NOAA PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE IN SEARCH FOR DOWNED EGYPTAIR FLIGHT 990
November 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 effortcoordinated by the National Transportation Safety Boardthat 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.
DYNAMICALLY FOCUSED MULTI-BEAM SIDE SCAN