EgyptAir to contract with French, Italian companies to help search for MS804 black box

Ahmed Abbas
3 Min Read
(AFP, Andy Buchanan)

EgyptAir will contract with a French company and an Italian company to help in the search for flight MS804’s black box, reported state TV.

In a similar effort by Egypt to locate the black box, the government will import a special device to detect the box’s signals from Ocean Sonics, a government source told Daily News Egypt.

Ocean Sonics is a Brazilian company that designs and manufactures digital hydrophones.

The technical record of the crashed EgyptAir MS804 aeroplane did not indicate any technical failure before its departure from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.

Al-Ahram published a document signed by the flight’s pilot Mohammad Shokair prior to departure which did not contain any failure.

The EgyptAir aeroplane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in the early hours of Thursday morning, claiming the lives of all 66 people onboard.

The newspaper also reported that the crashed aeroplane sent electronic messages confirming that all was well. Three minutes before its crash the aeroplane sent a message reporting a change in the temperature of the co-pilot’s window at 00:26 GMT on 19 May.

There are active and passive systems on board commercial aircraft to deal with these scenarios, Professor Robert Jones, department chairperson of Aviation and Transportation Studies at Lewis University, previously told Daily News Egypt.

“However, I think the combination of multiple SMOKE indications by the ACARS is troubling, specifically the AVIONICS SMOKE indication at 00:27 GMT. Many of the pilots’ flight indication systems are connected to, and received from, the avionics control units,” said Jones.

Furthermore, the AUTO FLT FCU 2 FAULT at 00:29 GMT would be an indication that these systems were indeed failing.

The Egyptian investigation team said in a statement released Tuesday that the Egyptian Navy, along with the French navy, is still searching for more debris in the Mediterranean, and some members of the team are attending the search operations.

“The Egyptian investigation team, along with the French team, are now studying all the different aspects of the investigation and the priority is to search for more victims and identify the location of the black box,” the statement read.

A team of forensic experts arrived at a hotel near Cairo airport where the relatives of the victims are staying to collect DNA samples in order to identify the remains, EgyptAir said in an official statement.

The search to find the aeroplane’s black box is still ongoing. This find may play an important role in identifying the reasons behind the crash.

Experts have only 30 days to find the black box before its battery dies, thus preventing it from emitting signals.

Additional reporting by Mohammad Adel



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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for, and interned as a broadcast journalist at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Abbas is a fellow of Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. He holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and New Media from Jordan Media Institute. He was awarded by the ICFJ for best public service reporting in 2013, and by the German foreign office for best feature in 2014.
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