>> reporter: well, good morning. what we're waiting to hear right now is any -- any word from the search area that the egyptian military is currently searching with coordination from the greeks. we're hearing from the egyptian armd forces that they have deployed all the resources possible. they have jets, they have boats. they are looking over this area which is about 175 miles north of the egyptian coastline. that is where the area they're saying that this plane last appeared on radar. we're also being told that a military hospital is being prepared for anyone who possibly survived that, but right now, the main focus is trying to find where this airplane went. where did it crash? now egyptian officials have yet to say that the plane has crashed, but it's been eight hours. we've heard from other
governments, other officials that they're saying this plane has crashed, but the real question is, where is it if there's any survivors, can they rescue them and then they'll be looking at what are the causes of this plane going down. so a lot of variables right now, and here at the airport we've been seeing family members coming in and what they're telling us is that egyptian officials aren't giving them enough information and of course when you're a loved one, you're waiting to hear about a family member, not -- no amount of information really is enough, but they are frustrated. they say they want to know, but this again is still very early in this investigation about nine hours since the plane disappeared from radar. so egyptian officials are trying to piece together where exactly this plane is and what exactly happened. >> we can only imagine the uncertainty and the fear of
those family members. thank you for the reporting. we'll check back with you. france's president meanwhile convening an emergency meeting with his ministers vowing to monitor this closely. we're live in paris with more. what have you learned, jim? >> reporter: well, allison, the president was awake wakened by his advisors to learn that the plane had gone down. they have now set up a crisis center at the airport for the families of the victims. they also have another crisis victim at the foreign ministry. there was a brief 45 minute meeting or so with the president and his top advisors to make sure they're all on the same page and then the foreign minister went to the airport and met with some of the family members for about 15, 20 minutes. as he came out he said look, we've got to avoid all kinds of
speculation. he said the best thing we can do for these families is to be prudent about what we say and he would give us no further information. france is going to be involved in the investigation. at the moment they have not found any debris of the accident and so the investigators from the french aviation crash agency, the dea are standing by. they're waiting to hear from the egyptians about when they might be able to come to cairo. the french have volunteered anything that they can put into the search effort. they've got military assets in that part of the mediterranean, but so far at least, the egyptians have not asked for any help. they are in charge of things as it stands on the international rules so we'll see how this develops during the day, but the french are standing by to help and i should say one further thing and that is out at the airport they are looking into the records of everybody that had any kind of contact with this plane that would include
baggage handlers, even the people who loaded the food service carts just to make sure there might not be any involvement here if this turns out to be something caused by a terrorist or any untoward action. >> thank you. all right. allison, let's get into the discussion of this and what we know right now and what we have to be looking at. let's bring in the safety inspector and cnn aviation correspondent. gentlemen, another one of these scenarios, let's do this the right way and just start with a checklist of what you look at in these types of situations. richard, start us off. >> what phase of flight did the incident take place? takeoff, landing, or in this particular case, in the cruise, the most safest part of the journey. and look at the profile of the
flight itself, chris, it shows it was at flight level 37,000 feet and the profile just stops. there's no descent, there's no may day. it tells me whatever happened was instantaneous, it was dramatic. yes, was it explosive, perhaps, but it could have been mechanical as well which led to pilot error in the way it was flown. this was dramatic. >> so we have on our screen here 30 minutes before expected landing. other reports saying 45 minutes from landing at cairo, so would they have started doing things for the descent? what do you see when you look at the course of this airline? >> the first thing i look at is the last transmission from the airplane. that was 157 mile from the airport. at that point it hadn't asked for descent. it's the safest part of the flight. it's the point at which everything is stable, so it was
instantaneous and it was catastroph catastrophic. >> we're of course trying to do this by way of elimination of scenarios as we get more information. there is no word of may day, richard. the -- there is a conflicting set of reports about whether or not there was some type of emergency transmission or beacon transmission from the water somewhat in the area where this plane was last seen. the population of the plane, 56 people could have been holding almost three times. that didn't. it was close to an overnight flight. left just before midnight paris time. the population of that plane equally divided. you had a lot of french, even more egyptians and random other designations. the lack of information, the lack of may day, the lack of any interchange of trouble with the pilots means what? >> it means that whatever
happened, there was a startle factor here, that it happened very fast. you've also got this question of, you know, the incident, it took place just after the handover. crucial this, chris. greek air traffic control had just handed the plane over to egypt and of course the plane never checks in with egypt atc. it goes missing. you know, some will sort of suggest that is similar to mh 370. i think that's a stretch way too far. the reality is, it's a red eye flight. this plane has done five flights during the course of the day and what egypt air is using the aircraft for is a final rotation, to squeeze more economics out of the plane. every airline does it and they do it by putting it in the air at 12:00 at night, landing it in cairo at 3:00 so it can turn itself and you get your
passengers on to other flights. at the moment i ame not seeing anything about this flight that is causing me to raise an eyebrow of suspicion other than the fact the incident happened at 37,000 feet and there's no may day. >> we want to bring in our cnn aviation analyst miles o'brien. what do you see when you look at this set of facts? >> something catastrophic on vously happened on that aircraft. 37,000 feet, no bad weather in the area. no apparent radio calls from the crew itself, so was it a sudden mechanical failure of some kind on the aircraft itself, something innate to the aircraft or was it sabotaged in some way? was it a bomb? those are the two leading contenders at this point and based on the scenario, those are the two things at the top of the list. >> and obviously we had that situation just last year with the plane that went down over
the saudi peninsula. that wound up being an explosive device, but of course they have to go on what they know. now, david, let's try to have a little degree of optimism here, some of the things working in favor. a quickly scrambled resources from the greek navy and air force, they have a lot of vessels in the area. they're sending some quick response plane to the area. the water temperature, given good weather as miles pointed out, there had been some clouding in the area, that was gone by the time the plane got there. the water temperature becoming very important if there was some type of survivable land ng the water. it's about 70 degrees fahrenheit. what does that mean in terms of surviveability? >> well, there's two things working forward if there was a water landing. the air bus 320 is designed not to allow the aircraft to sink. that aircraft continued to float
so there are survivors chls if you're out in the middle of the atlantic ocean or something in that area where the temperature is so low, the surviveability is very minimal and very quick that even -- as quickly as you could get somebody out there to look for the aircraft there wouldn't be survivors. now, in this case we definitely would see survivors if it was a successful ditching and the aircraft is equipped to stay afloat. >> so what are we to make of that distress call or distress signal that happened in the vicinity of where the plan might have gone down? >> i don't think we make much of it at all at the moment. i'll tell you why. clearly it comes two hours after the plane goes missing, so it is unlikely, almost improbably going to be from, you know, any form of may day. what it is very likely to be is one of the emergency lokay torr transmitters that are send out an emergency signal when either
there's a nasty pressurization, or they touch water. it could be from a raft that's come loose and touched water and sending out the signal. since we have not had any further confirmation of the nature and the egyptians haven't said -- actually they've said it's not a distress signal. it's an anomaly at the moment that needs to be addressed. overall, when you look at the causes or potential causes, the only -- i'm completely with miles and david on this. and with one proviso. we have had two or three incidents in the last five years, six years, where there has been mechanical failure followed by incorrect pilot input. i'm thinking of air france and i'm thinking of air asia. in both cases dramatic immediate events which took the plane out of the sky catastrophically.
so i fully accept the necessity of putting a bomb or device on the table but i also think you have to keep the mechanical, pilot aspect of it also well and truly in the realm. >> a quick response from the government saying it was off the radar, somewhat disregarding the possibility that it could have landed somewhere because obviously then it would have been picked up on radar, but you get the same curiosity that we have in all of these scenarios or too many of them, which is why wasn't this plane able to be tracked all along its route? we seem to have this conversation often and there's always talk about improvements but was this still using the old technology? >> it may not be as much of a factor. this is a fairly radar rich environment, if you will. much of the earth is not covered by radar. but the mediterranean and this part of, you know, the eastern part of europe into the middle
east has a lot of radar assets both primary and secondary radar, which is -- relies on the transponder system. so i don't think that's going to be a huge factor. one thing to point out on those previous two crashes that richard cited is that both cases weather was a big factor. both of those aircraft flying in and around some very big thunderstorms. one thing to remember that metro jet crash in egypt, the russian airliner, u.s. national assets the infrared satellites that the u.s. maintains in order to watch for nuclear launches was able to make the distinction very quickly that there was not a missile launch from the ground and there was an explosion that originated on the aircraft. that sort of data i'm sure is in a place right now and we just don't know about it yet and that's going to help us know what happened. >> gentlemen, stand by. we'll call on your expertise throughout the morning.
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we do have breaking news for you. awaiting word from egyptair flight ms804. focus is on security at the airport with terror concerns persisting both in cairo and paris where the flight originated and where it was headed. our editor in chief, sorry to have to come to you with this very mysterious and probably tragic news. what are your sources already telling you at this early hour?
