EgyptAir flight MS804 did not swerve before crash, Cairo says

The EgyptAir flight that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea last week did not swerve before it went down, according to senior Egyptian officials, in a sharp contradiction of comments about "sudden swerves" made by the Greek defence minister.

The differing versions of events from Cairo and Athens came as an international air and naval effort continued to hunt for the black boxes and other wreckage from EgyptAir flight MS804, which plunged into the sea last week with loss of all 66 people on board.
The head of Egypt's state-run provider of air navigation services, Ehab Azmy, told the Associated Press on Monday that the plane did not swerve or lose altitude before it disappeared off radar.
Azmy said that a radar reading had shown the plane was flying at its normal altitude of 37,000 feet (11,270 metres) in the minutes before it disappeared.
"That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar," he added, challenging an account given days ago by the Greek defence minister.
"There was no turning to the right or left, and it was fine when it entered Egypt's [flight information region], which took nearly a minute or two before it disappeared," Azmy added.
The Greek defence minister, Panos Kammenos, said last week that the plane took a normal course through Greek airspace before abruptly taking sharp turns.
"The plane carried out a 90-degree turn to the left and a 360-degree turn to the right, falling from 37,000ft to 15,000ft and the signal was lost at around 10,000ft," he said.
Another senior Egyptian navigation services official, Ehab Mohieeldin, meanwhile told a broadcaster in his country on Monday that Egyptian officials had been able to track the plane on radar for one minute before it crashed but were unable to communicate with the crew.
The same channel, CBC, was told by air accident investigator Hani Galal that the plane's black box recorder would be analysed in Egypt if it is found intact, but would be sent abroad for analysis if it is found in a damaged state.
The black box could hold clues as to why the Airbus A320 crashed. Minutes earlier, smoke was detected in multiple places on board.
Egyptian military and international sea-search teams continued to scour an area north of Alexandria, on the Egyptian coast, for items which could have sunk more than 6,500ft.
The recorders emit a constant signal pointing to their location, but this only continues for four to five weeks in the water before their power runs out.
Source: The Guardian

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