Data collected from EgyptAir 804's recently repaired flight data recorder has confirmed the presence of smoke in the lavatory and the avionics equipment, beneath the cockpit, before the aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean.
While the cause of the fire or smoke is still a mystery — investigators are considering everything from a mechanical malfunction to terrorism — the physical evidence is providing some answers.
The aircraft, an Airbus A320, showed definite sign of soot and damage from extreme temperatures, Egyptian investigators said.
“We now know that there was some form of either smoldering or some form of fire or some form of combustion, if you like, on that plane, and that has been verified," said CNN's aviation analyst Richard Quest.
The second black box (the cockpit voice recorder) is still being repaired by technicians in France, who also repaired the first black box before sending it back to Egyptian authorities. If successfully restored, the recorder's data could provide insight into possible engine noise, cockpit alarms, and the pilot’s final conversations.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.