>> well, it's clearly too soon to talk about terrorism as being a likely explanation, but the french prime minister saying that they cannot rule out any possibility, allison, so they'll be looking at multiple scenarios from a terrorism point of view. the intelligence services will be looking at the passenger manifest, they'll be looking at the cargo, they'll be looking at the threats from the airports. this flight took off from the airport in paris. there's been some radicalization in that airport. they've tightened things up since then, but they'll also be looking at where this plane was in the hours before and we know that it transited to france before taking off to cairo through cairo. these are developing countries, there's been concern for quite some time that airport screening has lagged behind in these
countries, that they haven't got state of the art machines necessarily at these airports, the training hasn't been the same as in some airports in the developed world, and with regard to that obviously last october, we saw that plane being bombed out of the sky over the sinai peninsula. they believe that was an isis bombing attack and that an insider at the airport and amechanic working for egyptair help get the bomb on that aircraft and we saw the terrorist group al shabab in somalia managed to get a lap top bomb on a plane taking off from there. so they'll be looking at all of these scenarios but too early to tell if this is terrorism but the suddenness of this event certainly making intelligence
services very worried at this hour. >> yes, obviously, it is premature to have any definitive answers, yet we're just getting more reports in by the minute. however, it's not too early to raise the specter of terrorism given everything that you just outlined. attacks within months of each other. the brussels attack and during all of those you were on the front lines of it. we learned just how many isis operatives there are in paris. so when you hear that a plane originated in paris and is heading to cairo it can't help but send up red flags for people in the intelligence community. >> yeah, they're certainly going to be looking at that possibility, allison. they'll be looking at all possibilities but there has been concern about radicalization amongst airport staff who have some access to airside at the
airport. concern that some of those have become radicalized in the wake of the paris attacks in november they revoked a number of security badges for some of those airport workers, but the thing about paris is that they have a pretty good airport screening technology there. state of the art machines involving explosive trace detection, multiview x-raies. it's difficult to get a device past those machines unless you've got some sort of insider help and even the people working at the airport, the security screening has become much more intense over the last few months, not allowed to bring liquids airside so it would have been difficult to get a bomb on a plane at the airport because of all the screening technology there. so if this was some kind of bomb attack, investigators will also be looking at where the plane was before. it was on a leg before cairo and a leg before as that plane came
back to europe. one question will be, could somebody at one of the airports where security is laxer than in the developed world have managed to get a bomb on board a plane. we've seen attempts, obviously attacks over the last year or so, both in somalia and in egypt, both isis and al qaeda are trying to do this. they're trying to innovate new technology to get bombs on to planes. >> let's talk about that for a second. if that scenario does end up bearing any truth to it, if something were to have happened before, then does isis have the technology to then trigger something hours after, more than 12 hours after something was planted and might that technology have been missed at the airport? >> the scenario would be that you get a bomb on the plane many hours before, in the developing
world in an airport and once you've it on the plane manage to hide it somewhere. it's just a simple function of having a timer and setting that to go off at a certain point, but i would remind all of our viewers that we are very early stages in all of this and it might turn out this was something mechanical, not to do with terrorism at all. there have been no claims of responsibility yet from any terrorist groups. no credible claims yet. obviously we're monitoring that very, very closely. >> that is excellent context. thank you for that reminder. all of our aviation analysts have been reminding us of that as well. thank you very much. let's go back to chris. >> all right. we are monitoring the authorities and the investigators right now. we're waiting on word from the french prime minister. he is supposed to be giving remarks. we see him there now. and he is going to be giving
some word. are we going to listen in now or are we going to monitor it and get a better sense of what he's saying? we'll monitor and let you know if there's any new information. what we're dealing with is what we don't know. the only certainty is that this flight, 804 of egyptair going from paris on an overnight flight to cairo disappeared off radar over the mediterranean just into egyptian air space. where it is is unknown. no word from the pilots, no word from the aircraft. so right now we're waiting on information. as we get it, we give it. stay with us. ii did my ancestrydna. where my family came from. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. it's opened up a whole new world for me.
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there was no word from the pilots. there was no expression of any urgency. there has been no may day from the aircraft. there are conflicting reports about potential distress signals coming from the water. so right now we're monitoring information. the french president was just speaking. when we ingest what he said we'll find what's relevant for you and give it to you. right now we have cnn diplomatic editor nick robertson live in london with more. you do have some new information. help us understand. >> this information comes from the head of greek civil aviation. we know from greek authorities they told us that they spoke to the pilots on board the aircraft at 2:26 in the morning local time. there was nothing untoward, nothing wrong reported by the pilots at that time. now, the new information is that that conversation actually happened as the plane was passing over an island close to
athens. what the head of greek civil aviation then says took place is extremely concerning. he said the greek air traffic controllers called out to the aircraft ten miles before it was due to pass out of greek air space and into egyptian air space. when they called out to the aircraft at that time they didn't get a response. they continued to try to reach the pilot and the co-pilot on board ms804 as it was transiting out of greek air space into egyptian air space. they continued to try for a minute and a half to try to contact them with no response at all for that minute and a half and then they say that's when the aircraft disappeared from the radar. this is a new piece of information that we'll add to the picture that is emerging. it doesn't give us clarity over some definitive act that happened on board the aircraft or what happened on board the
aircraft or to the aircraft, but it does now add information that there was a period where it seems that the aircraft was in the air, that the pilots were unresponsive for at least a period of a minute and a half according to the head of greek civil aviation. >> i'll take it. thank you very much. thanks for that new information. obviously information is coming in by the minute and we'll bring it to you as soon as we have it. why did egyptair ms804 vanish from 37,000 feet? what are the theories of what could have gone wrong? we're in cairo and paris with all the latest for you. that's next. ♪ [female narrator] you listen when your body says: "i'm tired." or, "i'm hungry." what if your body said something else might be wrong?
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we do have breaking news. we're bringing you all the updates on this missing plane, this egyptair plane that fell out of the sky at 37,000 feet. it appears french president hollande is using different language we have heard any other official we have heard at this point. he says it appears the plane has
crashed. this is the first time the word crash has been used. it had dropped off after radar, but the french president confirming what many people have begun to believe and that is that the plane has crashed. let's bring in our correspondent jim butterman. what's the latest there jim? >> well, i think the president was just hedging his language a little bit. i think most people have accepted the fact that this plane has gone down in the sea. i think that there's a kind of a no m-- the president expressed his condolences to the victims and they've set up a crisis center for the families of victims at the airport here as well as a crisis center at the foreign ministry to help with things. the president himself awakened at 6:00 this morning to say that the plane was missing.
so it appears that it has gone down with 15 people of french nationality on board as well as a number of other different nationalties. no word as exactly the cause, but the french accident investigators are standing by here to go to egypt. they said they're ready to go at any time, but they're waiting word from the egyptians. the egyptians have the final say on who's going to handle the investigation and it probably will be them but they may call for other people to help. the french have said they'll be willing to help with any kind of help in the search and so far at least as far as we know, there's been no request put in by the egyptians. the thing that they are doing here is they're checking everybody at the airport who might have had any kind of contact with this airplane. the security folks, the cleaning staff, the people that handled the baggage, the folks that were loading the food carts for example. everybody that had any kind of
contact with this plane is being thoroughly looked at this morning just to make sure. there are 80,000 employees at the airport and it's been known recently a number of employees have been told that they either were going to be laid off or going to be kept from highly sensitive operations because of their political believes. >> and obviously we are fixated right now on what happened to this plane, who was on that plane also relevant. that's what jim bitterman was just referring to. at this hour we know there were 66 people on this flight 804. 56 of them were passengers. 15 for french, about 30 or so were egyptian and then there was a mix of different nationalties from there. 53 were adults. two were infants. one was a child. now, among the crew, the only point of curiosity is that you had three security members there. now we're going to bring in our panel of experts. is that normal? was there heightened security
here? where does that lead us in terms of understanding the situation now that the french president just used the word crash to explain this disappearance off radar? also now with us cnn aviation specialist, so we have the best and brightest on the situation. let's begin with you and let' begin at the beginning. how do you take through the analysis here? >> i think it's very important especially the news we have just received but i really think that we can't overlook the obvious -- the obvious situation at charles de gaulle. these just weren't people who were suspects who had political believes. charles de gaulle had to let go or they fired 57 people who were on terror watch lists. there have been planes defaced. british planes were defaced at the airport. those are shocking things and in
many countries in the world that literally would get the airport closed because it's a shocking breach of security. so the fact that this flight had three security officers on board is just plain smart, but if someone has access to the plane and these were airport workers, then you know, the passengers and the security personnel on board and the pilots couldn't really do anything about something that might have been placed on the baggage holds on the plane and elsewhere, so i think that we have to instead of saying they just had political believes, there were some serious stuff going on at the charles de gaulle airport and isis workers at the belgium airport had ties to isis. and airports are huge cities, we just can't overlook the fact that that's a possibility. >> that is jaw dropping. what you've just reported followed by what we just heard from jim bitterman, that is remarkable. we also, richard, just heard however from one of our
terrorism analysts that after the paris attacks that charles de gaulle had gone through this sweeping security sort of beefed up measures. so i mean, he was sort of suggesting that it's a safer time at charles de gaulle than ever before because they've really kind of upped the ante. so where are we with how security is with charles de gaulle given both of these conflicting things? >> giving the conflicting reports we certainly know they beefed up security because there was perceived to be if not a breach of security, at least an element, an unsavory element, i'll put it no higher than that. the reality of course, and let me say the unthinkable that others may not say is that if there is a security breach at somewhere like charles de gaulle, if it's -- if, allison, it transpires that this has been a security breach at charles de gaulle, then we're in a very different game because you're
talking about one of the top 20 airports in the world, supposedly one of the most secure headquarters of one of the leading groups air france. so i think before we leap in that direction we take cognizance of it but certainly an incident -- this plane, by the way, in the previous days it had been to cairo and it was -- it was the fifth flight of the day to paris. so if -- if there is a security breach at cdg we're in a very different game. the rules have changed completely. >> and miles, i know you're working your sources. we are as well. the intelligence community on the u.s. side is getting ramped up to help in this. as you referred us to earlier, the u.s. has a lot of assets in the area for monitoring and other capabilities. they're very slow on the terror questions right now. they're saying let's find the plane. everything will come from there absent any distress signal, any
message from the pilots, any type of understanding from the aircraft itself, so where does that leave us in terms of understanding what you do to try to find the plane right now? also, we're waiting on egyptian authorities at 7:30 eastern time. we will hear from them for the first time and we'll bring that to you. so miles, what do you see on that front? >> well, a couple of things. first of all, a lot of shipping traffic in the mediterranean. if there's wreckage in that water i think we'll see it fairly quickly. here's the most interesting thing i've read about this morning. these are early reports but take it at face value. greek air traffic controllers say they tried to hand off this aircraft to egyptian air traffic controllers and the aircraft did not respond and yet they still had a radar return. subsequent to that, it disappeared from radar. now, that implies that something was going on on that aircraft prior to its disappearance and it raises all kinds of questions about what might have been
happening. why did that plane not respond, why did it fly on and then why did it suddenly disappear are the big questions right now. was there some sort of struggle on that aircraft? was there something else going on, a cascade of mechanical problems that began with the communication failure of some kind? these are questions we need to look at. but the fact that it disappeared suddenly and it was predated by a handoff that didn't go well says something that we need to look at. >> that is big news and i want you to build on that. i'll read you the report that we have from the greek civil aviation authority. they say it was over the island in greece at 37,000 feet, 519 miles per hour, there were no problems reported. however, ten miles before exiting the greek air space, the pilot did not respond to air traffic controllers. they kept trying to reach the pilots without response and approximately 90 seconds after exiting the greek air space, the aircraft was lost from greek radar. david, what do you see in thee
details? >> it's very concerning that they did not respond and that's highly uncharacteristic they wouldn't respond at that time. they know that they need to respond. they know they need to transfer over and it's just that -- that portion of the flight seems to be we saw this with mh 370 just after the handoff and i'm not implying that was the same thing here, but we continually see this, so the bigger question for me, is why don't we know? these things happen, we've seen them over and over again. what has been done to improve this? we have loved ones of these passengers now that are trying to get answers. we're all trying to get answers, but in the meantime, why are we not doing something bigger than this and is it necessarily time to address that but it's something we have to keep in mind as we move forward is there's no reason to have information on what was going on on that flight deck. >> please stand by. we want to call upon you throughout the show. but the breaking news is that egyptair flight 804 appears to
have crashed. this is according to the french president. what went wrong at 37,000 feet? was there an act of terror, was there a mechanical problem? these are all the things that we're exploring. stay with us. listerine® kills 99% of bad breath germs for a 100% fresh mouth. with breath so fresh, it's no wonder listerine® users feel ready enough to be in a magician's act. kill 99% of bad breath germs. feel 100% in life. bring out the bold™ ♪ some people know how to make an entrance... ♪ to thrive under pressure... ♪ to reject the status quo... and they have no problem passing the competition. the aggressive lexus gs 350 and 200 turbo. once driven, there's no going back.
