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Red Sea crash plane signal located

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Jan 15 (AFP) – The signal transmitter of one of two flight recorders of an Egyptian plane which crashed this month in the Red Sea killing all 148 people on board has been located, a French specialist said Friday.

The expert taking part in the search for the recorders said it was pinpointed at a depth of 1,023 meters (3,356 feet).

This depth is still within reach of the Scorpio submarine robot which has been diving since Tuesday to recover the recorders off the coast of this Red Sea resort, he told AFP, asking not to be named.

He cautioned that locating the signal transmitter did not necessarily mean the black box had been found because the high speed crash could have caused the two pieces to come apart.

The positioning of the transmitter was made by four sound tracking buoys deployed in the search area on Thursday, he said, adding the margin of error was a maximum of five meters (16 feet).

A similar operation should help locate the transmitter of the second black box, he said.

One black box records the movements of the plane’s controls and the other the voices of the pilot and co-pilot.

French experts working with Egyptian teams had previously said the two black boxes were believed to have plunged to a depth of up to 800 meters (2,600 feet) and spread 1.5 kilometers (5,000 feet) apart.

The French oceanographic ship Beautemps-Beaupre arrived off Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday to map out the submarine landscape of the search area. Another underwater search vehicle, the Super Achille, is to join the efforts on Saturday.

The new equipment will boost efforts of the search teams investigating the crash of the Flash Airlines Boeing 737 that killed 134 French tourists and a Moroccan as well as 13 Egyptian crew members shortly after take-off for Paris.

The black boxes are expected to reveal the exact cause of the tragedy, which Egyptian and French experts believe was the result of a technical fault or other accident and not terrorism.


                                Subject: France news