Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 19:48 GMT
World: Middle East
Pilots with years of experience
Cockpit voice recorder: Experts are analysing the sounds
Fears are rising that flight 990 was the victim of an act of sabotage.
Flight 990's trained aircrew was made up of a pilot and co-pilot, another pilot and co-pilot to take over half-way through the flight, and two pilots on a trainee exercise with an instructor-observer and an off-duty crewman.
Gameel Batouty, relief co-pilot
His brother-in-law Essam Dahi said he was "a man of experience, honour and, most importantly, faith".
Married for 27 years with five children, Mr Batouty joined EgyptAir in 1987 after training pilots at Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority and the air force.
He had more than 5,000 flight hours in a Boeing 767 and was to have retired in March.
His 10-year-old daughter, Aya, suffers from the immune disorder lupus erythematosis, and had been treated in the United States.
"She was everything to him," Mr Dahi said.
"Only God will be able to give her the kind of love her father offered."
Mohammed Batouty, the pilot's son, denied that the family had any financial problems. The Al-Ahram newspaper has reported that Mr Batouty sent home money and a present for his daughter the day before the crash.
Adel Anwar, co-pilot
Adel Anwar had 12 years of experience with EgyptAir. He logged over 3,900 flight hours, 288 of them on the 767.
Tarek Anwar said his brother had been excited about the event, switching shifts with a colleague so he could be in Cairo early.
His fiancee had left her job to devote herself full-time to being a homemaker. They had packed their bags and made plans for a honeymoon in New York.
Mr Anwar travelled a lot, so no one was waiting for him at the airport, his brother said. It was just another regular flight "or so we thought".
Captain Ahmed al-Habashi
The plane's captain, Ahmed Mahmoud al-Habashi, was one of the airline's most senior and experienced pilots, EgyptAir officials said.
Mr Al-Habashi, who was in his late 50s, was "a man to be respected for his skills and personality", said Walid Murad, head of Egypt's Pilots Association.
"I can't think of anyone with anything but a kind word to say about Ahmed."
Mr Al-Habashi and his wife, Nagya el-Assal, had three children. His brother, Mohammed, is also an EgyptAir pilot.
Raouf Noureddin, relief captain
Raouf Noureddin called his children an hour before flight 990 took off from New York.
Mr Noureddin, 52, began his career as an air force pilot, flying jets, and was decorated for his combat missions in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
He left the air force shortly after the war and spent two years flying for a British company which serviced oil companies in Egypt.
He later joined EgyptAir, where he accumulated over 11,800 flight hours, more than 7,300 on the 767, according to airline records.
His wife recalled him as "a calm man, a loving man", and "a man who loved to fly".