Signal Detected From Missing EgyptAir A320
Searchers aboard a French naval vessel said this morning they believe they have found a signal from one of the data recorders aboard EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean on May 19. The Airbus A320 vanished from radar during a flight from Paris to Cairo, with 66 people on board. Recovery teams have found some floating debris from the aircraft, but the search is made difficult by the depth of the sea in the area — averaging nearly 12,000 feet — strong currents, and the ruggedness of the sea floor. Another research vessel, the John Lethbridge, based in Mauritius, is expected to join the search team in the next week or so, and it will be able to retrieve the recorders if they are found, officials said. The recorders are designed to emit signals for 30 days after a crash.
An Airbus engineer told Reuters the company is working to develop ejectable or "deployable" recorders that would separate from the tail during a crash and float, emitting a distress signal. Similar technology already is used in some military aircraft, but some in the industry have expressed doubts about their safe use on civil airliners, according to Reuters, saying they could be deployed accidentally and introduce new risks. Airbus said last year it was talking to regulators about adding deployable devices to some of its jets. New European rules set to take effect in 2018 will extend the duration of the pingers in the data recorders to 90 days. Airlines also will be required to track flight positions during ocean crossings.