The missing EgyptAir plane was en route to Cairo from Paris when it disappeared early Thursday with 66 aboard. The Airbus A320 lost contact with the radar tracking system at 2:45 a.m. at an altitude of 37,000 feet, according to EgyptAir.
The pilot's words were chillingly mundane.
"Hello, Hello, EgyptAir 804 flight level 370, squawk number 7624," the pilot said, according to a recording of the flight deck's communications with the air traffic control tower early Thursday posted by liveatc.net. "Thank you so much. Good day, have a goodnight."
Minutes later the plane would disappear from radar as it flew over the Mediterranean Sea. The cause of the disaster is still unknown.
The search for more of the wreckage was ramping up today in its third day, aided by 24-hour flights by U.S. aircraft using sophisticated equipment to scan the water.
Ships able to scan the sea floor are also sailing into place to join the effort to find the jet's black boxes, which could hold valuable clues to what happened.