July 15, 2011
This research paper will briefly describe how the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) responded to the October 31,1999 crash of EgyptAir’s Flight 990. I will then present factual accounts of the accident and possible causes of the crash.
The crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 into the Atlantic Ocean has been surrounded by an abundance of speculation following its demise on October 31, 1999. The NTSB performed a thorough investigation of the site and available flight data, which led to their conclusion, “the probable cause of the EgyptAir flight 990 accident is the airplane’s departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the relief first officer’s flight control inputs. The reason for the relief first officer’s actions was not determined” (NTSB, 1999). The last sentence of the NTSB’s conclusion left a great deal of ambiguity for many of those who lost loved ones and for those involved in the legal repercussions following the accident. NTSB Investigative Process
According to the official website of the NTSB, “The (NTSB) investigates about 2,000 aviation accidents and incidents a year, and about 500 accidents in the other modes of transportation - rail, highway, marine and pipeline” (NTSB, 2011). The NTSB also claims to only have 400 employees to investigate these numerous accidents where time is extremely crucial. The sooner the Board can be present at an accident site, the better. Once at the site, every piece of information is gathered as evidence and taken to a lab for further examination. In aviation, the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) are typically the most important component of an accident as they contain critical flight information (flap extension, altitude, attitude, etc.) and voice recordings from the pilot(s). All of this data and information is then...