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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 28, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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we have much more just ahead, and it all starts now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> hello. i'm martin savage in for frederica whitfield. let us bring you up-to-date on a major breaking story. it's a passenger jet carrying 162 people, and it's gone missing in southeast asia. here's what we learned. the official search at sea has been suspended for air asia 8501 because of darkness. it's now just past 3:00 local time there. the area is a busy shipping channel, and some ships are continuing to comb the waters off of indonesia in the darkness. >> indonesian officials say at one point the captain asked to climb to higher altitude to avoid stormy weather. the plane disappeared from radar while flying at 38,000 feet.
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>> almost all the passengers that were on board were indonesians, and there was one british national and he has been identified as an energy company executive. he was traveling with his 2-year-old daughter, who is a singaporean citizen. it was less than 11 months ago when a flight went missing en route to beijing. there's still no trace of that aircraft or the 239 people on board. let's get to paula hand cox. she's on the phone. she's in jakarta, indonesia. what more are we hearing regarding any investigation or search effort? >> well at this point, as you mentioned, the search and rescue operation is on hold.
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>> it's the indonesian search and rescue. they say they have some ships and two helicopters, and as soon as day break starts they will resume that search. >> they have said it's a broad location for the area they are looking at and it's very broad. now, they go to basically divide this area into four different sections. they say they also may search on land, even though the flight path was mainly over water. there are some islands in this area. they believe that the last contact was between two particular islands. they'll be looking on land as well. there are other regions and countries offering support. mail asa, singapore where they claim it was supposed to land
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and has at least one more search plane, and australia and india are also offering assistance as many other countries around the world. of course we have been talking about the weather. not only the fact that the weather may have played a part in the disappearance of this plane, which has been a point that we don't know but it will play a part in the search and rescue operation. passed and still they have no indication of what has happened or where this aircraft is.
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inevitably it's going to draw comparisons, but it is different in the fact that this is not an isolated area. this is a very busy shipping route. it's a busy route for airplanes. it is not a route that's unusual in any way. it's a common route. >> for the search and rescue operations, will work in their favor, but inevitably you are going to have comparisons drawn. it's worth noting though air asia itself has a good reputation. a very good safety reputation. this is the indonesian afl wrat that we're talking about here. they will make that comparison. >> we hope the outcome is very different. paula hand cox, thank you for that update. >> cnn meteorologist tom satre joins us now from the weather
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center. what do we know about the weather when the plane went missing? >> this is an ongoing process where for the last four and a half weeks, martin covering this at cnn international and our viewers international viewers know we've covered the floogsd in malaysia and indonesia. >> this time of year and two months ago it slides down. what we have seen is almost catastrophic. from the flooding that's been occurring, 300,000 displaced. over a million people now have been evacuated, and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. this has been going on for a while. the tremendous thunderstorms you're going to see here the bright red, or the colder cloud tops, they're dropping two, three feet of rain every two to three days in some cases. that's a month's worth of rain in two or three days, and it continues the next week and after the next week. the thunderstorms right here -- well they're no stranker to this.
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the pilots know this. this is the current look of a private briefing. can you see ahs yala down to the south. on the edge of your screen you can see ahead and up towards singapore. it is in this area of red. this is occasional embedded thunderstorms at 53,000 feet high. in between the thunderstorms, there's down drafts. it's reasonable to assume at this point, martin taking off this first thunderstorm, at tremendous height possibly 53,000 feet maybe 55 as some reports are saying could have caused him to divert this area because this is the anvil right in front. then you get into a clear pocket where possibly we call them cold spots. we're in the down drafts occurring. then he is embedded and this is the last place of known contact.
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ts are moving that if there was a down plane, where would the debris flow move to next? >> we're probably still better than the two to three hours before daylight returns to that area. tom, thank you very much. indonesian officials say the pilot had requested permission to climb to a higher altitude. 38,000 feet because of bad weather. from your expertise and understanding, what is it that tell you about the conditions that he was flying under? >> it could be a form of aviation. i think it's a form of usually when you go to a higher altitude it becomes smoother.
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that's just law of percentages. deviation is left to right. we try to avoid the worst of it if not avoid it absolutely all of it. it sounds like they have enough experience to know this area and the meteorological hart that was shown wrerl that folks got to see with reference to turbulence it's a dynamic event. what the scallop cirquele that is were shown may or may not exist at that particular time and may or may not involve a group of thunderstorms, one thunderstorm one whole system but we do have the ability with our on board weather radar to avoid that situation. once again, we are speculating that weather is the cause of this accident and i want to be cautious with everybody that this may not be the case at all.
