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EgyptAir Voice recorder 'Not Conclusive'

Published: Tue 16 Nov 1999 09:15 AM
The cockpit voice recorder from doomed EgyptAir flight 990 has been plucked from the planes wreckage on the Atlantic ocean floor but as yet it has yielded no conclusive information.
The navy recovered the damaged recorder on Saturday and it was flown to the National Transportation Safety Board Headquarters in Washington. The examination of the recorder began on Sunday.
The tape inside the recorder appeared to be in good condition. But NTSB chairperson Jim Hall said in a statement on Sunday that after an initial review of the recording by US and Egyptian officials "no conclusions could be drawn from their initial reviews".
The Washington Post have reported that, according to sources close to the investigation, the initial reading of the tape did not indicate that the pilots fought with each other, or that one or both of them attempted to commit suicide or that somebody came into the cockpit and caused the crash.
The planes flight data recorder was recovered on Tuesday. It showed the plane's automatic pilot was turned off and the engines were powered back as it began a dive so sharp that their would have been weightlessness in the cabin.
At Hall’s request EgyptAir have provided their own staff to translate the Arabic from the recorder and to interpret the tone and tension in the crew’s voices.
Radar tracks and information from the flight data recorder show that the plane took a roller-coaster ride from its cruising altitude of 33,000 feet before crashing into the ocean on Oct. 31, killing all 217 people on board.
In Cairo, the former head of the EgyptAir's committee in charge of accident investigation suggested the flight had been sabotaged and that the planes behaviour hinted that an explosion may have been responsible.
The FBI have 250 agents on the case and are very hopeful the cause of the crash will be uncovered.
Meanwhile, bad weather has suspended the search for debris at the crash site.
In Newport, Rhode Island, US Navy Petty Officer Brian McFadden said seas in the search area on Monday were 11 to 13 feet, winds are 25 to 30 knots, gusting to 35 knots.
ends

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