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gum® brand. we're following breaking news about missing egypt air flight 804. the french president saying it appears it has crashed. it disappeared just inside egyptian air space. there was no may day. there was no word from the pilots. there was no distress signal about what could be happening on the flight and then it disappeared from radar. now we're getting different reports about what happened during handoff between greek and egyptian authorities. the flight originated in paris. it was an overnight flight going from paris to cairo. let's bring back paul and juliett. she has worked in the
departments of homeland security. thank you for being here on short notice. the big piece of news to help fill in the unknown is greek authorities say that during the handoff, as people should know at this point with all the different tragedies we deal with in the air, from country to country, sovereign to sovereign you get handoffs, so the greeks were looking to handoff to the egyptians during that window after hearing from the pilots and recording the information as being accurate in terms of what should be happening there, 500 or so miles an hour it was traveling at, 37,000 feet where it should have been. then no response from the pilots during the handoff. they tried to get them for over a minute and a half. that's the biggest clue so far. your analysis? >> so we obviously still don't know what that means except here's the good news in these gaps in information. that's going to give an area for the search and rescue, because remember, of course this is a tragedy, and there is going to
be information on the plane, there are family members who want to know what happened. so it's going to give a range if in that 2-minute time period something bad happened. as an investigation we are all being cautious here. there are only five sort of ways the investigation will go. it's either the plane, the pilot, the luggage, a passenger or, you know, airport personnel and so while you're hearing all these different things going on in terms of an investigation, some might be mechanical error. some might be pilot error and some of course either terrorism or some human activity. we're going to see the investigation going in those five different ways simultaneously until you can rule out some explanations. >> so paul, you have the unknown, which is why no distress call, no word from the pilots, no may day and now no real pinging from distress oriented activity even though the different beacons and such that the plane should have on
board. there is one report of a distress signal coming from somewhere in the area of the mediterranean where this may have happened, not confirmed by authorities yet. so then you have these two pieces of information, the handoff, and then you have what was going on at de gaulle airport, reports of large numbers of people having been fired because of being on watch lists, terror watch lists. put some meat on the bones of that for us. >> chris, that's right. there has been concern at charles de gaulle airport particularly in the wake of the terror attacks in november about radicalization among airport staff. baggage handlers, cleaners and so on. they revert to a number of security passes, but their rigorous security protocols now in place at charles de gaulle airport for airport workers. they have to go through the same
screening every day when they come to work just like a passengers do. they have to go through -- their belongings have to go through x-rays and metal detectors just like everybody else and those are more rigorous at charles de gaulle airport in paris and across the european union than the security protocols in place in the united states. workers arriving every day don't necessarily have to go through that very rigorous screening. they do background checks and that kind of thing in the united states as a general rule. so there are tough standards in place in europe. also, the state of the art technology for explosive detection now makes it very difficult indeed, to get bombs on to planes by getting it through the scanners. not impossible. terrorist groups are innovating all the time. they're trying to better conceal
explosive devices. we saw a case recently in somalia in february where the terrorist group managed to get a sophisticated bomb hidden in a lap top on board a plane that got through an x-ray and given the previous legs of this same airplane were through eritrea and also cairo and there's concern that some kind of device might have been able to get on to the plane on some of those legs in the developing worlds, chris. where airport security has lagged behind. >> well, obviously that's speculation fuelled by what we know to have happened over the sinai peninsula, the same region obviously with that russian flight that was then connected to isis. stay with us. more information coming in about half an hour from now we'll finally hear from egyptian authorities, and obviously we'll bring that for the audience when we get it. >> absolutely.
much more of our continuing coverage over the breaking news this morning. egyptair flight 804 appear to have crashed in the mediterranean sea enroute from paris to cairo. we have the latest for you next. introducing rhinocort® allergy spray from the makers of zyrtec®. powerful relief from nasal allergy symptoms, all day and all night. try new rhinocort® allergy spray. all day and all night. wannwith sodastreamter? you turn plain water into sparkling water
egyptair flight 804 appear to have crashed. it certainly vanished in re car enroute from paris to cairo overnight. there is a search underway in the mediterranean sea. the plane had 66 people on board. 53 passengers, the rest crew. this was all seemed to have happened within 45 minutes from scheduled landing and now we're getting word from greek authorities. first they had said there was problems with the handoff. they had heard from the pilots everything was okay. the plane's altitude and speed was correct, but now there's new information coming from the greek authorities that is going to fuel more concern. >> absolutely. this is by way of reuters and they say that the greek defense minister has just reported that -- on the missing aircraft that it was in egypt air space at 37,000 feet and made sudden swerves. so that's different. we had heard that it just dropped off of radar, but to hear that it made sudden swerves
that may tell our aviation analysts something significant and we'll check back in with them momentarily. there was also word surfacing about a distress signal picked up in the general vicinity of where that plane disappeared. no word if that came from the plane itself or a connected raft. this as the families of those on board are desperately waiting for answers and there's still obviously questions swirling about the plane's safety, its safety record, its flight crew, the security check points and of course you can't rule out whether this was an act of terror. so we have this breaking story covered from every angle the way only cnn can. we're live at the cairo international airport where we know families are gathering. what's happening at this hour? >> reporter: that's right. weave been seeing families coming here over the course of the day. a lot of them, the ones that are willing to talk to us, a lot of them aren't willing to talk to
media. they just want to know what is happening, what happened to their loved ones. but what we know at this moment is this plane took off from paris at 11:09 p.m. paris time. it was traveling over greek air space when these problems developed, and it was around 2:45 a.m. local time is when they last contacted -- had last contact with the pilot. he thanked them, and then they lost contact with them. >> obviously we've lost him. yes, chris. >> so let's get to jim bitterman. we just heard from president francois hollande using the word crash. now we're hearing from greek authorities that are putting more facts into the situation that there were problems on the
handoff. that according to reuters, they saw swerves in the air pattern. now there's another word via greek authorities that this plane dropped 22,000 feet suddenly, then made the so-called swerves, then disappeared. >> all of this is adding to the mystery, chris, because we've been saying since early morning that it suddenly disappeared from the radar. and checking the sort of civilian radar scopes that you could look at online, there was no indication that anything to contradict that, but now what the greek military is saying does seem to contradict that version of events and will add to this mystery, because clearly something was going on for some time before the plane finally disappeared. that's something that the aviation experts will, i'm sure, be pondering. one of the things that's curious here too is the fact that the
french aviation investigators have not been called in so far. they're on stand by. they would normally be totally involved because they've got 15 french nationals, because the plane is an air bus which was built here in france, because the plane took off from here. one would think that they'd be making their way toward the middle east. they are not. they're waiting for the egyptian authorities to clear them to come in. it's also not clear what will actually happen eventually with this debris that we hear is being found off the coast of greece. will it be brought to greece and reassembled there or will it be taken to cairo? the egyptians are in charge of things. there's a remote possibility it will be brought back to france because it's an air bus, but that's another question that needs to be answered as well. a little bit of confusion on the part of thoerauthorities in egyt authorities here as well. >> thank you very much for that reporting. we want to discuss all of this with our safety analyst, cnn
aviation correspondent as well. we have new information now that i want to bring to you. this comes from the greek defense minister and it comes y way of reuters. the defense minister says immediately after this plane entered cairo air space it made swerves. it made swerves in a descent that the defense minister describes as 90 degrees to the left and then 360 degrees to the right before plunging into the mediterranean. so swerves and then these jagged left/right turns. mary, what do you -- what does that tell you? >> well, again, when we look at these things we always go back to past crashes or past disasters to see if anything looks similar and i keep coming back in my mind to twa 800 and of course now there are reports that the airplane continued
after communication ceased, the airplane continued to fly for a few minutes after that. there have been other tragedies in the past where an explosive event in the case of twa 800 was a center wing tank explosion, it was not terrorism and in other cases there was -- it was a bombing where the plane continued to fly after the event, and made these erratic kind of movements. the trip from 37,000 feet down to the earth even in a direct falling motion is going to take two to three minutes so that would explain the two to three minute difference between the loss of contact and when they think that the plane actually went down. so you have reasons why that could happen. unfortunately none of them are reasons that give you much hope and my heart just breaks for the families, but we have had tragedies in the past where we've seen this scenario and it's been an explosive event.
