Egyptair 990

Egyptair 990 - Nothing but mystery - nothing but hunches.

Egyptair 990: Anatomy Of A Death-Dive – Puerto Rico Meets Hurricane Lenny – Leonid Obscured By Clouds – November 17, 1999

Egyptair 990
Egyptair 990 – Nothing but mystery – nothing but hunches.

Egyptair 990 Crash and other news – CBS World News Roundup – November 17, 1999 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The mystery of Egyptair flight 990 continued this day. On October 31, the Boeing 767-300ER operating the route crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about 60 miles (100 km) south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 217 passengers and crew on board.

Since the crash occurred in international waters, it was investigated by the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Egyptian Civil Aviation Agency (ECAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) under International Civil Aviation Organization rules. As the ECAA lacked the resources of the NTSB, the Egyptian government asked the American government to have the NTSB handle the investigation. The NTSB found that the probable cause of the accident was 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”, but did not determine a specific reason for the relief first officer’s alleged actions.

There was other news this day – In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Lenny was heading for a direct hit on the island. It was the twelfth tropical storm, eighth hurricane, and record-breaking fifth Category 4 hurricane in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Lenny formed on November 13 in the western Caribbean Sea and maintained an unprecedented west-to-east track for its entire duration, which gave it the common nickname, “Wrong Way Lenny”. It attained hurricane status south of Jamaica on November 15 and passed south of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico over the next few days. Lenny rapidly intensified over the northeastern Caribbean on November 17, attaining peak winds of 155 mph (249 km/h) about 21 mi (34 km) south of Saint Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.

And the much anticipated Leonid Meteor shower went ahead, but with little chance of it being viewed on earth. Observing conditions on the night of Nov. 17, 1999 were not ideal. The moon was nearly full so that only the brightest meteors would be visible through the blinding glare. Furthermore, although Tempel-Tuttle was in the neighborhood of Earth, it had not yet passed perihelion (its closest approach to the Sun). Historically, the best Leonid showers have taken place after the comet has passed perihelion, not before.

Nevertheless, many amateur and professional astronomers were watching the skies. With little hope of seeing anything significant, three Japanese observers in Hawaii were rewarded with a spectacular outburst that briefly rivaled the best Leonids storms ever.

And that’s just a sample of what went on, this November 17, 1999 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.


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