Statement of NTSB Chairman Jim Hall
On Release of Navy Assets From EgyptAir Flight 990 Investigation
November 17, 1999

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Jim Hall today issued the following statement regarding the completion of duties by assets of the United States Navy in their assignment relating to the crash of EgyptAir flight 990:

The U.S. Navy has accomplished its initial mission to recover the flight recorders from the crash site of EgyptAir flight 990 for the National Transportation Safety Board, in coordination with other federal agencies.  On October 31, the day of the crash, the U.S. Navy quickly formed the recovery task force to support federal interagency efforts to chart the crash site and recover the aircraft's two flight recorders. The Flight Data Recorder was recovered on November 9, and the Cockpit Voice Recorder was recovered November 13; both by the USS Grapple.

Rear Admiral W.G. Sutton, commander of the Navy's recovery task force, will turn over responsibility of further salvage efforts to the U.S. Navy's supervisor of salvage on November 18.  The Navy's supervisor of salvage has been directed to contract for a large ship with heavy lift capability that can operate in heavy seas, and send it to the accident site as soon as possible for the retrieval of human remains and aircraft wreckage.

Since the crash, the Navy, Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deployed ten ships, four helicopters and almost 1,000 people in direct support of on-scene recovery efforts. These forces will return to their respective homeports and bases.  The SSV Carolyn Chouest will remain as a ready-salvage asset.

I want to thank the men and women aboard the ships of the Navy, the Coast Guard and NOAA for their dedication to the mission.  The Navy will continue to support the NTSB-led federal agency task force as required.  More details will be provided as they become available.
 

NTSB Press Officer:  Keith Holloway (202) 314-6100
 
 

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