The Latest: EgyptAir plane had overheated engine in 2013

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2016 1:40 PM
The Latest: EgyptAir plane had overheated engine in 2013

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into EgyptAir flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Thursday, killing all 66 on board (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

A report published by an organization affiliated with Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation notes that the Airbus A320 that crashed in the Mediterranean Thursday made an emergency landing in 2013 after one of its engines overheated.

Aviation experts told The Associated Press Monday that an over-heated engine would be unlikely to cause a crash.

The report published by the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Directorate says in 2013 pilots returned to Cairo airport shortly after take-off when they received a warning message indicating the engine overheated. The engine was later disconnected and sent for repairs.

David Learmount, editor of the authoritative Flightglobal magazine, says "engine overheat is rare but it happens."

He adds, "an engine fire could cause a crash but has not done so in the modern aviation era."

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5:15 p.m.

The head of Egypt's state-run provider of air navigation services says that EgyptAir flight 804 did not swerve or lose altitude before it disappeared off radar, challenging an earlier account by Greece's defense minister.

Ehab Azmy, head of the National Air Navigation Services Company, told The Associated Press on Monday that in the minutes before the plane disappeared it was flying at its normal altitude of 37,000 feet, according to the radar reading.

He says, "that fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar."

According to Greece's defense minister Panos Kammenos the plane swerved and dropped to 10,000 feet before it fell off radar.

Greek civil aviation authorities say all appeared fine with the flight until air traffic controllers were to hand it over to their Egyptian counterparts. The pilot did not respond to their calls, and then vanished from radars.

"There was no turning to right or left, and it was fine when it entered Egypt's FIR, which took nearly a minute or two before it disappeared," Azmy added.

5:00 p.m.

The French navy said Monday that one of its ships has arrived in the search area to help look for traces of EgyptAir Flight 804 that crashed in the Mediterranean and especially for its flight recorders.

The vessel is equipped with sonar that can pick up the underwater "pings" emitted by the recorders. It is specialized in maritime surveillance, and rescue and marine police missions.

The 80-meter (262-foot) ship left its Mediterranean home port of Toulon Friday with a crew of 90, including two judicial investigators.

The search area is roughly halfway between Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria and the Greek island of Crete, where water is 8,000 to 10,000 feet (2,440 to 3,050 meters) deep.