it has been in a situation where there's been an explosion on board. >> richard, we're using the word swerve because that's what reuters is reporting the defense minister said, but at 360 degree movement is not a turn. it is not a swerve. that is a complete rotation of the aircraft and certainly that wouldn't be a maneuver. right? >> no, that's falling out of the sky, chris. that's literally the plane in extremi extremist. and we can go back to the aviation officials an the air traffic controllers. they say and i'm putting the times into paris time. the last time they spoke to the plane it was 1:48, 2:48 their time. 1:48. the next time they tried to speak to the plane was half an hour later and they got no response. that was at the point of
handover to egypt. now, clearly whatever took place was taking place after 48 for the next 30 minutes around that time. but we don't know when and it's dangerous for us to say that it happened at the handover point because all we know is that at 48 the pilot sounded cheerful and everything was okay. and you hear nothing more for the next 32, 34 minutes until the plane falls out of the sky. so you've got to be very careful aft this point to say, you know, at what moment was the event taking place. were they unable to respond because they were overwhelmed. i don't think at this point, you know, if there was a mechanical issue, they may not remember to call out, but if they were being called in, they're likely to have answered if they could. however, if it's a security issue that's at stake here, then it's very different, because now you have a situation of an
unresponsive cockpit, you have clearly an event that takes place. as for this swerving and this massive fall, we don't see that on any of the civilian radars which means there's been a failure of the adsb reporting, which is significant in itself. >> miles, you know, you just try to read the tea leaves from the little bit of details that we have so far, so just to build on what richard was just reporting, yes, the greek civil aviation authority reports that at 2:58 athens time, i mean, these words stick out to me because it may suggest what was going on inside the cockpit. the pilot was cheerful and thanked the greek air traffic controllers for the information of when the handoff would be. and then as richard said, half an hour to 40 minutes later, no response whatsoever. so you know, cheerful gives you the impression that they were unaware of if something was
happening or if there was a plan or if there was going to be a mechanical problem, but at that moment at least at 2:48 a.m. athens time things were going as expected. >> i've got to say, if these reports about those unusual maneuvers bear themselves out to be true, this is painting a little different picture than how we started this morning here. the idea that they missed a handoff, no communication, and either during that time or immediately subsequent to that time it was engaged in maneuvers that were not normal in any way, shape or form implies potentially a struggle in the cockpit, potentially a hi jacking scenario and we can't -- you've got to put it on the table, was there a flight crew member involved in this. was this in some way a pilot suicide/homicide. these are things that changes things. >> why are you picking up that rather than just a midair explosion and the plane falling from the sky? >> well, a midair explosion and
360 degree maneuver, it sounds like the plane was intact. so again, if that report doesn't bear itself out, if it truly vanished from radar as we first heard this morning, that does -- >> help us understand this, because a lot of this information is very natural to you. you're a pro on this. 90 degrees, we're saying maneuver, swerve, these aren't our words. this is coming from reporting from reuters and 90 degrees is not easy to affect in the air. 360 degrees would be a complete rotation. it doesn't suggest a controlled movement, miles, so that's what we're asking about. is that how it comes across to you or do you think that a pilot could have still been in control and moved the aircraft that way? >> it could go either way. it depends -- you know, when we think of an explosion we think of a catastrophic event, the plane just breaks up and falls
out of the sky. in this case we had an aircraft that had aerodynamic capability, enough to do these maneuvers ch do that imply that if in fact there was an explosion that the plane was able to fly on or was something else going on on that aircraft. that's all i'm saying is that whatever happened there it's not the sudden mysterious vanishing event. there's something that allowed that plane to fly on in some fashion. >> david, what are you hearing? >> well, what i'm hearing is something i heard richard say be very careful and i agree with that but respectfully i disagree with many of the things he was saying. when it has the power on and it stalls, the pilots are trained to do exactly what we're describing here. what they are trained to do is go full left rudder, full right rudder, full left rudder and try to get the aircraft to maneuver left and right so it can fall down and move to the right and get air speed over the wings. so to me there are two scenarios
here. it could have as in flight 800 as mary mentioned before when the aircraft came into two pieces it climbed and it turned, but that's because there was no tail. in this case that is one of the scenarios. >> david, let's just keep going with what we know as we learn it. here's the latest piece of information. immediately after the aircraft entered cairo air space at 37,000 feet, this is from the greek defense minister, the aircraft swerved 90 degrees. okay? that's what we heard, to the left as you suggest. and then 360 degrees to the right which would mean it wound up in the same position from where it started and deskrecend 37 feet to 15,000 feet and then 10,000 feet. that's when signal was lost. so mary, when you hear those numbers and those descriptions, help us understand.
>> well, again, as david was saying, you know, you could have a problem, a rudder control problem, something like that. this plane, if it was a different plane we have had plane models in the past that have had some serious rudder control problems, but when i hear the drop, the drop in the altitude from 37,000 feet is what concerns me the most. that is the serious issue. and i think that's what was a problem going on. i think it's an explosive event. >> richard, your thoughts before we take a break? >> what i'm -- what i'm hearing, i can agree on every one of my learned colleagues is saying and i can sign on board with all of them, but what i am hearing here is this gap of communication from the 2:48 cheerfulness, a 30-minute gap which is then followed by a failure to respond to a callout, which two minutes later is followed by the event
where the plane goes into extreme. the failure to respond to go back is what i'm picking up here. whatever was happening either it was overwhelmed on mechanical issues, so yes, david, i can sign up to that. or there was something absolutely terror related taking place in that cockpit. because they would have responded otherwise. if air traffic control says are you there, basically, even in the middle of a crisis somebody responds and that's why i think this -- there's a 30-minute gap and i think that prooves to be crucial. >> all right. ruch a richard and everybody else, the analysis helped by the defense minister showing the flight path that it took and very erratic behavior after it entered egyptian air space. what we know, what's going on in the water to find this plane, we'll talk to a veteran pilot
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if you're just joining us we have word that egyptair flight 804 appear to have crashed. that is the word from the french president francois hollande. you see the map, the plane was just entering egyptian air space when it went off radar. this was a flight, an overnight flight from paris to cairo. greek authorities monitoring the plane during this portion of its flight says that after a good report, a good check-in from the pilots at a proper altitude and rate of speed, they could not reach the pilots. then there were some sudden movements that we're going to detail for you now before the plane disappeared from radar nearly 11 hours ago. there's an active search going on mainly led by greek water assets right now in that area of the mediterranean. let's bring in a former triple 7
captain and contributing editor for flying magazine and cnn aviation analyst and former ntsb managing director. gentlemen, thank you for joining us this morning at short notice. we've discussed these kind of things many times before. help us get some perspective from the final information we've just received. this is an air bus a-320. the movements according to greek authorities right before it went off radar was that the plane was at 37,000 feet and proper speed of about 500 or so miles an hour. it then at 37,000 feet made a turn 90 degrees to the left. then 360 degrees to the right, which seems like a complete rotation dropping to 22,000 feet rapidly and then 10,000 feet rapidly. as a pilot, what do those movements suggest in terms of how much control was maintained of that aircraft? >> well, let me preface it with
the clooi cliche' thing. we're very early many the investigation and a lot of us as aviation analysts try to compare this to other accidents but any good accident investigators will tell you just put on the brakes a little bit and let's let this whole thing unfold. in answer to your question, it seems especially with the -- with the events leading up to it which was a relaxed cockpit, from my perspective, what we're doing is it's a benign -- cruise is a benign aspect of the flight, so if i'm faced with an emergency all of a sudden at cruise altitude i've got time to do things, but our acroname is aifuate, activate and communicate. so i'm going to assess the situation and go to the appropriate checklist. these 90 degree turns, it's hard to say where is that information coming from. is it radar, is it flight aware is this we don't really know the source of this information, and
then the 360 degree turn, that seems very abrupt. it's not something that i would do in a particular emergency unless i was losing control of the aircraft, and that's sort of where i'm going. why were we losing control of the aircraft? could it have been a catastrophic issue in regard to an explosive device, something nefarious or could it have been a stall situation. we're still early in this investigation. >> are those all equal possibilities at this point? obviously we've all worked together before, but when we hear about these movements, this is more information than we often have at this point. usually it's the plane has disappeared. we're looking for it and where it is and we don't know what it was doing at any of the real movements before impact or whatever its fate was. here we're hearing about these turns. is that helpful? >> well, sure. this is a heavily monitored
area. we've got at least three jurisdictions starting to discuss it. my last investigation at the ntsb was egyptair 990. and that was a plane that crashed off of nantucket that was determined that the pilot flew the plane into the ocean. during the early stages of that investigation as we looked at the radar tracking, it was very perplexing. we didn't know why the plane was performing the way it did. it was only when we got the cockpit voice recorder that we understood what terrible things were going on. so this -- as les mentioned, this is very early many the investigation. we don't know the sources of this. the one thing we do know is we probably have multiple sources of radar information for this that should help us pinpoint approximately where the plane went down and they've got to get the black boxes as soon as possible. >> well, that is one of the
things that's fuelling hope in the unknown right now is that this is not a quiet area. starting from sea level above, you have tons of greek assets in the area. you have american assets in the area. american monitoring assets in the area to help with detection. you have a lot of ocean going traffic in this part of the m mediterranean and then as you move up this is active air space and a lot of monitoring and radar detection there as well. what does that mean in terms of the time window in terms of finding out where this plane is and how it got there? >> i think that's a very positive thing. it's still a big piece of ocean out there, so it's going to take a little bit to define where that particular crash site may be in the water. the fact that -- i mean, this whole area is covered by radar so we're not dealing with the malaysia 370 scenario. this airplane should be found. i have fair confidence that this airplane will be found within the next 24 hours if not sooner,
but when it's found, there may be pieces of it, so we're going to get a good indication on whether parts of that airplane came apart in flight because of whatever the particular source of this catastrophic failure -- what occurred. so i -- you know, this is a better scenario than what we've had in past events. >> thank you very much. stay with us. allison, back to you. one of the me nasing parts of this is no word from the aircraft. no distress signals that can be confirmed and as we know those families waiting back at de gaulle airport, a couple of infants on board and a child, the families want answers. >> of course and it does make it so mysterious when there's no distress call and no communication. we may get a few answers. we are waiting to hear from the egyptian government any moment on flight 804. they are holding a press
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all right. we do have breaking news. egyptair flight 804 enroute from paris to cairo vanished off radar this morning. the french president saying it appear to have crashed into the mediterranean. we know few vital details at this point. most of the information about what might have happened coming from greek officials because they were monitoring this portion of the flight of the aircraft when it dropped off radar. there were 66 people on board. 53 of them passengers, the rest security and crew. there were a couple of infants and one child there as well. the makeup of the population of this plane, you had about a dozen or so french citizens, 30 or so from egypt and another mix of different regional populations as well. we have cnn's ian lee live in cairo with breaking details right now.
