Air Algerie flight MH5017, a Swiftair plane flying from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to Algiers, with 110 passengers and 6 crew on board, disappears from radar at 0155 GMT. Air navigation loses track of the plane 50 miles after take off. The flight is missing for hours before the news is made public. The flight path is unknown at this time. Air Algerie states:
In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan.
Two French fighter jets are deployed to locate missing Air Algerie flight AH5017. A French spokeman states:
Two Mirage 2000 jets based in Africa were dispatched to try to locate the Air Algerie plane that disappeared on Thursday. They will search an area from its last known destination along its probable route.
Malian state television reports that the the wreckage of Air Algerie flight AH5017 has been discovered between the town of Gossi, in Mali, and the Burkina Faso border. A crisis unit in Burkina Faso has already inspected the the wreckage, stating:
This team has confirmed that it has seen the remains of the plane, totally burned out and scattered on the ground. Sadly, the team saw no one on site. It saw no survivors.
France sends a military unit to secure the wreckage site of Air Algerie flight AH5017. The flight was carrying 110 passengers, 51 of whom were French nationals. French President Francois Hollande’s office states:
A French military unit has been sent to secure the site and gather the first elements of information.
First video of crash site of Air Algerie flight AH5017 is captured.
French officials state that poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash of Air Algerie Flight AH5017. Investigators have concluded that the aircraft broke apart when it hit the ground, suggesting it was unlikely a victim of an attack. French President Francois Hollande:
French soldiers who are on the ground have started the first investigations.
French soldiers find one of two black boxes for Air Algerie flight AH5017 in northern Mali. The box is sent to Gao, government-controlled city in northern Mali, where remains will be sent for identification before being repatriated. French President Francois Hollande:
There are hypotheses, notably weather-related, but we don’t rule out anything because we want to know what happened. What we know is that the debris is concentrated in a limited space, but it is too soon to draw conclusions.
French investigators say the cockpit voice recorder from the flight is damaged and unintelligible, and that their team is unable to extract information from one of the two black boxes found in the wreckage.
The device seemed to be recording but we don’t yet know why it did not work, except that this was not a result of the crash itself.