370's Boeing 777-200ER (after more than two years of searching after the crash on March 8, 2014 in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia at Perth in seabed average depths up to 2-3 miles (or about 5 kilometers) down);
(3) AirAsia 8501's Airbus A320 (after only weeks of searching in much more shallow depths of the Java Sea at a mean depth of just 151 feet (or 46 meters).
According to Wikipedia, by way of comparative deep-sea search scales, relatively speaking: "The average depth of the Indian Ocean, wherein the MH370 search off the western coast of Australia at Perth is rapidly concluding in July 2016, is 3,890 meters (3.9 kilometers or 12,762 feet). Its deepest point is Diamantina Deep in Diamantina Trench, at 8,047 meters (8 kilometers or 26,401 feet) deep. Also sometimes considered the Indian Ocean's deepest point is Sunda Trench, at a depth of 7,258 meters to 7,725 meters (7.3 to 7.7 kilometers or 23,812 feet to 25,344 feet).
Whereas, average depth of the Atlantic Ocean, wherein the AF447 airliner recovery took place off the coast of Brazil five years ago, "with its adjacent seas, is 3,339 meters (3.3 kilometers or 10,955 feet); without them the Atlantic's average depth is 3,926 meters (3.9 kilometers or 12,881 feet). The Atlantic Ocean's greatest depth, Milwaukee Deep with 8,380 meters (8.4 kilometers or 27,490 feet), is in the Puerto Rico Trench."
It must be underscored that deep-sea extremes on depth ranges in which underwater divers can search is 332 meters (0.33 kilometers or 1,089 feet). World records for deepest sea dives using SCUBA gear is 534 meters (0.53 kilometers or 1,752 feet) and for a Comex Hydra 8 experimental dive, performed back in 1988 by a United States Navy diver in an Atmospheric Diving System (ADS) suit, is 610 meters (0.61 kilometers or 2,000 feet).
As these challenging deep-oceanic searches for huge airliner hulls and black-boxes, resting on the deep-sea floors, become increasingly more expensive in their regularity and extended-time delays in their airliner crash mission recovery, I have been calling for over two years, since the MH370 aviation tragedy, for more university-based "data-information-knowledge capacity-building" systems research to guide thoughtful assessment by government regulators and the airline industry of the sound suggestion,
"It's time for searching the black-boxes in the cloud, instead of searching for the black-boxes in the bottom of the ocean."
With such technical "know-how" of streaming limited flight data and cockpit voice recordings alongside emergency black-box location data available to us, imagine how much we would already know, as to the whereabouts of EgyptAir MS804 in the Mediterranean Sea, and about what exactly happened on-aboard the Airbus A320-232 airliner during its last three minutes early Thursday morning, May 19, 2016."
The Egyptian military has released the first photos (above) of the debris from Flight MS804 collected, showing "a forlorn collection of scraps of seats, bits of cloth from the cabin's interior, lifejackets that were likely never used and parts of aircraft wreckage. The first debris was found Friday morning, May 20, 2016, around 180 miles north of Alexandria."
At the moment still there is so much speculation as to the plane's exact whereabouts inside the Mediterranean Sea, and where the airliner black-boxes is allegedly known to reside on Mediterranean seabed depths up to a mile. Mechanical failure, human factors errors, including terrorism, have not been ruled out at this point by aviation safety and crash investigators in Paris and Cairo until the black-boxes are indeed fully analyzed.
In a press conference Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister said, Egypt continues to call the aircraft "missing" on Thursday, May 19, 2016, but the alleged recovery of the black-boxes early Saturday could have significantly change this "missing" declaration to "found", but no so far. The Egyptian Government does not rule out any cause as of yet, neither mechanical failure nor terrorism. "The cause behind the disappearance is more likely terrorism than a technical issue," Egypt's civil aviation minister added.
Three Sky Marshals On-Board EgyptAir MS804 Given Recent Egyptian Aviation Safety and Security Incidents
The disappearance of Thursday morning's EgyptAir A320-232 Flight MS804 is nearly two months after another EgyptAir airliner was hijacked, the New York Daily News has previously reported. This is particularly significant as three sky marshals were on-board the EgyptAir's A320-232 crash Thursday morning, given the numerous Egyptian aviation security incidents in recent months.
That international aviation security incident, involving an EgyptAir hijacking. resulted in the arrest of suspect Seif Eldin Mustafa, 58, who was said to be wearing a suicide vest, and "who threatened to blow up the aircraft with an explosives belt, which was later revealed to be fake," according to CBC (Canada). Specifically, the hijacker suspect forced that Airbus A320 to stop in Cyprus safely, with no injuries to passengers and EgyptAir crew, resulting from the airliner hijacking, said the New York Daily News. Currently, Mustafa is facing extradition to Egypt, the New York Daily News reports.
A related international aviation security incident recently involved a Metrojet Airbus airliner that broke apart 23 minutes after departing the Sharm el-Sheikh for St. Petersburg, Russia on October 31, 2015, killing all 224 people aboard.
"Russia, U.S. and British authorities believed a bomb on the aircraft was the likely cause of the tragedy, with Egypt indicating it had not found any signs pointing to a terrorist act," CBC (Canada) reports.
CBC (Canada) adding: "In 1999, EgyptAir was rocked by an apparent act of pilot sabotage. Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, killing all 217 people aboard, U.S. investigators filed a final report that concluded its co-pilot switched off the autopilot and pointed the Boeing 767 downward. Egyptian officials rejected those findings, believing the cause of the crash mechanical."
Airbus A320-232, Registration Number SU-GCC, performing as EgyptAir Flight MS804, (shown above)
Recent Airbus A320 Airliner Crashes
Generally considered one of the world's safest planes, more recently, the Airbus A320 family of airliners have been involved in several notable fatal crashes before Thursday's Mediterranean deep-sea disappearance and aviation safety and security breach of EgyptAir's A320-232 Flight MS804, including:
- a crash in the French Alps of an Airbus A320-211 airliner, performing as Germanwings flight 4U9525, whereby 150 passengers and crew died. According to Wikipedia, Germanwings 4U9525 "was a scheduled international passenger flight from Barcelona–El Prat Airport in Spain to Düsseldorf Airport in Germany. The flight was operated by Germanwings, a low-cost carrier owned by the German airline Lufthansa. On March 24, 2015, the aircraft, an Airbus A320-211, crashed 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Nice in the French Alps after a constant descent that began one minute after the last routine contact with air traffic control and shortly after it had reached its assigned cruising altitude. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed. It was Germanwings' first fatal crash in the 18-year history of the company."
- a crash in the Java Sea of an Airbus A320-200 airliner, operating as AirAsia flight QZ8501 on December 28, 2014, due to pilot-error in inclement weather, killing 162 passengers and crew aboard.
Airbus A320-232, Registration Number SU-GCC, performing as EgyptAir Flight MS804, (shown above, via Wikipedia)
This international aviation safety and security story is continuing to unfold as international breaking news, and live rolling updates to this piece on BeBEE English is ongoing and forthcoming.
Oliver McGee is professor of mechanical engineering. He is an aerospace, mechanical and civil engineer and author of seven books on Amazon. He is former United States deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999–2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997–1999).
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