EgyptAir pilot spoke with air traffic control for several minutes before crash - despite official claim that there was no distress call

EgyptAir MS804 jet search deploys submarine capable of diving 10k ft

In his first public remarks on Thursdays crash of the Airbus 320 jet which killed all 66 people on board, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said all possible scenarios were still being considered. However, he revealed a submarine capable of diving to a depth of 10,000ft has dispatched to aid in the search for wreckage and its black boxes. It comes as it was reported locator pings emitted by doomed jets black boxes may have been discovered on the Mediterranean seabed. The boxes - which hold readings from inside the Paris to Cairo plane in the moments before it went down - hold vital clues as to what occurred in the moments before it crashed into the sea.

  • French TV station claims pilot spoke to Cairo as smoke engulfed the cabin 
  • Relatives of those killed in the EgyptAir crash mourned at church today
  • A service held in Cairo today paid tribute to the victims of the disaster
  • The Egyptian government has deployed a submarine to help search for jet
  • Pings from the planes black boxes have been identified, it is claimed

 

The pilot of the EgyptAir flight spoke to air traffic control for several minutes before the doomed plane crashed, a French television station has claimed.

The account, which has come from M6 station, directly contradicts that of the official version of the sequence of events that there was no distress call from the flight.

M6 reported that the pilot spoke to Cairo about smoke which had engulfed the flight and had attempted an emergency descent to depressurise the cabin. 

Coptic Christians attend prayers in Cairo for those killed in the crash on Thursday. Data indicates there was smoke and fire coming from the planes toilet in the moments before it crashed

Coptic Christians attend prayers in Cairo for those killed in the crash on Thursday. Data indicates there was smoke and fire coming from the planes toilet in the moments before it crashed

A woman grieves during the emotional vigil held in Cairo today to remember the victims of the crash. It is not yet clear what caused the fire, but a terrorist plot is among the possibilities looking highly likely

A woman grieves during the emotional vigil held in Cairo today to remember the victims of the crash. It is not yet clear what caused the fire, but a terrorist plot is among the possibilities looking highly likely

The deadly plane crash killed all 66 on board, many of which were Egyptian nationals. Here, a young man comforts the relatives of those killed on board

The deadly plane crash killed all 66 on board, many of which were Egyptian nationals. Here, a young man comforts the relatives of those killed on board

One of the services (pictured) was held at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo

One of the services (pictured) was held at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo

The version of events has not been confirmed by the French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, which added that no such information had been provided to the official inquiry. 

The news comes as relatives of those killed in Thursdays doomed EgyptAir crash gathered to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Heartbroken men, women and children were photographed at a service in Cairo praying and paying tribute to the 66 people killed.

Portraits of two of the Egyptian nationals on board - Medhat Michel and Waguih Mourise - were displayed at one ceremony held at the main Coptic Christian church in Cairo.

It comes as the Government today deployed a submarine to help locate the plane wreckage and its black boxes - thought to be lying on the Mediterranean seabed somewhere north of Alexandria.

The plane is believed to have abruptly caught fire and spiraled into the Mediterranean Sea on a flight from Paris to Cairo.

In his first public remarks on Thursdays crash of the Airbus 320 jet, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has said all possible scenarios were still being considered.

Relatives of Medhat Michelle, an Egyptian passenger on the flight, cry during the funeral service in Cairo

Relatives of Medhat Michelle, an Egyptian passenger on the flight, cry during the funeral service in Cairo

A young boy and a relative listen during the church service, held to remember those killed in the deadly crash

A young boy and a relative listen during the church service, held to remember those killed in the deadly crash

Medhat Michel and Waguih Mourise, both of whom were Coptic Christians, were killed in the crash. They were among the 66 passengers and crew who died on Thursday

Medhat Michel and Waguih Mourise, both of whom were Coptic Christians, were killed in the crash. They were among the 66 passengers and crew who died on Thursday

A group of Coptic Christians cry during the service held to pay tribute to those who died on board the flight

A group of Coptic Christians cry during the service held to pay tribute to those who died on board the flight

Portraits of Medhat Michel (left) and Waguih Mourise (right) are displayed during the church service in Cairo

Portraits of Medhat Michel (left) and Waguih Mourise (right) are displayed during the church service in Cairo

His comments come as in-flight data suggested the plane crashed after fire and smoke was detected coming from an toilet - indicating a possible terrorist bomb plot.

Cautioning against rushing to conclusions, Sisi said: Search equipment has moved today from the oil ministry, they have a submarine that can reach 3,000 metres [10,000ft] underwater.

It moved today in the direction of the plane crash site because we are working hard to salvage the black boxes.

Meanwhile, locator pings emitted by doomed EgyptAir flight MS804s black boxes may have been discovered on the Mediterranean seabed, according to reports.

