disappears from radar
Published May 19, 2016 FoxNews.com
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Egypt Air Flight 804 has gone missing from radar
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An EgyptAir flight traveling to Cairo from Paris disappeared from radar with 66 passengers and crew members on board, the airline confirmed Thursday morning.
Ihab Raslan, a spokesman for the Egyptian civil aviation agency, told SkyNews Arabia that the Airbus A320 had likely crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
Egyptian armed forces were searching for the plane, which was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two babies, and 10 crew. The pilot had 6,275 flight hours, while the co-pilot had 2,766 flight hours. Earlier, the airline said 69 people were on board.
EgyptAir said on Twitter that the flight was at its cruising altitude of 37,000 feet when it disappeared at 2:45 a.m. Cairo time (8:45 p.m. EDT). The airline said the plane was approximately 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace.
The tracking website FlightAware showed the plane following its scheduled flight path before losing contact over the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The aircraft had taken off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at 11:09 p.m. Central European time (5:09 p.m. EDT) and was due to arrive in Cairo at 3:05 a.m. local time (9:05 p.m. EDT).
The Paris airport authority and the French civil aviation authority had no immediate comment. A French airport official contacted by Reuters said of the plane, "It did not land. That is all we can say for the moment."
The incident renewed security concerns months after a Russian passenger plane was blown out of the sky over the Sinai Peninsula. The Russian plane crashed in Sinai on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board. Moscow said it was brought down by an explosive device, and a local branch of the extremist Islamic State group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for planting it.
In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 1990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, killing all 217 people aboard, U.S. investigators filed a final report that concluded its co-pilot switched off the autopilot and pointed the Boeing 767 downward. But Egyptian officials rejected the notion of suicide altogether, insisting some mechanical reason caused the crash.
In March, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus. A man who admitted to the hijacking and was described by Cypriot authorities as "psychologically unstable" is in custody.