Thanks to Robert Drake & John Quinn for forwarding.
(Robalini's Note: Associated Repress is a Freudian slip, if I've ever seen one.)
EgyptAir Flight With Over 200 Onboard Disappears From Radar; Coast Guard Finds Debris and One Body Off Massachusetts Coast
Aired October 31, 1999 - 6:00 a.m. ET
O'BRIEN: Art, there's something here, Associated Repress -- Associated
Press is reporting -- and we want to couch this. I don't believe we have
this independently confirmed by CNN. But according to Associated Press
speaking to sources in Egypt, that particular EgyptAir aircraft began
its flight in Los Angeles and apparently made a landing at Edwards Air
Force Base in California. That seems very odd to me.
CORNELIUS: That is odd. Normally, you don't ever use a military
facility, and as to why they chose Edwards, even if they had a problem,
is a puzzle to me. It may be because they felt that the fire-suppression
and rescue capability at a military airport might be more readily
available than at a civilian airport. But I would question that.
O'BRIEN: Yes. That's a report that we're going to try to nail down. But
if in fact that were the case. that would indicate clearly that
something prior to any disappearance off of radar screens off of
Nantucket, something had been troubling those pilots, perhaps.
O'BRIEN: Cheryl Fiandaca with our affiliate WABC in New York reporting
to us from JFK Airport, thanks very much.
And just to underscore, we're -- that report that that aircraft made
some sort of stop at Edwards Air Force Base, which you would have to
characterize as something way out of the ordinary, that report still has
not been independently confirmed by CNN. That report coming from the
Associated Press. They are
quoting EgyptAir officials and Egyptian television that there was that
stop. We're working on trying to nail that particular thing down.
Let's go back to Art Cornelius, our aviation consultant in Los Angeles.
Art, I don't want to dwell on this Edwards thing too much, because the
fact that we don't have it confirmed. But when -- when a stop like that
occurs, one should
consider the possibilities that there was some kind of abnormality on
CORNELIUS: Yes. I would definitely consider that now. If in fact they
landed at Edwards, that indicates a number of things: first, Edwards
would be an unfamiliar airport to the crew, and so would not be high on
their list of choices
O'BRIEN: Art -- Art, I'm going to interrupt real quickly. I just want to
let our viewers know we have confirmed that flight, Flight 990, after
leaving Los Angeles, did, in fact, stop at Edwards Air Force Base. So
let's go forward with
the certainty that this in fact happened.
Give us some scenarios as to why that would have happened. Edwards Air
Force Base, folks might be familiar with it as -- a lot of a test
aircraft are flown out of there. The shuttle often lands there. It has a
very long and forgiving runway, does it not?
CORNELIUS: Well, yes, if you use the lake bed, it is a very long and
forgiving runway. But I will -- I will just guarantee you from my
experience that if an aircraft lands on the lake bed, he is not going to
turn around and go anywhere real soon, because there's going to be some
-- some cleanup that has to be done.
O'BRIEN: But there is a hard-surface runway there, we want to point out
to our viewers.
CORNELIUS: Oh, yes. But it's no longer than those at many other
locations. Los Angeles has a 12,000-foot runway, and Los Angeles also
has, you know, an excellent airport rescue and fire-fighting capability.
Ontario Airport, just due south of there, has a 10,000-foot runway, or
better. And they also have an excellent fire-fighting capability. So it
used to be that you might choose a military airport if you wanted to
foam the runway for some
reason: i.e., you might have a landing gear problem, and you were going
to put the airplane down and you wanted to have the foam.
That's seldom done anymore. And the military airports had the capability
to foam the runway whereas most civilian airports did not. But they
don't do that anymore. It's found to be not an efficient option for an
O'BRIEN: All right, Art. I'm going to have you standby. Let's turn now
to Ben Wedeman, who just left an EgyptAir news conference in Cairo.
Ben, what can you tell us?
WEDEMAN: What I can tell you is that, yes, that plane did land at
Edwards Air Force Base. The reason for that is not clear.
Kirby The Konspiracy Boy Says, "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"