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it may seem ob yushs but all investigators will tell you never get focused on one particular theory. >> you are right to remind us but we sort of seem to be going back to kind of an mh-370 in that it's 45 minutes into the flight. it's where you are at an altitude where you would anticipate that okay you've gotten off the ground. you are flying and you seem to be flying well. this should be the least dangerous part of the flight and, yet, something again happened. does anything strike you as we look beyond weather? >> well i'm trying not to draw parallels to mh 370, and i think some of our experts and analysts and correspondents have indicated that.
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n air traffic control expert but there would be as long as power it still available on the airplane you would be able to see the exact track on the screen and able to play it back digitally where that aircraft might have ended up. there would be some electrical power available. maybe not enough for a good transresponder code but at least for primary radar.
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that's possible. >> just real quick, was this the same plane that pulled off the miracle on the hudson. the same exact aircraft the same design? >> it is the same model of aik airplane. an a320, and, yes, indeed let's keep our fingers crossed for that kind of miraculous things. it's hard to speculate anything at this point in time. >> we can't just say automatically it crashed. i'll wish right along with you. thank you. >> coming up we ask a retired combat aif yeas expert about flying in bad weather and what it could mean for the missing jet.
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in just a few hours it will be day break off the coast of indonesia, and that's when the full search operation for missing air az wra flight will resume. let's bring in aviation expert dan hampton, retired u.s. airport lieutenant colonel, and we're joined by analyst and former inspector general for the u.s. department of transportation mary schiavo. >> you've flown more than 150 combat missions so i'm sure you've had to react to a lot of volatile situations in the air. shortly before air traffic control lost contact with air asia the pilot asked for a deviation due to weather. does that give you any indication of what could have happened next?
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d of thing. for the kind of flying i used to do it was just good practice to avoid it when you could. the fact that he deviated you know doesn't mean much to me. he was trying to go higher which means the air is a little smoother. that sort of thing. >> there are loofr other things that could have happened here. >> i didn't get to read in but have you ever had an opportunity to work search and rescue and efforts to try and locate aircraft that have been down? >> fup recall from the -- i don't want to draw a parallel to the malaysian incident you know ten months ago, but that
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sort of effort will be something they have to do here although it should be easier because there was a good iff hit on this aircraft aircraft. >> it's definitely not. it's a lot harder than people think. it's not like a bathtub. commercial airliners all have emergency locator transmitters on them. that sort of thing. that fact that nobody has been talking about this yet with this airplane means to me either they're not releasing that information, or something else possibly could have happened. also the fact that the pilots didn't make a distress call. at least one that we know about at this time.
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or this is something else and time will tell unfortunately. >> let me ask you this. assuming they will find some debris or find some portion of this aircraft what could that tell them? >> where to find submersibles and black boxes. even the small one seat cushion could be a huge break in finding this aircraft. unless it would be very rare for it not to break up if it hit the water. it would be very rare for it not to break up. particularly from this altitude because it was at cruising altitude and i worked a couple of cases where they have fallen from that altitude, and it's a big -- the impact breaks up a plane. >> you made reference to how difficult it can be to search from the air when trying to find
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debris. is that also a problem that you are aware of that it's not always easy even though you're flying over it to see things so clearly. >> right. on air france 447 they have the coordinates. the plane that particular airplane and airbus but an airbus 340 was sending messages with the automatic system status messaging system and even knowing exactly where it occurred it took a while for them to find the wreckage. they have to -- it's stormy weather, and they have to apply the drift patterns. some forces are better to calculating back where the drifted pieces would have impacted the wurt than others. it's a lot of work to actually find it. >> fortunately, it's -- four
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days they lost to malaysia 370 when the malaysian military you know neglected to tell them they were looking in the wrong place. hopefully there will be no misconnects there, and they will understand that you can't say that the coordinates of a civilian aircraft are national security secrets when lives are at stake. >> real quickly, before i let you go have you ever been caught up in weather where you thought, holy cow, i'm not sure i'm going to make it through this? >> oh many times. i went from 35,000 feet to 800 feet one day during the last gulf war. it was -- it's not good and you are talking about a fighter jet with an afterburner, which, unfortunately, an airliner doesn't have. so yeah it can be a problem, but, again, we don't know that that is what happened so i don't want to speculate too much. >> no but it's a staggering thought just to hear what you went through. thank you very much. lieutenant colonel dan hampton and mary schiavo always a pleasure to have you as well. next, we take a look at what people are saying about the missing plane on-line, and believe me they are saying a lot. plus, how the white house is responding.
