tv On the Record With Greta Van Susteren FOX News May 18, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
welcome back. we have some additional information to bring everyone up to speed as to what is during in egyptair flight from paris to cairo carrying 66 people on board have disappeared from radar. this happened early thursday morning. excuse me. my alarm is going off. so once again, to bring you up to speed. an egyptair flight disappeared from radar early thursday morning. most likely crashing into the sea. that's according to at least one spokesperson. we'll go directly to leah
gabriel who is standing by for us. a fox news correspondent, a former navy fighter pilot. thank you for joining us. you've been listening to the information as it has continued to come in. we've learned the pilot had around 6,000 flight hours. the plane disappearing, possibly around 37,000 feet. also communication with the pilot, or any communication from the flight ending around 10 minutes before it disappeared from radar. what does all of that tell you could have happened on board? >> the most suspicious thing is that it disappeared at 37,000 feet from radar. airplanes don't just, if something disappears from radar, either would you see it descending or something probably happened that caused to it break up in flight. of course, we're all
speculating. we need the information to come in. it is extremely unusual for an aircraft to just disappear at 37,000 feet. you mention that had this pilot has a lot of experience in hours. that's true. the most interesting thing i'm hearing is the loss of communications ten minutes prior to the disappearance on radar. i think we'll have to see if that turned out to be true or if there are communications we don't yet know about. if this plane went off radar at 37,000 feet suddenly, you have to look at the possibility that something happened to cause to it break up in flight. which would be catastrophic failure of the aircraft, more likely, in what we've seen in most recent incidences. it would be that something caused to it happen. and a couple of reason incidences we've seen. the two most recent where planes
basically went off radar at high altitude like this that i can remember. the russian metrojet that blew apart in egypt. that was last fall. i think it was the end of october. i don't think it was november yet when that happen. there were reports that russians believed there was a bomb on board that aircraft. at the sharm el-sheik airport. at any rate there were at least reports that an isis related incident in that case. then you look at malaysia flight 17 which was shot down in ukraine which was i think in july of 2014. that's the aircraft where one of the first indications was that it essentially disappeared.
so in other incidents that we've seen in the most recent aircraft accidents where we had crashes. as a pilot, i know that you would be communicating trying to get help with an emergency. if a pilot is handling a major emergency in flight that's not instant and catastrophic. you will usually seeing the plane doing something for a period of time before it disappears. >> there was one report. i'm not sure if you heard the new report where i believe the captain of the ship in the area reported seeing a flame in the sky. that was a quote from him. a flame in the sky. >> yeah. i didn't hear that report. and that would not be surprising if indeed there was an explosion in the air.
that is very heavily trafficked area in terms of shipping north of just a minute. it is a hot bed of terror. if you look at just a minute and the threats they've been facing. they've been having a lot of terror in the sinai peninsula. there's an islamic group in the sinai, the so-called sinai province. it was last july that it claimed that it had fired a surface to ship missile and hit an egyptian ship. they even posted a photo online that appears to be a screen shot. >> since this went down, we think at this point, i know there are initial reports that it had gone down over land. we think now that it went down into the mediterranean sea. would that have been a possibility in this incident? >> you mean for it to have gone down in the water? >> a surface to air missile.
>> there are surface to air missiles. those would be the more sophisticated systems. but there are also military ships in that area. i point to this recent incident with the egyptian navy. to point to the fact the navies in that region are facing threats and are having to deal with threats. navy ships in that region, egyptians, europeans, would have capabilities. that could shoot down aircraft as well. again not to speculate at this possibly but it is very unusual for an aircraft to disappear off radar like that at 37,000 feet unless something catastrophic happened. an explosion. >> and no distress call as well. and we did want to make sure that we reiterate for everyone at home that there has been no
claim of responsibility and no specific connection made with terrorism or any threats made at this point. but we are discussing it because obviously this entire area has been on high alert due to isis related incidents. as you were just discussing. >> of course, glad you mentioned that. pointing to the recent aircraft accidents that have happened. we have to consider this. in naims, italy, i know from my experience, that we constantly have ships in the mediterranean. the egyptian navy is one of the large he was in the world. i believe it is fifth in terms of ships. they would have a lot of ships patrolling.
