EgyptAir 990

Did Not Report Problem

The crew of EgyptAir Flight 990 did not express any concerns to air traffic controllers during its brief flight, according to an analysis of the plane's cockpit voice recorder, which shows no evidence of an explosion or mechanical defect.

Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said yesterday that investigators had completed work on the recorder, which contained 31 1/2 minutes of cockpit sounds, lasting from before the Boeing 767 took off from John F. Kennedy Airport until it was diving into the Atlantic Ocean Oct. 31 with 217 people.

"Routine air traffic control [ATC] communications are heard throughout the recording, and at no time did a member of the flight crew use radio communications to advise ATC of either an emergency or a mechanical failure or concern," he said.

While work is continuing on a computerized analysis of the recorder, Hall said, "No sounds have been detected that would be consistent with mechanical failures or an explosion."

Asylum Petition

For Cuban Boy

* MIAMI--Lawyers for the 6-year-old Cuban boy at the center of an international custody dispute filed a petition for political asylum in the United States, which could extend his stay with his Miami relatives for at least 60 days. Elian Gonzalez's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, has demanded that his son be returned to Cuba and has refused to go to the United States or a neutral country to petition for his son.