EgyptAir Flight 804 Spotted on Egyptian Radar Screens Before Disappearing

By Juliet Van Wagenen | May 23, 2016
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Wreckage from EgyptAir flight 804, which went missing over the Mediterranean Sea on May 19
Wreckage from EgyptAir flight 804, which went missing over the Mediterranean Sea on May 19. Photo: Egypt’s Armed Forces

[Avionics Today 05-23-2016] Ehab Mohieldin, chairman of Egypt’s National Air Navigation Services Company, has condemned claims that the pilot in command for EgyptAir flight 804, which disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea on May 19, had established positive audio contact with Egyptian Air Traffic Control (ATC). The chairman notes that the claims are “completely false,” stressing that the aircraft did not make any verbal contact with Egyptian ATC. The aircraft was, in fact, spotted on the radar screens at the border point between the Egyptian Flight Information Region (FIR) and Greece, known as KUMBI, which is about 260 nautical miles outside of Cairo.

The Egyptair-operated Airbus A320 disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea in the early morning hours of May 19. Flight MS 804 was carrying 66 passengers enroute from Paris, France to Cairo, Egypt. The Egyptian Armed Forces have begun retrieving wreckage believed to be from the missing flight.

The chairman also confirmed that the aircraft appeared at Flight Level 37,000 feet (FL370) within the boundaries of the Egyptian FIR without any deviation before disappearing from the radar screens less than a minute after entering the Egyptian FIR.

After the flight’s disappearance, Egypt’s ATC unit made contact with some of the aircraft located in the Egyptian FIR flying near the last known point of EgyptAir flight 804, in the hopes they would be able to help communicate with the aircraft or send to ATC any information they had on the flight.

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