my navy source tells me, the u.s. navy has ships in the area, they would most likely be moving toward the location to try to help with the search and rescue effort. >> at this point we know that greece is headed to that area to help. >> that would typically be a collaborative effort for navies in the region to see if there is the possibility of a rescue effort. obviously search to see what happened. the first thing that we'll probably find is something, some piece of the aircraft or the aircraft to let us know what may have happened. again, you mentioned that there were reports of what looked like fire in the air. usually, not to use a pun but where there is smoke, there's fire. >> and the french president has issued a statement. he is saying nothing can be ruled out as a possible cause. that according to the french prime minister there.
the french prime minister ruling that nothing can be ruled out. that just causing the news wire there. so in terms of the amount of people that were on board, what do we know about this airbus? >> being a navy pilot i've been listening to the other analyst who's have been on talking about this. they talk about how you would consider the safety record. it's a passenger plane. when you look at what may have happened, they'll look at the maintenance records. the particular aircraft. for something to disappear off radar. what may have caused that to happen. i think probably the first place to look and what the french prime minister indicates is to possibly look at the security situation. and of course, we've seen very big challenges with security in paris recently.
in france as well as egypt. so we'll have to see. hopefully we'll find this aircraft, something. it would be great if we found survivors but we'll have to wait and see. >> and it was reported earlier that this particular aircraft was 12 years old. that a-320, and that it had a spotty record. although nothing is available at this point, that i has a spotty record, was 12 years old. we know the pilot had at leetch 6,000 flight hours under his belt. the a-320 typically seats about 150 passengers but there are only, i believe, 66 people on board this plane. that including the crew. so 56 passengers and ten crew members on board at the time. then the plane itself, as i was asking leah.
like a single aisle jetliner. there are about 6,600 around the world, this airbus a-320. >> they talk about the age of the aircraft, the pilot experience. you start thinking about what could have gone wrong. what could have happen in the aircraft. how experienced was the pilot. again, unless something is catastrophic suddenly happens, it would have some sort of indication from people on the ground who were trying to communicate with the aircraft and to get through. or some sort of a transmission. possibly see the aircraft descending. it is so strange that -- >> i'm sorry. can i ask you again about the 37,000 feet, that being reported that it was flying at that altitude at the time? 37,000 feet. i'm reading here.
some of our back ground information that's coming from the air bus itself. that the a-320 is certified to fly to 39,000 feet. its malt to do altitude before it begins to erode but kit begin to experience problems as low as 37,000 feet depending on temperature and weight, including fuel, cargo and temperatures. so it could start to experience some problems, according the this, at 37 feet, which was the reported altitude at the time. >> that's a really great point. these aircraft, usually when they're rated for a certain altitude, engineers usually build a margin of error in there so you typically, the aircraft manual won't tell you you should fly to the actual altitude. that's a great point. something could have happened.
as a pilot you would probably start to defend furm having pressurization problems. that's something that you see on radar. that the aircraft made some sort of a descend. hopefully they find the black box that would give information on what happened. >> as a pilot, can you think of anything, any possible explanation other than something catastrophic happening on board. that would keep the pilot or anyone on board from being able to a distress call within that ten-minute time frame where the last communication was heard from the plane and where it disappeared from radar? >> well, you know, life always surprises us. i can't think of anything off the top of my head. but weird things have happened in the past.
if it was not catastrophic, immediately catastrophic with major loss of control, explosion, everything coming apart. some of the things that would immediately cause it to disappear. anything else, you might not hear a call from the cockpit. again, you would see the airplane descend. it wouldn't just disappear from radar. of course it's so early. the air traffic control here's were controlling the aircraft, of course, investigators will be talking to them to find out what they knew. the last things they saw. >> what does happen when you leave one air space and entering another? since that does seem to be what happened. >> this is the type of plane that, it's an airline flight.
