The Latest: Egypt official says plane didn't swerve, plummet

The Latest on the investigation into EgyptAir flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Thursday, killing all 66 on board (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The head of Egypt's state-run provider of air navigation services says that EgyptAir flight 804 did not swerve or lose altitude before it disappeared off radar, challenging an earlier account by Greece's defense minister.

Ehab Azmy, head of the National Air Navigation Services Company, told The Associated Press on Monday that in the minutes before the plane disappeared it was flying at its normal altitude of 37,000 feet, according to the radar reading.

He says, "that fact degrades what the Greeks are saying about aircraft suddenly losing altitude before it vanished from radar."

According to Greece's defense minister Panos Kammenos the plane swerved and dropped to 10,000 feet before it fell off radar.

Greek civil aviation authorities say all appeared fine with the flight until air traffic controllers were to hand it over to their Egyptian counterparts. The pilot did not respond to their calls, and then vanished from radars.

"There was no turning to right or left, and it was fine when it entered Egypt's FIR, which took nearly a minute or two before it disappeared," Azmy added.

5:00 p.m.

The French navy said Monday that one of its ships has arrived in the search area to help look for traces of EgyptAir Flight 804 that crashed in the Mediterranean and especially for its flight recorders.

The vessel is equipped with sonar that can pick up the underwater "pings" emitted by the recorders. It is specialized in maritime surveillance, and rescue and marine police missions.

The 80-meter (262-foot) ship left its Mediterranean home port of Toulon Friday with a crew of 90, including two judicial investigators.

The search area is roughly halfway between Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria and the Greek island of Crete, where water is 8,000 to 10,000 feet (2,440 to 3,050 meters) deep.