Egyptian authorities are still searching for the main wreckage of the Airbus A320 that operated EgyptAir flight MS804, with a focus on retrieving the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
Over the weekend of 21-22 May, Egypt’s navy recovered some pieces of aircraft debris, baggage and human remains from the area of the Mediterranean Sea where the aircraft disappeared from radar.
The main structures of the aircraft have yet to be recovered however. Egyptian president Abel-Fattah el-Sissi told reporters that a submarine will be deployed to the area, in hopes that it might help to locate the main wreck site and the two recorders.
France’s air accident investigator BEA has disclosed that the A320’s aircraft crew address and reporting system (ACARS) transmitted messages of multiple fire alarms on-board, shortly before the aircraft was lost from radar on 19 May.
Egypt’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said on 21 May that it is “looking at all the information that is collected but it is far too early to make judgment or decision on single source of information such as the ACARS messages which are signals or indicators that may have different causes thus require further analysis, as part of the overall investigation.”
It adds that it has already collected aircraft maintenance records and other documentation that will feed into the investigation.
Egypt’s National Air Navigation Services Company has also been forced to refute claims aired on French television that the pilots discussed smoke in the cabin with Egyptian air traffic controllers before the aircraft plunged into the Mediterranean.
Ehab Mohieldin, chief executive of the air navigation services provider said that the allegations were “totally false”, and the aircraft “did not make any contact with Egypt’s Air traffic control but the aircraft was monitored on the radar screens at the border point between the airspaces of Egypt and Greece”.
The 2003-built A320 was carrying 66 crew and passengers on a flight from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared from radar in the early hours of 19 May.