EgyptAir: Two companies to search for black boxes

Egypt has hired two companies, one French and one Italian, to help search for the black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean, the airline’s chairman said on Wednesday

EgyptAir flight 804 crashed on May 19 with 66 people on board including 30 Egyptians and 15 from France, and nearly a week later investigators have no clear picture of the plane’s final moments.

 EgyptAir chairman Safwat Moslem did not name the companies involved, but he told a news conference they were able to search at a depth of 3,000 metres.

The plane and its black box recorders, which could explain what brought down the Paris-to-Cairo flight as it entered Egyptian air space, have not been located.

The black boxes are believed to be lying in up to 3,000 metres of water, on the edge of the range for hearing the signals, emitted once a second.

Maritime search experts say this means acoustic hydrophones must be towed in the water at depths of up to 2,000 metres in order to have the best chance of picking up the signals, which should last for 30 days.

Reuters/UO