Possible underwater signal from EgyptAir Flight 804 detected, investigators say

French naval ship Laplace, a research vessel that specializes in underwater searches, has picked up the signal of a detector attached to one of the recorders of flight MS804, according to the Alseamar company, which operates the onboard equipment.

The recorders are created to emit acoustic signals for 30 days after a crash, giving search teams fewer than three weeks to spot them in waters up to 3000-metres deep.

The plane, an Airbus A320 carrying 66 passengers and crew members, vanished from radar screens shortly after entering Egyptian airspace early on the morning of May the 20th.

"We cannot presume to know exactly what happened on board but it's not entirely normal to turn around several times after a technical incident without finding anything", Jean-Paul Troadec of the Egyptian-led crash investigation committee told France 3.

The French air accident investigation agency BEA said it is impossible to determine from the signals whether they were from the jet's data or voice recorder.

Egyptian officials believe terrorism is a more likely explanation for the crash than equipment failure.

However, the jet transmitted a series of messages in the minutes before it crashed into the sea.

The Islamic State did claim responsibility for another recent Egyptian aviation disaster: the downing of a Russian passenger plane bound for St. Petersburg from the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh last October, which killed all 224 aboard.

 

 

  • Neal Todd