flight plans that would be happening all the time. it would be pretty seamless between air traffic controllers if the flight plan was filed. if it is the normal route. so that doesn't, in the mediterranean there is so much coverage from different countries' radars. for a plane to disappear, i cannot imagine it would be a loss of radar. that wouldn't make any sense in my experience. >> thank you so much for calling in. we definitely appreciate your expertise. any final thoughts for us? >> i think again, sort of a wait and see game for us. first, we're hoping to find the aircraft itself. and then start building back to please from there. i just think it is really important to consider the security environment in that region of the world and how it has been changing the last year and a half, two years. it has become a more and more dangerous place. we have to look at some of the
worst-case scenarios. but we'll be waiting and of course you mentioned the families going through a very difficult time. and my thoughts are with them as they wait to final out what happened to their loved ones. >> thank you for joining us. i'm sure we'll check back with you throughout the morning. >> thank you. >> we want to write he have one up to speed and tell you what's happening. just to recap for you. an just a minute air flight heading from paris charlie de galle airport to cairo airport has disappeared from radar. the egypt flight vanished somewhere over the mediterranean south of turkey, it is believed. the airbus a-320. it includes at least 56 passengers and a crew of ten. also being told at least two children and a baby on board. the egyptian aviation ministry tells us 30 egyptians, 15 french, one briton and one
belgian among the passengers. we've learned the pilot has more than 6,000 hours of flying time. the egyptian state newspaper reporting that he made no distress call. it happened about ten minutes before it disappeared from radar. it was at an altitude of 37,000 feet. there are some conflicting reports over whether it disappeared over egyptian air space or just entering egyptian air space. we know it vanished before daybreak under favorable, clear weather conditions. search and rescue teams are now looking for the plane. greece is assisting with two aircraft and a frigate is heading to that region of the mediterranean. helicopters also on standby in the southern island for potential recovery operations. you heard leah saying any u.s. availability would be headed to
that area if they were nearby. the paris airport authority, the french civil aviation authority, they're only saying that the plane did not land as scheduled. france's prime minister admits nothing can be ruled out as far as the possible cause for the disappearance. french authorities say they're in close contact with their counterparts. spokesman for airbus says his company is aware of the disappearance but adds, we have no official information at this stage of the certainty of an accident. around 15 family members aboard the missing flight have since arrived at the cairo airport. the authority brought in doctors. distressed family members understandably collapsed. we're not aware of any threats that went on before the plane went missing. as you are aware, both france
and egypt have been on high alert. the airline, what might be described as a spotty plane record. you might recall this past march an egypt plane was hijacked. a passenger who admitted to that hijacking and described by cypress authorities as psychologically unstable was behind that incident. then in 1999, an egypt airliner crashed into the ocean. that was in nantucket, killing all 217 people on board. the u.s. investigators filed a final report that includes the co-pilot switched off the auto pilot in that incident and pointed the boeing 767 downward. but this airbus a-320 disappeared from radar. we will continue to follow it here on fox news.
