Expert: EgyptAir descent

Wednesday, November 10th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

One expert calls the descent made by EgyptAir
Flight 990 in its last moments "extraordinary."

The plane's flight data recorder shows the autopilot was disconnected shortly after the jet started what should have been a long period of cruise flight. Then, federal investigators say it began a "controlled descent" from 33-thousand feet to 19-thousand feet just before crashing into the Atlantic.

M-I-T aviation expert Ed Crawley says a pilot would not leave a given altitude unless told to do so, or if there was an emergency.

Former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Barry Trotter says there could have been a rapid decompression problem.
He says that would have caused a pilot to descend without air traffic control permission.

The final few seconds of information on the plane's flight data recorder are still being analyzed. Searchers are also continuing to
look for the jet's cockpit voice recorder.