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still no sign of the air asia flight that vanished some 20 hours ago. the airbus was bound for singapore. we're learning the identity of some of the passengers. channel news asia reports that there was a british citizen on board and is of an
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indonesian-based energy executive. >> they continue to monitor the situation, and, of course president obama will continue to be briefed. now, we don't expect to hear from him today, and often in these situations the white house will defer to other governments that are more deeply involved. here a state department official has confirmed to us that there were no u.s. passports, no u.s. passengers on this flight at all. as we have heard throughout the
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day, the u.s. has to be asked first and no ask has been made just yet. one other thing that we will be looking for in the next week or so is a bigger call for all of these global flights to be tracked more closely. after mh-370 went missing, there was a closer call and the u.s. joined in that call. we expect more of that in the coming week. >> aaron mcpike, thank you for the update. cnn rosa flores joins us from new york. rosa you have been tracking things on-line. a lot of people from around the world sending their thoughts and their prayers to the family members of the passengers on board. now, what we're also seeing are airlines taking to twitter, taking to facebook our naults
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and prayers are with the crew. we pray for the plane to be found and passengers to be safe. a lot of the other airlines doing the same thing. showing their support on their facebook and twitter pages. >> take a look that the. singapore's minister of defense, he says assistance is on the way, and he is posting pictures of those assets of those resources that he is honeying to take to the frontlines. he says rs valor and rs supreme have set sail. they are on their way to the search area. >> tony fernandez, the air asia ceo, also taking to twitter to
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share some of his thoughts with the passengers of that. he is saying as your group ceo will be there through hard times. we will go through this terrible ordeal together and i will try to see as many of you. >> a lot of people have a lot of questions. social media is a great way to have that conversation. rosa flores thank you. we'll continue to follow developments on this missing aircraft. we'll be back with more in just a moment. ♪ ♪ you don't need to think about the energy that makes our lives possible. because we do. we're exxonmobil and powering the world responsibly is our job. because boiling an egg... isn't as simple as just boiling an egg. life takes energy. energy lives here.
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still no sign of air asia flight 5801. the plane vanished now some 20 hours ago. the british citizen on board is an -- the singaporaan citizen is his 2-year-old daughter. flight 85 on 1 left indonesia at
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5:30 in the morning local time bound for singapore. the jet had 162 people on board, including 18 children with a crew of seven. officials have left some ships in the water to comb the area off indonesia for that plane. officials say seven ships and two helicopters will search for the plane. heavy storms had been reported in the area just when that jet vanished. indonesian officials say the pilot requested to fly at higher altitude because of bad weather. the incident comes just ten months after air flight 370 vanished on its way to beijing with 239 people on board. joining me by skype our aviation correspondent richard quest.
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r than life. he is gregarious charming wit where i. is he everything you really expect from an airline ceo. i think what you see in the last few hours is how he has risen to that. his concern -- he said quite clearly, it's not what happened, it's for the next of kin for those on board, for the crew members' family and he said specifically i will be there for you. here we have a ceo. you know very much in the same mold as easy jet, ryanair. these ceos that built the airline.
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uld he have also been someone that cut potential corners? >> no. no. >> not only that it is the southwest of southeast asia in the way it is grown.
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i think what you are going to be looking at in the hours add, you know it's too soon to speculate the cause until we know it. investigators monitoring here? >> yeah. well obviously any sort of issue that that relates more to the aircraft itself hand to how the situation was handled, but, of course, the greater concern oftentimes these situations that of course as has been
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noted over. >> something not being handled. it brings to mind the france crash. again, not speculating if that's what happened but would bring more comfort if perhaps there were some crew error involved rather than something to do with the aircraft itself. the a-320, an excellent operating record over the years. >> an airline has 200 of these. you are talking about an airline almost say, the size of oh jetblue in the u.s. and that kind of airline that a lot of leisure travellers including u.s. oh, backpackers and other people in seize asia when they go there, they do rely on the airline, an airline that is until now an xlebt safety record and if anything martin i would say that an airline like air asia in its part of the world has particularly had to battle the perception of oh you know how safe is the budget airline?
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in the u.s. we take for granted southwest and rather safe airlines. over there they've had to change minds, and they've done a good job of that. obviously, a big blemish. >> essential is. right now the focus is on finding the plane and the passengers. maybe both could be all right. seth kaplan thank you very much. richard quest, as always thank you for your personal insights. our coverage of the missing air asia jet continues. next how weather may have played a role in the plane's disappearance and what is the forecast for the search when it begins in a few hours? ring ring! progresso! i can't believe i'm eating bacon and rich creamy cheese before my sister's wedding well it's only 100 calories, so you'll be ready for that dress uh-huh... you don't love the dress? i love my sister... 40 flavors. 100 calories or less.