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once again we're continuing to follow breaking news for you on the fox news channel. an egypt flight from paris to cairo carrying 66 people on board has disappeared from radar. it is egypt flight 804. it was reportedly flying at 37,000 feet at the time. the search is underway to try to find that flight. egypt flight 804 with 56
passengers including one child and two babies and crew members on board. it threatened air travel in recent years. we should say there has been no claim of responsibility so far. we do not know if this disappearance was caused by any type of terrorism or-related concerns but isis has been active in reason years. what can you tell us? how can you fill in the blanks for us? >> yeah. the russian airliner went down october 31st of last year due to a terror attack of a bomb placed on board. this is something that comes right to everybody's forethoughts. the front of the thoughts when you hear something like this. you're exactly right. no definition of what happened here whatsoever. but as we look at the possibility of what is being
done, not only u.s. authorities, international authorities. as i'm talking to you, this is normal also when you deal with breaking news situations. information will change. we're being told at least one report on reuters, the aviation ministry is saying the egypt ministry did get a distress call about 20 minutes before the plane went down. that's different than what we've been told from egypt air. and it will all play out. the number one priority at this point is to find where that plane went down. there have been reports from egyptair is a possible sight of a crash but we haven't heard anything more. it was a tweet sent out a while back. this is normal when you have breaking news. so many things can come and go. and change with what has happened. if it is true. if there was a distress signal
that changed everything. this report from the civil air folks, then of course, it goes back to the original thought. if this plane just immediately dropped from the sky. that doesn't happen. as one aviation expert told us, that doesn't just happen. planes just don't disappear from the sky. we know that it is potentially a terror situation, a bomb. those are things that have to be looked at. you mentioned the region. i can tell you up to the last year, american intelligence has been significantly concerned about situations in north africa, specific with libya and egypt. they put the two together side by side. because of the open border back and forth. there are so many weapons since the overthrow of gadhafi. they have. it is not just if.
disappeared. vanished somewhere over the mediterranean sea south of turkey. and now the latest development. we just learned according to egyptair. the pilot did make a distressed call. that was at approximately 2:26 a.m. local time. it was lost from radar around 2:45 a.m. local time. flying at an altitude of 37,000 feet. all of this information obviously just coming in and could change accordingly. adam is still on the phone with us. adam, you just reported before we went to break that the pilot had made a distress call. egyptair confirming it. that does change things. >> we're learning now, i spoke to you about 25 minutes ago, egyptair there, now a search and rescue team picked up a signal
from an emergency beacon which they believe is part of flight 804. another significant development the last couple minutes. hopefully that's some good news they can get to this quickly. the fact that they are saying there was a distress call. that changes everything. does that mean that terrorism is ruled out? no. but it does bring back in the possibility that there was mechanical malfunction that brings that avenue much greater than it was. when we were told there was no distress call and just fell out of the sky, the likelihood of mechanical failure had gone down. but a distress call could be something is on board. we don't know what it was. the two significant details that we've learned in the last literally two or three minutes was that it was a distress call. and that the beacon apparently, the signal has been located by the egyptian navy. so they didn't say where it was. but if they are on it.
that's obviously a very positive develop nypd search and rescue effort and in derrelling what has happened here. with the situation in north africa, u.s. officials as well as some of our allies have been expressing to us directly. there is significant worry about north africa. because there is direct access to europe. with so many weapons in the area. that al qaeda and isis do have a significant hold. especially if libya. these are all things to be looked at. it could all mean nothing and it is just mechanical. egyptian aviation officials
saying that an egyptair flight with 66 passengers and crew on board has crashed. they're no longer saying disappeared from radar. they're now saying crashed. >> they're now confirming that the plane sent a distress signal and the beacon has been found. i know you asked the question before. the significant, if this was, if. keep underlining that. the same questions being asked by u.s. authorities. egypt is one of the last major hurdles for isis, so to speak. and the terror islamic groups. the last main hurdle for so many reasons. and one of the overall stability. it has been there for years. historic significance. there is a lot going on. as to why someone would believe that this was targeted attack.
