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NOAA EXPANDS TEAM OF EXPERTS FOR EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 990 SEARCH

Side-Scan Sonar DeploymentNovember 4, 1999 — NOAA is playing a greater role in the recovery efforts for EgyptAir Flight 990. In addition to the NOAA Ship Whiting, which is being used to map the ocean floor in search of the debris field, NOAA marine weather and oil spill experts are now part of the team searching for the downed aircraft.

(Click images for larger view.)

Bad weather caused the recovery efforts to be halted. Weather forecasters from NOAA's Marine Prediction Center, a division of NOAA's National Weather Service, and oceanographers are providing detailed forecasts to the recovery team, which will help determine when the operations can resume. They are supplying forecasts in the form of text and maps. NOAA physical scientists are producing seafloor mosaics from the information gathered by the NOAA Ship Whiting after a day of scanning a 36-square-mile area.

Reviewing Sonar ImagesThe oil spill experts, from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration, are using computer models to help investigators determine where the plane may have crashed. They use what is known as "hindcasting," which is the reverse of a weather forecast that looks ahead. The oil spill experts take information gathered about oil slicks and floating debris to look backward in time to determine the plane's probable point of impact.

A NOAA offshore weather buoy in the vicinity of the search area and NOAA's Marine Prediction Center are supplying the latest near real-time ocean information, including offshore waters forecasts, (chart and text).

 

NOAA Ship WhitingBackground Information

NOAA SHIP WHITING

NOAA SHIPS TAKE PART IN JFK, JR. PLANE SEARCH

SIDE SCAN SONAR

DYNAMICALLY FOCUSED MULTI-BEAM SIDE SCAN SONAR


NOAA'S OFFICE OF COAST SURVEY — The nation's official chartmaker.

NOAA LOCATES WRECKAGE ON OCEAN FLOOR AFTER TWA FLIGHT 800 DISASTER

NOTE: A NAUTICAL MILE = 1.15 MILES ; e.g. 13.6 knots = 13.6 x 1.15 = 15.64 miles per hour

Office of NOAA Corps
Rear Admiral Evelyn FieldsSince NOAA’s beginning, a large percentage of its oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, fisheries and coastal data has been collected on NOAA ships and aircraft. This fleet of platforms is managed and operated by the Office of NOAA Corps Operations, an office made up of civilians and officers of the NOAA Commissioned Corps (a uniformed service of the United States). In addition to research and monitoring activities critical to NOAA’s mission, NOAANOAA Corp Seal ships and aircraft provide immediate response capabilities for unpredictable events, such as recovery and search efforts after the TWA Flight 800 crash, damage assessment after major oil spills such as the Exxon Valdez, Persian Gulf War and New Carissa, and several major hurricanes during the 1998 season.

Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields is the director of the NOAA Corps.

Buoy


See real-time ocean information from a buoy near the crash site off the coast of Nantucket Island. This information comes from NOAA's National Data Buoy Center. Offshore waters forecasts (graphics and text) are also being provided in text format by NOAA's Marine Prediction Center.

 

 

Contact Information

Media should contact Greg Hernandez, NOAA public affairs, in Washington, DC, at (202) 482-3091 or the main number at (202) 482-6090. Media can also contact the U.S. Coast Guard public affairs command center in Newport, Rhode Island, at (401) 841-9541, -9542, or -9580.