what do we know? >> reporter: well, chris, we're waiting for this press conference which should be taking place right about now. egyptian officials giving us an update on the ongoing investigation, but really when you look at the time line, looking at the time when they handed off the plane from greek officials to egyptian officials, they say they lost contact and then as we've been talking about, the plane descending and swirling. these are things they're all going to be looking at, but from the egyptian side we are hearing from the president's office that they have the armed forces out there in the mediterranean scouring the area, looking for any signs of debris and any survivors although the likelihood of having a survivor diminishes by the hour, but they are still hopeful that they could possibly find someone.
they have -- their jets are out there patrolling this area. they have boats out there. a large operation from what the egyptian officials are telling us. they're also coordinating with the greeks, but right now it is all about search and rescue, trying to find the remains of the plane. we haven't heard anything about the cause of the crash yet from egyptian officials. they are focusing on recovery, but they have released some crucial information about the pilots, about the plane saying that these pilots are well experienced with thousands of hours of flight time. the pilots in particular had over 2,000 hours on this a-320 and they say the maintenance is up to date. so they're trying to narrow down what possibly could carry -- or could have happened, but right now, they just need to find the plane. >> okay. thanks so much for all of that reporting. we want to bring back our panel of experts. let's just talk -- let's start
with the timeline, a couple of very vital moments during the course of this flight to read about. at 2:48 a.m., this is athens time, it was transferred. the -- i guess the greek air traffic controllers checked in with the pilots and the pilots were described at that time as being cheerful and thanking the greek air traffic controllers. half an hour to 40 minutes later they tried to check back in with them and transfer them from greek ir space to egyptian air space and they could not be reached. that's when the air traffic controllers realized something terrible was happening and began their distress emergency operations. mary, what else have you picked up on about the mystery of this flight? >> well, i think one thing to point out is the fact that when they were cheerful and their last communication was normal, no problems noted, nothing to cause alarm, and then 30 or so minutes passed, in those 30 minutes it could have been completely a normal flight. they don't have an obligation to
continue to talk. now, they did have the obligation to report in and exit the greek air space and report in to enter the egyptian air space, so whatever happened may not have taken more than a few minutes. it could have been a very catastrophic event that came very quickly and from the radar returns from what we're getting very preliminary radar and as many of the other commentators have said, this area is just flush with radar including united states, and so i think that very soon the nations of the world need to ocooperate and send their information to the investigators investigators and the searchers to help them pinpoint but i think the radar indicates that whatever happened happened in just a very few minutes. something very major and two to three minutes they were gone from the sky. so i think the 30 minutes we can assume might have been an uneventful flight until the event happened. >> so david, let's pick up on
mary's point. if we're waiting on corroborating and coordinating information to come in because there's so much surveillance in the area, what are the next two or three steps in your analysis? >> well, the first thing that i would do is to start thinking about that segment when they were not communicating. did the communication come back while the aircraft was in that immediate flight time? if that's -- if that's the important part, which is the key piece is that if they did not respond everyone though t respond even though they were in that normal flight pattern there are two scenarios. some kind of massive failure on the aircraft because the atsb stopped transmitting during that time. there was movement after wards that wasn't recorded. the other scenario is that there was a massive disabling explosion on the aircraft which would not be a complete destruction of the aircraft but disabling meaning that would explain these strange movements
after wards. so there's only two scenarios that i've narrowed it down to at this point. >> and miles, the strange movements come from the french defense minister who we assume has seen the radar and describes what he sees on there. the plane after they've lost contact swerves violently. it moves 90 degrees to the left and 360 degrees to the right which is a full circle and then plunges he says 27,000 feet into the mediterranean sea. so is it possible to figure out if that means that the pilots were in control during the time of those movements or if they'd lost control of the aircraft? >> it's hard to say right now, but we do know this. if there was some sort of mechanical issue on that aircraft and they had the ability to communicate, it's likely in that two-minute period they would have been able to get some sort of may day call out. so the fact that there was no communication followed by theser rattic movements, leads us down
the road to some sort of terror activity in some sense. at least that -- that's a high probability. >> but why not just a mechanical -- a massive mechanical failure that happens instantaneously? >> well, it doesn't sound like it happened instantaneously because there was some -- the aircraft had some aerodynamic capability. it was swerving, turning and so forth. so unless there was a total failure of communication that happened at the same moment, it's likely that you had some sort of scenario here where the aircraft was either disabled as david has put out -- put up just a few moments ago because of an explosion that didn't cause the complete disintegration of the aircraft or some sort of struggle was understood wway in aircraft. >> so what we don't know about what happened in the air may sadly only be discovered from the water right now. so let's go through that situation. we know that the greek
authorities are largely in control of the water search right now. they have a lot of assets in that area. it's also a heavily trafficked area. it has water temperatures that are conducive to survival about 20 degrees centigrade or 70 degrees or so fahrenheit, but there are also some very big depths there as well as some undercurrents there that can move things around quickly. so how do you see the timing and the different factors of the search? >> well, i -- the debris i'm pretty certain is going to be found quite quickly. it's well trafficked waters, lots of marine shipping there. if that plane came out of the sky and broke up in that area it's going to be found and it's going to be found relatively quickly or at least the debris and the rest of the fuselage shortly thereafter. when i say quickly, chris, i'm not talking about an hour, three hours, five day hours, it might be a day or three days.
and then of course it's the usual finding the recorders and deciding what happened and how this happened. for me, at the moment, i still come back to this time gap of communication that we've all been talking about. a pilot listening to our discussion has just responded to me, and a commercial pilot and on this idea of when they were called, at the transfer point, and they didn't respond. he says it's not amongst the first steps to communicate, but if we are called, we have to reply at least saying stand by or complex failure, stand by. so the fact at -- as allison says 27 minutes past the hour, they do not respond and then within two minutes thereafter they still haven't responded saying may day, complex failure, whatever it might be, this is, i think, very telling to what is -- to the way this develops.
on this question of the swerving, the greeks have talked about and i'm going to be a little more skeptical than most because we've not seen this evidenced anywhere else yet. so i'm just going to be perhaps a little more skeptical than others in saying i need to see a bit more before we can go along with that. >> we appreciate that cautionary note. thank you. go ahead, chris. >> and it just adding to, you know, a dose of optimism at this point, some factors you have in your favor if we put the map up again, this didn't happen in the middle of nowhere. it's just about 150 miles or so off the coast. so there's more proximity than normal. what we're looking at right now, this is the first word from egyptian authorities. let's listen in. >> can everybody hear me? today's a hard day as i said.
and there are lives to the passengers and lives for our colleagues and secondly i want to use the term of the -- the missed plane because we cannot predict -- cannot predict what happened exactly. everybody's very sad today. again, i want to use the term of the missed plane until we will have confirmed information about this plane. that's key to be professional for now.
i'm going to try to talk about what happened today. there are about seven press releases which were -- yeah, they got really -- there are nine, not seven. the nine press releases that we got today, we were trying to give you much -- as much information as we can, but there are a lot of predictions though. and some of them are contradiction each other. so i'm asking everybody, let's stop doing this, and then do some certain steps, and then focus on finding the plane. let's do our work the right way.
this does not mean that the probability of a terrorist attack. it's too early to talk about this. what happened today is that the flight 804 coming from paris disappeared from the radars. around 2:40 a.m. local time. it was an air bus 320. which was taken 60 passengers on the business class, and in total, it was 56 passengers, and the rest were cabin crews and
security. the last communication was between the airplane and the radars was about 3:00 a.m. and then after that the plane was lost. around 2:50, there were tries to get in connection with the plane again, but they failed. the nationalties which were there are 30 egyptians, one british, one belgian, two iraqis, one kuwaiti, 15 french with an infant, one saudi, one sudani. one portugese, one algerian and one canadian.
the families of the passengers, first thing we wanted to focus on -- on saying that we focus on the families, we have families from all nationalties, and we provided them with a hotel where we can -- where they can have rest until we have a clearer vision. same thing for the families of the passengers in france. they're going to get three tickets to come to egypt and we will make sure that they are up to date. everybody's escorted, and we have a special team dedicated to
this mission. i will try to treat everybody in a fair way. we try also to make them feel comfortable. the nine articles that we have gone through, you can have a look at them and if anyone has questions, you're welcome to ask. the way to look for the plane, some of them are done through the marines, and i'm very thankful to the marine traffic that are doing their best to find any information.
the incident does not have any new information except that the plane has disappeared. for sure, there is something that has happened. how are you going to deal with the families of the passengers, because they have no information yet? >> translator: we need to know the names of the passengers. let me ask the first part of the question.
we just provide you with the information that we have. we provide all the information we have, we provide it to the families straightaway. at the same time, they have the tv, so they can watch the news and see what's happening. regarding the list of the passengers, maybe my colleagues have done that. they provided the list. let me just finish what i'm saying. the nationalities, we have the nationaliti nationalities, but to reveal the names at the moment without being sure of anything, that might be a bit of distress to
some people. the truth is that i have no details yet, but we will try our best to provide you with information. let me just finish what i'm saying. can you imagine yourself in my place? how are you going to answer this? >> i'll do it all in english thereafter. you want me to reply in arabic? no, why don't we wait until we finish in arabic first, and then i'll be all yours okay?
can we go ahead? >> the egyptian civil minister there, talking about the latest in terms of the crash, egyptair. he did not give us many details. he basically was saying abundance of sensitivity, he didn't want to release many new details. he wasn't even ready to say the plane had crashed. he was still calling it a missing plane. he wasn't willing to go as far as the french president hollande had, that it appeared to be an apparent crash. we want to bring in our panel again. mary sciavo, miles o'brien, but
let's start with nic robertson, who has been monitoring, he is in london, monitoring all of the latest details of what we do know so far about the missing egyptair flight. what's the latest. >> one of the things from the egyptian official, he refuses to say it is it is a terrorist event. the greek authorities were trying to communicate with the plane as it passed into egyptian airspace, unable to get a response. the aircraft going through this erratic decent pattern, the details will be forthcoming, where it was from potentially military assets in the area. we've heard from civil aviation officials, but the likelihood is that military aviation assets can provide more information.