again, we have no reason to believe that's the case here. these things are being brought up as aviation officials. not only that but our intelligence officials are looking at what happened here. we're being told that a mediterranean ship captain reported seeing a plane in the sky as well. not just the folks on the island. we're getting more details about, it has gone down in the water. they may have located it and there is a distress signal which of course changes everything. >> france remaining unthat state of emergency after the islamic attacks killed what? 130 people? and that spree of attacks that happened in november. the islamic state group that claimed responsibility there. in terms of the egyptair. there was a plane diverted to cyprus in march. there were initial concerns that that could have been isis as well. and it turned out to be an
individual who was described as being psychologically unstable instead. >> right. and also, we're talking, saying military search and rescue team have received a signal from the missing plane. so that's why they then came out saying the plane has crashed. the devices are in the water. so hopefully they can get there in a very short amount of time. and maybe somebody survived. you never know. it doesn't usually turn out to be a positive situation. you always hope that somehow people lived. but you fall from 7,000 feet, it's not very likely. as we get more information. >> yeah. just to bring everyone up to speed if you're just joining us. adam was just mentioning. there have been a lot of changes
within the last few minu egypt flight 804 has disappeared from radar early this morning. it was around 2:45 a.m. local time. the egypt flight headed from paris to cairo. there were 56 passengers on board. there was a distress call made. approximate approximate approximately 2:26. the distress call was made. that being confirmed. and a signal from a beacon has been spotted as well and egyptair now saying that it is no longer a plane that has disappeared from radar. now saying that it has been confirmed as a plane crash. egyptair flight 804. this airbus 320 has crashed. it is believed to be in the mediterranean sea just short of
egypt air space. we don't have specific information, correct, as to where the signal from the beacon has been spotted. >> no. they're just saying it is in the water. you heard the russian plane that went down with a mechanic supposedly tied to egyptair. that was the crash last year. but also the u.s. department of state has put out what they call a read out. this came in the last few minutes. secretary kerry met in cairo. it is an interesting coincidence, considering what's going on right now. >> absolutely. i'm trying to get up to speed. even more information comes in. i'm looking here at the associated press copy as you were speaking. the french prime minister now
issuing a statement saying that france is ready to join in the search operations if egyptian authorities have requested it. we're not aware of that happening yet. and also saying that no cause can be ruled out. he said that earlier. >> right. that egypt is considered to be a target for terrorists. it is an important target. that something was put on in paris. we've learned that it could have been mechanical issues. we know there were some struggles in reason years. the planes may not be inspected as stringently as in other countries. it looks like, 130 miles east of the greek island.
so reports coming in. we know the beacons are in the water. that's why egyptair has confirm that it has gone down. so we don't know if they're onsight. >> what we do know is that this was egypt airbus 804. carrying 66 people on board. 56 passengers and ten crew members including at least one child and two babies, we're told. family members have gathered in cairo waiting for information. before we go to break, just to bring you up to speed. and adam, we'll have you stay on the phone with us. we'll speak with you on the other side of the break. once again, the latest developments, a distress call did come from the pilot of the aircraft. and a beacon has been spotted. and it has been confirmed by egyptair that this plane has in fact crashed. we'll continue to follow the latest developments for you.
to recap for you if you're just joining us, egypt aviation officials confirming an egyptair plane heading from charles de galle airport to cairo airport has in fact crashed. the bbc reporting that there is an automated signal coming from the emergency system. we're talking about flight ms 804. it vanished somewhere over the mediterranean south of turkey. it is believing prior to entering egyptian air space. the manifest was 66 passengers including a child and two babies and a crew of ten. the egyptian men industry
telling us the passengers on board. we can also tell you in addition to that, some of the additional nationalities. two iraqis, one each from algeria, britain, women, belgium, canada, chad, kuwait, portugal, saudi arabia, and sudan. so passengers really from across the spectrum. a variety of countries involved. they were on board. we've learned that the pilot has more than 6,000 hours of flying time. and just a minute air is now confirming that that pilot in fact did issue a distress call before the plane went down. once again it was an automated distress call with the plane itself. it happened ten minutes before it disappeared from radar. which was approximately 2:45 a.m. local time. it was flying at an altitude of
37,000 feet but there are some conflicting reports as to whether or not the jet disappeared over egyptian air space. we do know that it vanished just before daybreak under favorable and clear weather conditions. i believe we have benjamin hall standing by. he can fill us in on any additional information ask the latest hi, heather. in this rapidly evolving situation we are hearing different thicks -- things coming in. they are confirming that this was a crash and egypt air is saying they have received a locator beacon and a stress signal. we know the egyptian coast guard is in the area as well as the greek coast guard. they are rapidly trying to get there. >> benjamin, we will wrap you up roit there and hold you over and check in with you after the break. stay here with fox news.
