Egyptian and French investigators have said a French ship picked up signals from deep in the Mediterranean Sea, presumed to be from the flight recorders of the EgyptAir plane that crashed last month.
Search teams are working against the clock to recover the two flight recorders that will offer vital clues to the fate of the plane that crashed en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19, killing all 66 people on board.
Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday cited a statement from the committee investigating the crash as saying the vessel Laplace was the one that received the signals.
Wednesday’s statement said a second ship, John Lethbridge, affiliated with the Mauritius-based Deep Ocean Search firm, would join the search team later this week.
France’s aviation accident bureau BEA confirmed that the signal had come from one of the recorders.
The Laplace has equipment from ALSEAMAR, a subsidiary of French industrial group Alcen, which can pick up black box pinger signals over long distances up to 5 km (3 miles) and was contracted by the Egyptian investigators last week.
Acoustic signals emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders, collectively known as the “black box”, can be picked up from deep underwater.
The search for the EgyptAir Airbus A320 has narrowed to a 5km area in the Mediterranean.
Search teams have been working against the clock to recover the two recorders which will offer vital clues on the fate of flight 804.
The locator pings that help locate them in deep water stop transmitting after about 30 days.
The naval vessel Laplace contains equipment from ALSEAMAR, a subsidiary of French industrial group Alcen, which can pick up flight-recorder pinger signals over long distances up to 5km, according to the company’s website.
These are separate from the signals transmitted by the ELT, which sends a radio signal upon impact that is not designed to continue emitting once the plane is submerged underwater, said one of the sources close to the investigation.