but at the moment, the details that we have point to this catastrophic failure. the unlikely situation where the pilots are not able to respond to air traffic controllers, despi despite they appear to trying to maneuver and control the aircraft through some catastrophic event. that's where things seem to stand. the search and rescue, as it still is in egyptians, positively trying to put forward this is still a rescue mission. this is not terrorism. too soon to say. egyptian military, greek military actively engaged in that search area right now. >> okay, let's bring in the rest of our panel now, david susi, i want to talk to you about the search. the egyptian minister just sort
of gave us a few logistics about how they're beginning the search and where and how they are hopeful. but explain to us, david, why you think that this might be easier than other planes that have gone missing that we've seen. >> well, what i've been looking sat the ocean currents right below it emitted a signal. right below that, there a gire that goes around in a circle, pulling the debris so it is moving in the right direction to keep the debris in a specific area. even if it was spread out across an area, it will try to bring it back into the area, as opposed to like mh-370 or the air france, where the currents were working against that. this is easier for the search and rescue to identify groups of debris. >> and now richard, let's speak frankly here about why the
egyptian authorities are handling this with the reserve we just witnessed. yes, you could look at it at discretion, let's not call it anything until we know, but there is a history here with this airline. they've had some, what, eight hijackings of their planes. they've had problems like this in the past. how does that give you a window into how they're going to handle this situation? >> well, i have to say that press conference or such as it was that we heard was down right depressing in the sense that you know, you wanted for more confidence measures that they were getting to grips in this. in the social media age where information leaks left, right and center. you've got to look back, chris, at metrojet. you know, the aviation authorities, the investigative authorities, and to be fair, the person we just heard was the minister, not those who will do
the investigation, they said right from the beginning, look, we don't think it is bomb, we don't think it is a bomb. it may not be the bomb. but at the end, they did come out and say quite clearly, yes, an employee siexplosive device. so a proper investigation will take place. that i've got no doubt about it. where i have a certain reservation is just how much chaos and confusion we're going to witness over the next 48, 72 hours, the next five or six days, as the search gets underway, as the remains are found, as the debris is recovered and as the block boxes are located. >> i covered the egypt air crash back in 1999, the one just off of the coast of nantucket. we were all waiting for word, trying to figure out what it
meant, the pilot in that one had i believe, if memory serves, caught on radio, saying allah akbar, and we don't know if that's because he saw something sinister, and it took years, years for them to conclude that it was actually a suicide mission, and i don't know that the egypt authorities ever actually confirmed that. so there is reason today to wonder about their lack of transparency. >> alisyn, your memory is perfect on this. i covered that as well. i actually flew that scenario in a simulator. the ntsb took the lead on that, because it occurred over u.s. territory, was definitive in its report that it was a pilot suicide, the second officer in that case pushed down on the wheel, the oak and dove the plane into the ocean. the captain was struggling, pulling in the opposite direction, there was a struggle in the cockpit. to this day, the egyptian
authorities have not admitted what was patently obvious in that case. i do not have a lot of confidence in the egyptian investigators to do a good and solid investigation. it's too bad it didn't happen in greek territory. the greek authorities in the wake of the helios accident, the helios aircraft that was the so-called ghost aircraft, produced an excellent accident report. top-notch, all the way around. so we're going to have to watch this from afar, but i'm afraid we're going to be seeing an investigation that is not at the top of the list. >> miles, panel, thank you. >> times have changed. >> stand by. >> times have changed. it's important to note, alisyn as we get into the top of the hour. times have changed since 1999. this is almost certainly going to be an international effort. we see the greek authorities are in the waters searching and we have proximity to common waters as well, giving the gegyptian
authorities their due. he said i'm not denying the plane has crashed. i'm using the term the missing plane. we're not hiding anything. until the plane is found, i'll use the word missing plane. that's the word we have right now. our coverage continues. stand by. we do have breaking news. >>announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day" and we're following breaking news. the french president says egypt air 804 appears to have crashed after dropping off radar, just a little more than 11 hours ago. egyptian officials are not willing to go that far yet, chris, as you've been saying, but of course, they're not ruling out the possibility. they're calling it a missing plane. greek officials say the plane swerved and plunged, their words, before its decent into the mediterranean sea. >> i mean, all of the information coming out from the
authorities right naugow who ha been monitoring this lead to catastrophic and it is in the mediterranean sea, 150 to 170 miles off the coast of egypt. now, why that is much closer than it could have been in situations past, it will still be a very long time to coordinate this search. that's why 11 hours in, there is still no word of where this plane might have landed up. we have this story covered the way only cnn can. we have our best on the situation, so let's begin with live at cairo international airport with ian. we heard from the civil minister. he was being careful in language, but what do we know what has been mobilized for this investigation? >> reporter: that's right. this press conference that we just heard really not a lot coming out of it. even though earlier this morning, we were getting a lot
of information from egyptair as well as other aviation officials. what we know right now is that that plane disappeared a little after 3:00 a.m. according to egyptian officials, and they are looking at the area where the plane disappeared from radar. they are using the air force, their navy, they have a huge search team out there looking, scouring the area for any debris, and still, as we're hearing from them, hopefully some survivors, although as the hours tick on, it seems less and less likely. but the egyptians are not giving us a lot of information exactly how they're doing that. we do know they're cooperating with the greeks, looking for this. and we'll also need to remember the 66 people on board. 56 passengers. we've seen their families coming through here throughout the day, getting updates from the egyptian government. i think it's interesting to
note, one man we talked to, when he was done being briefed by the egyptian officials, told us that they told him that the plane hit the water, thus, assuming it crashed. even though we're hearing from the egyptian officials, they're not ready to call it a crash yet. but we have heard from the french president that he said this was a crash, so egypt is using their words carefully. about you you do have those 56 passengers and again, the family members wanting to know why, and when you talk to them, they say that they're not satisfied with the information that they're getting from the egyptian officials, although that is probably to be expected, because they just want to know what happened to their family members. >> it is hearbreaking, the uncertainty, not knowing, craving more information. we see it time and again, and we understand that's happening right behind you there at this hour. thank you for that reporting. also, french president hollande saying egyptair flight
has crashed, senior correspondent jim bittermann is live in paris. what's the latest there, jim? >> reporter: well, president hollande said that in a speech this morning, basically was talking about different subject, but wanted to express his sympathies with the families of the victims. they're gathering out at the airport. there is a special year that has been set up for them. there were 15 french nationals on board the plane. there may have been some other family whose are located in paris who might want to go out to the airport to be close to the latest developments in this, as they come in. basically as far as the french are concerned, they're sitting and waiting until the egyptian authorities summon them. basically they have the accident investigators and teams, the bea, which investigates not only aircraft accidents but other accidents is on stand by, ready to go where ever the authorities say they should go. but at the moment, they've not been summoned by the egyptians. so what the french are doing in
the meantime is doing a very thorough examination of everybody who had contact with this flight before it took off from charles de gaulle airport last night. baggage handlers, security people, going on board the plane. anybody who could have had any correction. the fact is that charles de gaulle airport has had problems, lifted the credentials of 57 people at the airport, who they felt were suspect or connected to political organizations, or potentially terrorists organizations, and so they excluded them from employment out there. but there is 86,000 employees. it is something they can do here while they're waiting for the egyptians to say they need help on the investigation. alisyn and chris. >> all right, jim, thank you very much. we have intrigue surrounding what's going on with the
security at charles de gaulle, france under a state of emergency. at the point of where the plane was supposed to land in egypt, there are also questions about how the investigation may be continued from this point on. however, in the middle is where our focus needs to be, where this plane was, and what happened to it. let's bring back our panel. mary schiavo, richard quest will join us. mary, when we're looking at this, let's start at the beginning. this plane was doing just fine by all accounts on its path from charles de gaulle in paris to cairo in egypt. it was over greek airspace. it was in greek airspace. the greek authorities were in contact. they're told from the cockpit they got a good response, that things were going well, proper speed, proper altitude, then a 30 minute window that becomes relevant.