The boxes - which hold the readings from inside the plane in the moments before it went down - hold vital clues as to what occurred in the moments before it crashed into the sea.

However, Egyptian government authorities have denied the reports, saying they would notify the public immediately if they had been found.

A government source told CBS News that search crews had located the approximate location of the boxes.

Egyptian media reported a similar development, though a source from the Ministry of Civil Aviation told Al-Masry Al-Youm denied they had not been found.

Most black boxes can emit a pinging sound for many weeks after they have been lost.

The waters in the area are 8,000-10,000 feet deep - pings from the planes black boxes can be detected up to a depth of 20,000 feet.

According to The Sun, these pings have been identified on the sea floor about near to the planes last known location about 180miles north of the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

The planes twisted blue metal panelling, marked with EgyptAir branding as well as items of clothing and yellow life jackets, has been recovered from the Mediterranean Sea

The planes twisted blue metal panelling, marked with EgyptAir branding as well as items of clothing and yellow life jackets, has been recovered from the Mediterranean Sea

The first pictures of the mangled wreckage from the EgyptAir flight 804 have emerged as investigators confirm smoke was detected in multiple places moments before the plane plummeted into the Mediterranean

The first pictures of the mangled wreckage from the EgyptAir flight 804 have emerged as investigators confirm smoke was detected in multiple places moments before the plane plummeted into the Mediterranean

The cause of the crash that killed all 66 on board remains unclear but smoke alarms were sounding for almost three minutes before it began its rapid descent, according to data

The cause of the crash that killed all 66 on board remains unclear but smoke alarms were sounding for almost three minutes before it began its rapid descent, according to data

Find: The discovery of the black box could provide vital clue into what caused the passenger jet to crash on its journey from Paris to Cairo

Find: The discovery of the black box could provide vital clue into what caused the passenger jet to crash on its journey from Paris to Cairo

 
 
 

Meanwhile, leaked flight data showing trouble in the cockpit and smoke in a plane lavatory points to a sudden, dramatic catastrophe that led to its crash into the eastern Mediterranean early Thursday. 

According to the leaked data, smoke alarms in the lavatory behind the cockpit first began sounding at 00.26GMT.

Less than a minute later, smoke was also detected in the avionics [electronics].

The final two alerts from the plane indicate faults with the FCU - the flight control unit used by the pilot to input instructions into the flight computer - and the SEC 3 - the computer that controls the planes spoilers and elevator computers.

Officials caution its still too early to say what happened to the aircraft - Frances foreign minister said Saturday that all the hypotheses are being examined.

And Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged the media not to speculate about the cause of the crash, and said all scenarios are still being considered.

In a speech he gave at the opening of a fertilizer plant, Sisi said the investigation into the cause of the crash could take a long time but that no one could hide the facts.

Until now all scenarios are possible. So please, it is very important that we do not talk and say there is a specific scenario," Sisi told assembled ministers and MPs.

The Egyptian military yesterday released the first images of aircraft debris plucked from the sea, including personal items and damaged seats.

If they lost the aircraft within three minutes thats very, very quick, said aviation security expert Philip Baum. They were dealing with an extremely serious incident.

Authorities say the plane lurched left, then right, spun all the way around and plummeted 38,000 feet into the sea - never issuing a distress call.

The Facebook page of the chief spokesman for Egypts military showed the first photographs of debris from the plane, shredded remains of plane seats, life jackets - one seemingly undamaged - and a scrap of cloth that might be part of a babys purple-and-pink blanket.

The spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Samir, later posted a video showing what appeared to be a piece of blue carpet, seat belts, a shoe and a white handbag.

The clip opened with aerial footage of an unidentified navy ship followed by a speedboat heading toward floating debris.

Flight 804 left from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on Wednesday night en route to Cairo with 66 people aboard.

The first available audio from the doomed flight indicates that all was routine as the pilot checked in with air traffic controllers in Zurich, Switzerland, around midnight, before being handed over to Italian air traffic controllers in Padua.

The communication occurred about 2 hours before Greek air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane.

Data indicates the plane was on fire before it plummeted into the Mediterranean. An ACARS screen grab (above) shows smoke alarms in the lavatory behind the cockpit sounded at 00.26GMT, three minutes before the plane lost contact

Data indicates the plane was on fire before it plummeted into the Mediterranean. An ACARS screen grab (above) shows smoke alarms in the lavatory behind the cockpit sounded at 00.26GMT, three minutes before the plane lost contact

 
 
 
A video image released by the Egyptian Defense Ministry shows a ship during the search in the Mediterranean Sea which crashed while carrying 66 people

A video image released by the Egyptian Defense Ministry shows a ship during the search in the Mediterranean Sea which crashed while carrying 66 people