once again we continue to follow breaking news here on the fox newschannel. an egypt air flight heading from paris to cairo with 66 people on board has in fact crashed. that being confirmed from egypt air. the plane, egypt air flight 804 was lost from radar around 2 ooment 45 -- 2:45 a.m. local time and flying at 37,000 feet. egypt air now confirming that that flight has indeed crashed. let's go back to our fog news correspondent who has been standing by with additional information. benjamin? >> hi, heather. we are learning it was 19 minutes after the distress call that the plane vanished from the radar. initial reports was it had gone down and there was no communication and it came out of the sky. that turns out to be false.
we are hearing hearing from egyptian aviation authority that it was a crash and egypt air saying they found a beacon or the signal of a beacon in the waters off the coast of egypt. possibly 100 to 150 miles north. this is three hours 40 minutes into the flight. this is the fifth flight that plane had taken during the day. we do know on wednesday it was said to have had a routine maintenance check in cairo. despite reports of a spotty safety background this plane which was 12 years old had had a routine maintenance check on wednesday. the pilot whose name we now know as mohamed shakur had thousand of miles on this airline. we hope that first of all wreckage can be found. that's what they are looking for. the greece coast guard is in there and they are over the possible location. the egyptian authorities are out there including a military
unit. the big question is how deep is the water they crashed in? they are looking hard for the black boxeses. the one distress call we don't know what was in it yet. that will tell us a lot and the black boxeses will tell us a lot more. this confirmation that it was not terrorism. it appears to have been a crash and will be of great relief to the egyptians who have been hit by all of the terrorism in the region recently. the economy shattered by the lack of tourism. this paris to could i yow flight with -- to could i yow flight with 66 people on it appears to have gone down and crashed. >> benjamin, are they in fact using those word now, saying that it is not terrorism? are they using those words? >> the egyptian aviation authorities have not said that word. they said it was a crash and an accident. it could mean the pilot raid joed saying something happened
on board. there is no official confirmation, but you will remember the metro-jet flight in october last year that turned out to be a bomb. very quick to say this wasn't terrorism before learning it obviously still don't know what caused the flight to go down and we know now that egypt air has crashed. the flight 804, we will continue to follow the latest developments as they break by the minute. keep it here.
once again 2003 continue to follow breaking news on the fox newschannel. we can confirm flight 804 has in fact crashed somewhere in the mediterranean sea with 66 people on board. we have our fox news correspondent who is standing by with more insight. >> the beacon is transmitting from the surface of the immediate mediterranean and they are responding to the exact location.
we may have some claire gnaw -- clarification. with the language barrier everything can be lost in translation. it now appears that there may not have been a distress call from the flight crew, but the actual beacon was the detected signal at the crash site two hours later. it is not clear to us, but that's something that looks like it may be a possibility. there may not have been a call from the plane. all of this is playing out because it is a breaking muse situation. we are trying to get it all clarified. at this point they do have a beacon that is giving them a location. it is a matter of the question now is did the crew send a warning out? >> and what in fact caused the egypt air flight to crash into the mediterranean sea. we will take a quick break and
will follow this breaking news and will give you all of the latest information we have after this quick break. keep it right here. egypt air flight 804 now confirmed crashed into the mediterranean sea. well, this is a fox news alert for you. i'm heather childer. egypt aviation officials are now confirming that an egypt airplane from paris' charles degaulle airport to cairo airport has crashed. there are reports that searchers have picked up an automated distress signal from the plane's emergency system somewhere north of the egyptian coastline. flight ms804 vanished somewhere over the mediterranean. the air bus 8320's manifest lists 56 passengers including a child and two babies and a crew of 10. the egyptian aviation ministry says 30 egyptians and 15 french and one