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NOAA PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE IN SEARCH FOR DOWNED EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 990

NOAA Shiping WhitingNovember 8, 1999 — Since the tragic crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 on Oct. 31, NOAA has played an important supporting role in search and recovery operations through its mission to predict and describe the Earth's environment. (Click images for larger view.)

As part of a joint effort—coordinated by the National Transportation Safety Board—that includes NOAA, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the NOAA hydrographic survey ship Whiting is using its nautical charting expertise to search the ocean floor for aircraft wreckage. An on-shore team is creating maps of the debris fields found, using Whiting's side-scan sonar data. A marine weather forecast meteorologist is on scene to provide the command and operational staffs and ships with customized current and projected forecasts of wind, waves, and precipitation, including text and graphics. Other services provided by NOAA include a trajectory analysis of the probable track of any floating debris; development of a mosaic of the ocean floor in the search area; acoustic data current profile equipment that provides a real-time, on-site profile of currents at every level in the water column at the crash scene; production of graphics for use in command staff, all hands, and media briefings; and support on fisheries issues.

"Though greatly saddened for the victims of the crash and their families, we're glad NOAA is able to use so many facets of its environmental expertise to provide sea and weather forecasting support for the recovery effort," said Cmdr. Steve Barnum, NOAA Corps, who is coordinating NOAA's efforts at the scene. "Our goal is to help bring this tragic event to closure."

NOAA personnel assisting in this effort represent the NOAA Commissioned Corps, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, National Weather Service, National Ocean Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service.

NOAA Ship WhitingBackground Information

NOAA'S MARINE PREDICTION CENTER SPECIAL EGYPTAIR 990 WEATHER INFORMATION

NOAA SHIP WHITING

NOAA SHIPS TAKE PART IN JFK, JR. PLANE SEARCH

SIDE SCAN SONAR

NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD (NTSB)

U.S. NAVY OPERATIONS

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.