The Konformist

KON4M 99
November 1999

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EgyptAir Flight 990 and Edwards Air Force Base

CNN Transcript

Thanks to Robert Drake & John Quinn for forwarding.

(Robalini's Note: Associated Repress is a Freudian slip, if I've ever seen one.)

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/9910/31/bn.01.html

Breaking News

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

 

<snip>

 

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.

 

 

<snip>

 

 

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

that plane.

 

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

for diversion.

 

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.

 

Secondly...

 

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

emergency.

 

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.

 

© 1999 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.

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