tell us what happens in that window and what it might mean. >> well, in the 30 minute window, it's quite possible that nothing unusual happened, because the pilots do not have to remain in contact with air traffic control. they had to report in, and they talked to the air traffic controllers in greece the last time. they did have to report in to the greece airspace, and then get into egypt airspace. that's the point where they have to do the handoff, and so that is really the first point at which a reasonable person could conclude something is wrong. they missed their handoff point. so whether whatever happened took three minutes or 30 minutes, it is very difficult to say. other than for the radar tracings. the only thing we've learned so far from radar information that indicates something was amiss was only in the last two minutes or three minutes in the flight, where it was reported that the plane made an erratic 90 degree
turn, an airbus would fight that, an airbus aircraft has limiters on the performance perimeters of the plane that really don't let the pilots do such erratic movements, so we con also conclude that whatever happened, most likely in my opinion, took the plane out of pilot control and it was a catastrophic event in the last two to three minutes. >> but david, i believe it was you talking to us about this, maybe miles. but if there is a stall, if something happens with the plane, are pilots taught to do something that may appear to be to us on the ground erratic, but they're trying to save everyone? >> yeah, and mary is correct about the limits on the airplane, but if something catastrophic happens or the pilot overrides it, can go to alternate law. that allows you to override and make the maneuvers if necessary, and it is designed to do and the pilots are trained to do if it goes into a stall while power is on. without power, it's different. but with power on, they're
trained to go full left or full right rutter to get the aircraft moving, so it can pick up airspace and fly again. if that did occur here, it's important to point out it did not work. the aircraft continued to go down and descend at a rapid rate. >> then you have this point of intrigue, miles o'brien, about what happens on the handoff, right? the greek authorities are monitoring it, everything is fine. then they say they can't hear from the pilots. you taught me this checklist many tragedies ago aviate, navigate, communicate. this suggests the first things they would do would not be to get in touch about what is happening in the plane, but take us through that analysis of what happens after these greek authorities say, hey, we can find the pilots any more, and then there are these movements you need to describe to us. >> you've learned your pilot lessons well, chris. yes, that's exactly what you're
supposed to do in an emergency. fly the airplane no matter what, maintain, realize where you are, navigate, an then if you have time in dealing with that, report. tell them you're having trouble. it is difficult to imagine in a two-minute period what scenario would make it impossible for them to just push the button, which is right there on the wheel, and say hey, we've got an emergency here. mayday, mayday. so that's what leads me to keep thinking about some sort of d b deliberate act here, or a cascade of failures that made communication impossible. you know, a lot of this sounds very similar to what we were dealing with with mh-370. >> on that note, you're getting new information, news bulletin from the egyptian aviation minister, who says that no debris has been found. there is no confirmation of any debris being found, and you know, richard quest, that -- i
meerngs i kn mean, i know you believe it will be found, it will be found quickly. this is in a sort of confined space. however, you know, it's all at this hour still so mysterious. >> look, alisyn, post mh-370, i will be the last person to say with any definitive view in the way it will play out. all i can say is, if you draw on the normality of it, the regular flow of these sort of stories, i would expect debris to be seen from the air or on the sea top within the next 12 to 18 hours, maybe less. if you look at the sea, it might take another two or three days to locate the bulk of the
wreckage. that's just plain common sense based on previous, many of these, that i've covered over many years. i think the unusual feature of this incident is that it is at altitude, you've got it at the point of transfer to air traffic controllers, you have normal response and then an unresponsive cockpit and then you have these swerves if they actually took place. that is why it will be so significant. a, because it could be a security threat. it could be a terrorist activity. but also, because it could suggest something to do with the a-320. there will be urgency from security, aviation, passengers, to an industry to get to the bottom of this fast. >> well, richard, you just gave two good points of following in for mary, because you conducted these types of investigations
for the ntsb. the first is what richard said near the end there, which is if, if these swerves turn out to be true, if we learn anything, a lot of this information can change. so yes, we're hearing from greek authorities, we don't know if it is radar or somebody passed it along to them. if the information holds, it will keep the focus of the search in the water. now, i've been monitoringment media here, and online in terms of where people are seeing this story going. there is a lot of talk about, wow, 11 hours, they haven't found anything. luckily, i got some word from coast guard friends who do this type of searching in the water, and they said 11 hours is nothing. this is 150 or so miles off the coast. you're going to have to look about 15 to 30 miles an inn either direction of whatever the best pinpointing is of this. even with the greek navy, egyptians, this will take a long
time. why. >> the surface is a nice flat area to look in, but nooeneath water, it is like looking in the mountains. what they need to do first is get the same kind of equipment out there, they need to get the equipment out there to find the emergency locaters pingers. as we've learned, they don't last forever. they can have a situation where the batteries haven't been changed. that's the most important thing, because that is really going to be the only way to conclusively tell what happened. so there will be things that float to the surface. so many things an aircraft do float. but it is a huge area, combined with the fact that so much of it is going to be underground mountain terrain. there have been crashes on the ground in the mountains that
haven't been found for days, week or years. >> look, it is better than being in the middle of the indian ocean. this is a frequently traveled place, and as david susi told us earlier, the best notes of optimism, airbus 320, as we all remember from sully sull sullenberger. right now, no word of what's going on in that search. panel, please stay with us. alisyn, we're going to keep monitoring information. we've heard from the french authorities and the egyptian authorities and the greek authorities, but no word about what is going on with the actual search. >> okay, chris, and as you know and as we've been talking about, the disappearance of egyptair flight 804 is not the first tragic incident for the airline. boris sanchez joins us with their history. >> as you said, this isn't the first incident they've had to
deal with. it is known for a series of hijackings, having been attacked a full eight times in november of 1985, egyptair flight 684 from athens to cairo was taken by terrorists. the plane was forced to land in multa, where they began shooting passengers every 15 minutes until their demands were met. commandos then resulted in the deaths of 54 more passengers in what became one of the bloodiest hijackings in history. in 1999, egyptair crashed into the atlantic, some 60 miles sought of nantucket. they found that the co-pilot deliberately flew into the sea. the motive was never officially determined. this year, 181 from alexandria to cairo, a man wearing a suicide belt and forced the
plane to land in cypress, but it only contained several cellphones, no explosives, and believe it or not, the man was trying to arrange a reunion with his estranged wife in cypress. this came into focus last year, when 9268 exploded over the northern sinai area on its way to russia in october of last year. 224 people, mostly russian tourists were killed. sinai branch of isis claimed responsibility. obviously it is way too soon to tell what is behind the latest disappearance of flight 804, chris. >> there are a lot of different points of reference. there are a lot of unanswered questions. yet boris, as in all of these scenarios, there is one thing for sure. lives have been changed forever. there were 66 people on board. their families, scrambling to get to charles de gaulle airport to find out what happened and
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happened saying the plane swerve dolla ed in the air before dropping off radar. going over what we do no is justin green, and president of the international air and transportation safety bar association, justin, thanks so much for coming in. so we do know some things from radar, and of course, they are eyebrow ra eyebrow raising. let's start with the flight path. it was traveling from paris to cairo. uneventful flight. there was no weather that should bring -- that would be able to bring down a plane, and then about 40 minutes before landing, they lose touch with the air traffic controllers and drops off radar. what do you see in the flight path? >> i think what you see is no -- at this point no real direct evidence. the direct evidence will come in will come from the flight data recorders, the cockpit voice recorder, which will tell us what the pilots were talking
about, if they were dealing with a problem, that will be evident. that's the direct evidence. the indirect evidence, the lack of weather, is indirect evidence that you can almost rule out weather. the fact that it flew almost the entire flight, indicates something about whether it was terrorism or not. why would a terrorist -- >> does it in. >> i think i terrorist who will take the airplane and crash it could have crashed it in paris, could have crashed it in italy, but why wait until you're over the mediterranean and do it as you are approaching egypt. you never know. you can't put yourself in the mind. there is no claim of responsibility, which sometimes comes out right away and sometimes a few days later. >> absolutely. no officials are saying that they can connect this to terrorism right now. everyone is exercising caution. it had just flown into egyptian airspace, so let's put that on the map of what that space looks
like. air traffic controllers in greece had been trying to reach this plane, and they had had an unevent time doing so. they described the pilot as cheerful in the last communication, and just about as they were about to handsoff to get into egyptian airspace, they could no longer contact the flight crew. what does that tell you. >> it reminds me with malaysia airlines 370, when it disappeared after the last handoff from malaysia air traffic control and before it was supposed to check in with vietnamese. here, it was under control of greek air traffic control and probably past the point where the control should have been transferred. so it is ominous. everything is ominous. the fact that there is no emergency radio call. the airplane based on the reports went out of control. something catastrophic happened on the airplane. whether it is a bomb, whether it
is a pilot, you know, intentionally flying the airplane out of control, whether it is a breakup of the airplane, we just don't know at this point. >> the best guess if we look back at the map of where the plane disappeared and where it might be and where people are now looking for it is, you see sort of the red beacon there blinking. it has been almost 12 hours, justin and we just heard from the aviation authorities, no debris has been found. our other experts have said that's to be expected. too early. but you know, they are looking from the air and the sea. does it seem mysterious that no debris has been found to you? >> not yet. you have to understand, there is also emergency locating transmitters that are supposed send out a signal when the airplane crashes into the water. especially those in the water are very, very unreliable. so there has been no report of a -- there actually was a report -- >> there was a report of a distress signal. >> right. >> going out, but then, again,
people don't think that actually came from the plane. >> that's right. so the emergency locater transmitter, if it sent out a signal and they confirmed that they received it, that would show them the location of the flight. that apparently has not happened. and since it hasn't happened, most likely it will not happen. the black boxes have their own pingers, you're not going receive them until you drag sonar buoys through the water. i'm confident, every expert, i am an aviation lawyer, but every expert i've talked to is very confident that this airplane will be found. it is not going to be another malaysia airlines, but my guess is, we're going to hear within today or tomorrow debris being spotted. >> let's hope we get information soon. justin, thanks so much. >> thanks, alisyn. egyptair disappearing, france's president says it appears to have crashed the egyptians have not gone that far
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>>announcer: this is cnn breaking news. the breaking news comes out of egypt, apparent crash of egyptair flight 804, officials continuing to update the media as we speak. crews are out searching for the missing aircraft in the mediterranean sea as well as in the air over the area where the plane was last contacted by greek authorities. here is what we know. no debris has been found. we're heading into the 12th hour since the plane went off radar. the people matter the most, especially those missing. 66 people on board, 53 passengers. you had children on this plane. as well as adults. there are some interesting aspects to the population of the plane, among the crew, three security personnel. we're not sure yet whether that is standard like an air marshall or was there some increased security aspect as well. among who these people were, very little is known. we do know about a dozen from
french. about 30 were egyptian and a ranl of different ethnicities and nationalities that coordinates with that area of the world. from the french side, the early word was everything was fine on this flight. it checked in according to greek authorities at the proper speed and altitude for that point in the flight, and that then during the handoff between greek and egyptian authorities, something happened. let's begin there with the panel of aviation experts. we have mary schiavo, people join you throughout the morning and for a lot of people, this is new information, my friends. so let's start with what we know best, and first. david susi, this point of crisis seems to originate when the greek authorities are handing off to the egyptian airspace, and they hear from the pilots,
the pilots seem okay. they're at the right altitude and air speed and then something happens. and according to reuters, very erratic movements in the air and a rapid decent, 37,000 feet to 22,000, to 10,000, give us your read so far. >> the things that's between those two events is important to point out as well that the pilots did not respond when they were supposed to. they said everything was fine. 30 minutes passed, then at that point, they should have checked in with the receiving air traffic control. they did not do that. that air traffic control continued to raise them. they were not able to do that. then 90 seconds later is when the rapid movement occurred. it indicate ace couple of things going on. either there was some struggle in the airplane itself, or some disabling effect, something catastrophically failed that caused the rapid movements. it is very disturbing.
at this point, it does fit the profile of the aircraft going down, losing power, electricity and going down into the ocean. >> mary, you know, when you -- there are always haunting details in retrospect try to go back over what led up to a disappearance or crash, and this is one of them, as we've been talking about. 2:48 athens time, the greek aviation, air traffic controllers checked in and the pilot was described as being cheerful and thanked the greek air traffic controller. so nothing wrong. as we've been saying, 30 to 40 minutes later, they try to check in again, time to hand them off to egyptians and they can't get them. then on the ground, you know, panic ensues and they realize something is terribly wrong. what stands out to you? >> well, the fact that whatever happened, you know, we can't assume anything that did or didn't happen in the time in just under 30 minutes between the last check-in when the pilot sounded cheerful and the time
they missed their chieck-in. they don't have to call every few minutes. the time that we know for certain, something had gone wrong, is when they did not check in with the egyptian air traffic control, they did not complete their hand off. whatever was happening was already happening, because it is very serious, particularly in this area of the world, a lot of radar coverage, lots of military activities, and military coverage and fleets on the mediterranean, et cetera. you don't want to be an unidentified area. the last probably two to three minutes, from 37,000 feet to the ocean, we can assume the ocean, that would have been a situation where the plane was out of control, because that's how long it takes to fall from 37,000 feet to the ocean. >> all right, so we are hearing from the egyptian authorities.
they started off very slow in this situation to jump to any kind of conclusion. they didn't want to say the plane had crashed. they said let's call it missing. about an hour into the press conference, the gyp shan authorities are now saying it is more likely this was an act of terror and not a mechanical mishap. somewhat of a 180 there, but let's stick with following what we know at this point. one of the points of curiosity, entering 12 hours since this plane went off the radar. we are right in saying this is much better than being in the middle of nowhere in terms of searching 150 to 170 nautical miles off the northern coast of egypt. however, according to coast guard sources, that's a huge area. they see 12 hours as basically 12 minutes in relative search time. why? how difficult is something like this, even in a highly trafficked area? >> it is a big ocean. even the mediterranean is a big
ocean. you're right. we're not looking for air france 447, but they found the vertical floating stabilizer within about four days after it disappeared from the radar screens or wasn't on radar at the time after it crashed. of course, we're not talking about the indian ocean, which we spent a lot of time talking about. a lot of shipping traffic in the area one thing that is unfortunate is it is about the deepest part of the mediterranean, about 15,000 feet deep. when it comes time to be looking for those pinging devices, it will be problematic. it comes back to a point many times, why on earth in this day and age why we don't have real time telemetry as they fly, we would have everything we need to know if it had that capability. >> just about money, right? a little bit about coordination and miles. >> strictly money. bottom line decision by the aviation industry. whatever they tell you otherwise, that's not true. it is about money.
