EgyptAir Flight MS804 'Did Not Swerve' Before Crash

Mourning family members of EgyptAir crew
Relatives and friends of the cabin crew and passengers on board the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean attend a mourning ceremony on May 22. Egyptian officials say the aircraft made no abrupt turns before its disappearance. Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

EgyptAir flight MS804 did not make abrupt turns before disappearing and crashing as previously suggested, an Egyptian official said on Monday.

The Airbus A320 was traveling from Paris to Cairo last Thursday when it crashed with 66 passengers and crew on board. Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said on Friday that the country's radars had detected a 90 degree swing to the left and a 360 degree rotation as the aircraft fell 15,000 feet before disappearing from aviation radars.

But a senior Egyptian aviation official said that no such turns were recorded and that the plane was flying at its altitude of 37,000 feet before disappearing, contradicting the Greek claim.

"We did not record any form of swerving," head of National Air Navigation Services Company Ehab Mohieeldin told the Egyptian broadcaster CBC on Monday.

"That fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about the aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar," he continued.

He said that Egyptian officials could see the aircraft on a radar for one minute while they were unable to communicate with the pilot.

Authorities are yet to offer a cause for the plane's crash. French investigators say that the plane sent signals that showed smoke was present on board the plane before its disappearance, without providing a cause for the smoke. The Aviation Herald reported that smoke detectors were activated in the aircraft's toilets and electrics three minutes before its disappearance.

Meanwhile, Egypt's public prosecutor requested data from France and Greece on the crashed flight on Monday. Nabil Sadek requested that French authorities transfer documents, audio and visual accounts on the aircraft of its time in Charles de Gaulle airport and French airspace.

He asked Greek authorities to hand over transcripts of all communications between the pilot and Greek air traffic controllers. Greek officials have said that the pilot, in his final communication, reported no problems and thanked them in Greek.