[There was a video here]
An EgyptAir passenger jet carrying 66 people from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Aeagen Sea, in Egyptian airspace, early Thursday morning. President François Hollande confirmed that the plane had crashed. Paris prosecutors have reportedly opened an investigation.
“The information that we have been able to gather—the prime minister, the members of the government, and of course the Egyptian authorities—unfortunately confirm for us that this plane crashed at sea and has been lost,” Hollande said on Thursday, after speaking with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, by phone. French, Egyptian, and Greek rescue workers are searching for “debris that would enable us to know the truth.”
“When we have the truth, we must draw all the conclusions, whether it is an accident or another hypothesis, which everybody has in mind, the terrorist hypothesis,” Hollande said.
Greece’s defense minister, Panos Jammenos, said the plane—which was on its fifth flight in 24 hours—swerved abruptly before disappearing from radar. “The plane carried out a 90-degree turn to the left and a 360-degree turn to the right, falling from 37,000 to 15,000 feet and the signal was lost at around 10,000 feet,” he told reporters.
02:24: EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo enters Greek airspace, air traffic controller permissions it for the remainder of its course.
02:48: The flight is transferred to the next air traffic control sector and is cleared for exit from Greek airspace. “The pilot was in good spirits and thanked the controller in Greek.”
03:27: Athens air traffic control tries to contact the aircraft to convey information on the switch of communications and control from Athens to Cairo air traffic. In spite of repeated calls, the aircraft does not respond, whereupon the air traffic controller calls the distress frequency, without a response from the aircraft.
03:29: It is above the exit point (from Greek airspace).
03:39:40: The aircraft signal is lost, approximately 7 nautical miles south/southeast of the KUMBI point, within Cairo FIR.
Immediately the assistance of radars of the Hellenic Air Force is requested to detect the target, without result.
03:45: The processes of search and rescue are initiated, simultaneously informing the Flight Information Region of Cairo.