>> it would help in scenarios like today. richard, we also know there were three egypt air security officials on board. they were among the ten crew. are those the equivalent of what we would call air marshals? >> yes. we never really know how many or on what flights. i'm actually surprised, bearing in mind the nature of this flight, that there were perhaps three. i mean, the load was only 56 passengers. but remember, this plane had already done a rotation earlier in the day to -- it had come from a trail cairo, cairo up to t uni sia. and this is normal. we don't know necessarily how many what the profile of the passengers going up to paris
was. also, of course, with the three security, whether they burned and turned and coming straight back again, or had they overnighted there. look, it is an indication to some extent that egypt takes security to a level of seriousness. there are -- i've listened carefully to the debates and the discussions, but the reality of course is we have no idea. we can speculate and go deep into the potentials on possibilities. but the big unknown here, chris and alisyn, remains that at 2:27, well, 2:48, they're cherful. at 2:48, they don't respond, and then shortly thereafter, swerving. we've got no idea what caused it. >> richard, thank you. panel, please stand by. we'll continue to check back in with you. chris. all right, at this point, we
just try to go on what we can learn from the various authorities and investigators, and things will be ruled out in their own course in time. the question here now is whenever something happens abroad, what reflective impact does it have back in the united states. what does this mean as a reflection of what we're dealing with with the recent tsa problems. we have u.s. senator dick durbin. he has great perspective on how the investigation will proceed abroad and what it means to you right here at home. stay with us.
>>announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we are following breaking news here surrounding the app r searching the mediterranean for this plane. it vanished off radar just about 12 hours ago. the egyptian aviation minister now saying it is more likely that the plane was brought down by terror, than by a technical failure. we do not know that that speculation is based on any information that is not known to us at this point. because as far as we know, investigators and authorities in france and greece are not going that far. they know certain things about the plane before it went off radar, but not that necessarily dictate a conclusion. something else in the wind this morning about why this might have happened, security situation at charles de gaulle
airport, the flight took offer from paris and supposed to go to cairo. let's discuss this now with illinois senator dick durbin. he is on the senate appropriations transportation subcommittee. he knows a lot about the tsa. i'm in your home state of illinois, we're going to be talking to secretary clinton in a sit-down interview. this will come up, but the context, the tsa right here in illinois, in chicago, there are a lot of problems and confusions and frustrations, senator, about waiting time. and you know that locally, they're calling for private forces there, staffing there to help offset the delays with the tsa. how do you balance convenience and security? >> well, that's the right question. let's take a look at where we are today. we had a meltdown when it came to airport security at o'hare and midway. lines that went on for hours before people could go through them, and many of them, missed their planes, had to stay
overnight. unacceptable. we should have seen this coming. we need a better response. more efficiency from the transportation security agency. i have the admiral coming out to the airport tomorrow, i'll be with him. we'll be meeting with airline officials to get to the bottom of this. they're sending in the troops to have more screeners, more dogs sniffing the luggage to see evidence of bombs. all that's important. but chris, you asked the right question. let's put it in perspective. right now, we are focused on egypt air, and the suspicion, the possibility it was a terrorist attack. live in a dangerous world. we need security to make sure we can get off the plane safely at the end of the journey. >> the tsa says that there is a lot of smoke coming from the political side, that they take the heat, but the bottom line is, it is about money. they're not properly funded, so not properly staffed, and that goes from the number to the
quality to the vetting, to the training. is that the answer? >> that's part of the answer. another part of it is management and efficiency with the assets we currently have. but look at the numbers. last year, tsa screened 708 millionaire line passengers in the united states. that was up 48 million over the previous year. about 6 or 7% increase. i might also tell you that we haven't been increasing the number of screeners to keep up with the new surge in passengers on aircraft. we expect even more this year. so we need to have the screeners, we need to have the bomb sniffing dogs. we need to have the screening sites at the airports, but we need to anticipate when we're going to have this surge in passengers so we aren't caught flat-footed as we were in chicago last week. >> well what, do we know about the facts? does the united states have more traffic volume than other major cities around the world, where
you don't encounter these lines. we share a common quality that we know airports all too well. i have to tell you, the lines in the united states, chicago, o'hare, deserves a little stink, but not that unique. it seems to be a problem here in big cities, maybe even more so than you see in other big cities around the world. do you believe that, and if so, why? >> take a look at other places in the world. their standards are different than the united states. taking off your shoes in europe is not a common thing. they may not have the precheck arrangement that we have. so each country is different. what i want to make sure of is that we do everything humanly possible to make airline travel safe for our passengers and their family that get on the airplanes. i wish we didn't have to face this madness, but we do. let's do it efficiently and effectively. that means making sure we put the right assets in place. when i talked to the admiral yesterday, if you bring in a
bomb sniffing dog in and it takes six months to train him, it can clear 5,000 passengers into the precheck line that moves much more quickly than the standard lines. so there are ways to reach higher levels of efficiency. passengers and airlines have to do their part. the baggage fees are not helping by these airlines. more and more people are dragging their bags through the screening sites by a margin of about 4 to 1 over checked back cage. we have to tell the airlines, perhaps have to forego a little profit this traveling season so we can move people through more quickly. >> of course, they complain about fuel prices. peter nevinger, you're bringing him to chicago. i'm not going to talk to about the election today, because what is going on in egyptair sh matter more to people right now. appreciate you dealing with this issue right now and see where it goes from here.
thanks for being honest with "new day" today. of course, we are here, i'm here in chicago, because we're going to have an exclusive interview with secretary clinton. we'll talk about what the response has been from her potential poe opponent to what happened with egyptair, the state of affairs in the world and the state of play in her own party and in the election today. >> i'm looking forward to seeing that live interview. in the meantime, all the breaking news we've been covering about the apparent crash, it raises question whether this is another terror attack. our terror experts, hear next what they're saying. we gave it paddle shifters to help you command the road... a sport mode to help you control the road... and a sport-tuned suspension to help you connect with the road.
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down this plane. but he is also saying that none of the passengers on the flight had any known security concerns. let's talk about it. we want to bring in our terrorism analyst, paul cruickshank. julia, how can he conclude this so early in the details thats is more likely terror than any other technical failure? >> well, i mean, in the same way that all of us over the course of the last 12 hours have. you had a bunch of data when the plane first went missing, and then a variety of data points that are suggesting or let's just say are sort of precluding other alternative theories. the most important is, clearly something catastrophic happened. no dramatic weather to speak of. not enough time for the pilots to do nn sos or any sort of emergency communication, dramatic turns by the airplane. i am more convinced than i was last night, this was a catastrophic failure brought by
a new source on the airplane. i don't know what it is, of course. that's why egyptair has to go by that theory. that press conference started off horribly, this sort of dithering, i'm glad they're accepting this is the likely theory, the reason why, it is now an investigation. it is a global investigation, and you want to be able to have the resources, the security and intelligence resources to drive where the investigation is going to go, because if people are responsible for this, we have to know who they are. >> yeah, i mean, that aviation minister, defense minister was reluctant to say it was a crash. he was calling it a missing plane. paul, what are your sources telling you? >> i think it's too early to tell whether it is terrorism or whether it was some kind of technical failure. this would be awfully early on in an investigation for them to have concrete indications that this is some kind of terrorist
attack. clearly, they're going to be looking at that as a possibility. they're going to be examining the passenger manifest, the cargo on board, but also looking at where the aircraft was in the 24 hours before it appears to have crashed. we know that this aircraft came back from eritrea, passed through several airports in the developing world. the biggest vulnerability in the aviation sector globally right now is the fact that many airports in the developing world are lagging behind in airport security, in state-of-the-art machines, in the best training practices. in security protocols for workers at the airport. we've recently seen a number of bombing attempts and bombings at airports in the middle east and africa, notably, metrojet in october over the sinai peninsula, russian air liner in february, a somalia, it went off
on board, hidden in a laptop, sophisticated device that airport workers recruited by al qaeda, al shabaab managed to get on that aircraft. not too far away from somalia, it transferred through, of course, scrutiny about charles de gaulle airport in paris, where there has been concern about radicalization about airport workers over there. >> juliette in the past, sometimes even before investigators are done with their investigation, there is somen claim of responsibility from a terror group. if this were the case, what pattern do you think it would follow here? >> if there is a claim of responsibility if it is terrorism, we would expect it in the next day or so. sometimes it takes three or four days. the previous egypt air. i want to pick up on something paul said. the millions of people who are entering flights right now are
nervous. we know this. and so to rule out terrorism is the most important aspect of the investigation. the fact that we cannot rule it out at this stage is essential, because we need to know both from the u.s. perspective about flighting coming in from egypt or paris, as well as the european community. we need to know what is going on. >> yeah, of course. juliet juliette, paul, thank you very much. we appreciate being able to call upon your expertise in times like this. news coverage of egyptair flight 804 will continue with "newsroom" with carol costello right after this short break. stay with us. pet moments are beautiful,
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