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29 May 2016

Private firm to search for EgyptAir black boxes

The missing EgyptAir plane

Egypt has hired a private firm to help find EgyptAir MS804's black boxes in an area narrowed down by an emergency signal that was recently detected.

Cairo's defence ministry stated that it had contracted private firm Deep Ocean Search for the task.

EgyptAir had said after the crash that a distress signal had been detected, but this was denied by the Egyptian military.

In context

The missing EgyptAir plane

Introduction

EgyptAir: A profile

EgyptAir is the national carrier of Egypt.

It operates across more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The airline has had four major accidents in the last 16 years, in 2002, 2011, and 2016.

Of these, only the 2002 crash in Tunisia had fatalities, while the rest of the accidents were technical faults, and one hijacking.

Disappearance

EgyptAir plane vanishes from radar

An EgyptAir plane flying from Paris to Cairo disappeared off the radar.

Officials have been unable to make contact with the aircraft which had 66 people on board when it disappeared.

Egypt has deployed search and rescue teams to locate the missing aircraft; however, no other details were available.

Flight MS804 left Paris at 2309 hrs local time and disappeared at 0245 hrs.

Who were on board?

The plane had 56 passengers; 15 French, 30 Egyptian, one Briton, one Belgian, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian. Among the 10 crew, 3 were security personnel and 7 were cabin crew. There were 3 children on board.

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Where?

Where did the plane disappear?

The EgyptAir Airbus A320 FLight MS804 was flying at 37,000ft (11,300m) when it went missing over the eastern Mediterranean sea.

Authorities said they traced the approximate last location of the aircraft to be 10 miles within Egyptian airspace.

Officials said that the flight time from Paris to Cairo was little more than four hours, meaning the plane was just half an hour from Cairo.

Greece joins rescue ops, France offers help

Assistance

Greece joins rescue ops, France offers help

Greek authorities joined the search for the airline by dispatching a C130 aircraft and another early warning radar aircraft over the Mediterranean sea.

They said one frigate was also heading to the area, and helicopters were on standby for potential rescue or recovery.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said "France is ready to help with the search if the Egyptian authorities ask."

24 Jun 2016

MS804 flight recorders sent to France for repairs

Excessive salt deposits on the memory chips of EgyptAir MS804's flight recorders have led investigators to send the devices to Paris for repairs.

Egyptian officials said the chips would be handed over to French authorities by next week.

Following the repairs, the chips will be sent back to Egypt for further analysis so investigators can ascertain the reasons for the plane crash.

28 Jun 2016

EgyptAir flight recorder repaired

Egyptian officials conformed that one of the two black boxes from EgyptAir MS804 has been repaired.

The box was sent to France's Accident Investigation Agency laboratory and returned to Egypt.

Officials hope that it would now provide fresh clues to what led to the fateful crash.

Officials added that work to restore the contents of the second box would commence on 29 June.

30 Jun 2016

Blackbox data shows heat damage, smoke

The data from EgyptAir MS804's blackbox has shown that there were signs of smoke and heat damage on the plane.

Officials added that the smoke was detected prior to the crash, and added that the wreckage showed "high temperature damage and soot", which was inconsistent with a plane crash.

The smoke was detected in the toilet and in the avionics unit under the plane.

06 Jul 2016

Pilots tried to douse fire: Investigators

Investigators have stated that the black box data revealed that the pilots of the crashed EgyptAir flight MS804 had to douse a fire on board before the crash.

Investigators said the data confirmed that there was fire in the bathroom and the avionics area of the plane.

Authorities added that they have not ruled out any possible causes including terrorism.

17 Jul 2016

Investigators listen to pilots discuss fire on board

Investigators said that they could hear pilots discussing the fire that broke out on EgyptAir MS804.

The pilots were trying to ascertain the extent of the damage and were discussing contingency plans.

However authorities are yet to find out where and why the fire broke out.

The new information backs previous assessments that a fire related accident caused the plane to crash.

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