EgyptAir Flight from Paris to Cairo Vanishes

According to Egypt’s national airline, an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo carrying about 66 passengers and crew disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean. The officials said that they believed the plane had gone down into the sea. Sherif Ismail, the Prime Minister of Egypt said that the search for finding the missing Airbus A320 was ongoing and it was too early to rule out any possibility, which includes terrorism. It was asserted by officials in the Egyptian civil aviation department and the airline that they believed that somewhere between Greece and Egypt, the jet had crashed into the Mediterranean.

Nonetheless, it remains uncertain if the disappearance was because of any technical failure in the jet or due to other reasons including deliberate sabotage by the hardline Islamists who have made airliners, airports and tourist sites in Tunisia, Egypt, Europe and other Middle Eastern countries their target in the past couple of years. It was stated by EgyptAir that the plane had issued an emergency signal two hours after it vanished from the radar screen. The emergency beacon attached to the jet may have emitted the signal, which came in at 04:26 a.m. If there are water crashes, a ping or signal is emitted by an underwater beacon that’s attached to the flight recorders of the aircraft.

This assists search and rescue teams in locating the crash and finding the boxes. There were 56 passengers on the aircraft, which included two infants and one child, and the crew total was 10. Apart from 15 French nationals and 30 Egyptians, citizens of 10 other countries were also on the flight. A senior aviation source said it could be confirmed after preliminary search that the aircraft had crashed and fell. When the Prime Minister was asked if a terrorist attack could be ruled out, he said that nothing could be excluded at this point and it would only be evident once the search concludes.

He said that a search was underway in the area where the plane last had contact with the airport. The airline said that the pilot of the plane had flying experience of about 6,275 hours 2,101 of which were spent on A320 whereas the first officer also has about 2,766 hours under his belt. The pilot spoke to Greek air traffic controllers when the jet flew over Kea, which was the last broadcast from the aircraft and no problems had been reported up until then.

But, calls to the plane remained unanswered just ahead of the move into Cairo airspace. Shortly after the plane exited by Greek airspace, it dropped off the radars. The Greek controllers had attempted to contact the aircraft seven miles before it entered Cairo airspace for the transfer procedure, but there was no response from the pilot. A national security council meeting will be chaired on Thursday morning by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, but it remains unclear if the plane will be discussed in the meeting. Families of the crew and passengers on Cairo airport were ushered into a closed-off waiting area.

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