The Search Continues For The EgyptAir Black Boxes

by Stephanie Casella

In the days since EgyptAir flight 804 went missing from radar over the Mediterranean Sea, reports on the plane's whereabouts and ideas of what caused the plane to disappear have proven speculative endeavors. Of course, more information could become readily available if search and recovery teams were able to find the plane's black boxes — the colloquially-nicknamed flight recorders. Unfortunately, though debris is quickly turning up as these teams ravage the sea for information, and even as teams get closer to answers, the recording devices are still out there. When will the EgyptAir Flight 804 black boxes be found to help understand what happened to the plane?

According to a source from the Egyptian government who spoke with CBS News, the data recorders — which also record cockpit transmissions — were actually located in an area near human remains and debris from the flight. This same report was shared by Egyptian media and state media that the black boxes' approximate locations were found via their pings, and that recovery efforts were underway. EgyptAir has neither confirmed nor denied these reports, but the days to come will determine their accuracy, as well as whether or not the recovery teams are able to learn exactly what caused this flight to go missing and crash into the sea.

Egypt has deployed a submarine to help further the search for the two recording boxes. Thus far, there is no confirmation of any theory regarding what occurred on-board flight 804.

On Saturday, the French air accident investigation agency explained that smoke was detected in multiple places on the flight very shortly before it plummeted into the Mediterranean. However, the cause of the fatal crash remains uncertain.

Apparently, the plane's automatic smoke detection system sent signals just prior to the plane's disappearance from radar, according to Sebastien Barthe, a spokesman for the French agency who spoke to The Associated Press. The Aviation Herald also received flight data filed through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System from three independent channels showing that at 2:26 a.m. local time on Thursday that smoke was detected in the jet's toilet.

As for when these boxes might help further the investigation in determining if this resulted from an act of terrorism, human error, or malfunctioning equipment is fully dependent on how quickly the U.S. Navy, Egyptian recovery teams, and other nations' teams who have donated their time and services to this cause can recover the recording devices.