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>> let's bring up-to-date though major breaking story. air asia 58101, a passenger skwet has gone missing in southeast asia. here's what we know. authorities have suspended the official search at sea because of darkness. it is about 3:40 a.m. local time there right now. the area is a busy shipping channel, and they have asked that ships check the waters off of indonesia. meanwhile, the full search is
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expected to presume after day break a couple of hours from now. use almost all of the passengers are indonesians, but one british national had been identified as an energy company executive, and he was traveling with his 2-year-old daughter who was a singaporean citizen. cnn international meteorologist joins me now from the cnn weather center. what do we know about the weather? when that planes went missing. >> well what we do know is we know a lot more and there will be scattered thunderstorms in the area. maybe not as strong as we had in
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the last 24. rstorm activity is reasonable to assume and we always talk about weather first when we have an airline the disaster or mystery like this. even though it was reported, there were some issues here we take a look at the thunderstorm activity. this is an infra-red image. >> watch how it washes out. tremendous strength. incredible amount of water with this. the to rain itself out that fast means tremendous amount of energy was dropped from the sky.
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in the next 48 hours there will be clusters of faul small thunderstorms, maybe showers. some with lightening. not as large as we've seen expect for on land masses. this is our last known contact position. we have the little island here. this could play a role for search and rescue teams as they look for possible debris. if visibility is okay these smaller white lines are lighter winds coming in from the gulf of thailand through the strait here but a more of a west to easterly fashion here there's more of a current which would make you seem to think that this is the direction that the waves would be pushing any debris. again, we're going to watch this and i know that they're watching this now all of the
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crews, the rescue and research crews that will be out here in search and watching the coastlines as well. i've been asked to show you temperatures. to give you an idea how tropical this is these temperatures and the java sea here, are about 82 to 88 degrees fahrenheit. for our international viewers, it's 28 to 32 degrees celsius. it's extremely warm. the air temperatures are warm as well. the bigger problem we have if we have them thunderstorms develop out of nowhere sometimes. they'll reduce visibility and cause turbulence for those flights, of course that are above the water. torms. most of our models want to show the heavier downpours occurring
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over the land masses which is very good news. >> okay. yes, indeed. tom, thanks. the missing air asia jet is of course the second airliner to go missing this year. nearly ten months ago malaysia airlines flight 370 disappeared over southeast asia in march with 239 people on board. nick val wraens is here in the studio. he has been looking for xhar sons with the latest of what we know of the current plane and mh 370. there are some similarities but it's not a total match. >> no but it seems as though here we go again. we're hearing from so many of you at home. if this sounds eerily family it's because ten months ago, as martin was saying another flight in the same area of the world mh-370 went missing. we decided to look at these two flights, these two airlines and see where the similarities and comparisons ended. let's bring up a map and start. now, mh-370 departed from kuala lumpur to beijing in march. air asia flight departed from
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indonesia to singapore right there at the bottom of your screen. now, both disappeared from radars and made no further communication after that moment. these two airplanes are slightly different with mh-3 p 0, having more room for passengers 239 passengers versus 162 passengers and crew on air asia. also both of these flights, you bring up that map one more time. lost contact relatively soon after departing. mh-370 lost -- 8501 losing contact about 6:17. that's pretty much where the sim laters and comparisons went. you may be wondering about that flight. mh-370. where is it? has anyone spotted any debris any wreckage? we know in august the australian government reached out to a dutch company to help with the next phase of the search. the so-called under sea search, and we know that the malaysian government is also playing a big role in this. both earmarking a lot of money. $60 million from each government to go forward with this search.
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now, they had an optimistic stimgts that they would continue or finish i should say, their scouring of this priority zone in the indian ocean by may of next year. 2013. that was only if they didn't have any technical problems or hiccups with the equipment that they were using that turned out not to be the case. they are having problems. the delays have pushed back the search. now another plane in the same part of the world missing. current aircraft is a heavily traveled area. >> we'll have more on the search for this missing aircraft and those on board in just a moment.
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>> more on the missing air asia jet. first more on a tragedy at sea. italian firefighting vessels and greek crews are trying to put out a fire that is on board a fery off the coast of greece. the passengers say it's a scene like the titanic. people on board are suffer indicating from the smoke. they're also burning from the heat of the fire. joining us now on the phone from athens is journalist elinda and
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elinda what's the latest? >> well we have news that a greek passenger has died on board the norman atlantic the ship in question. >> from a total of 478 passengers and crew originally on board, over 300 people remain on the ship while more than 170 others have been rescued. most are taking part in the operations while at least nine people have been transported to italy. they've been taken to hospital there while they're being treated for hypothermia and very mild injuries. overall, there are reports that they're well in their health. the group has said that rescue operations will continue throughout the night. though severe weather conditions are really not helping.
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this has been the problem all along. i mean the rescue ships and helicopters, the operations began very early but because of the really difficult weather conditions the really severe winds in the area it's been extremely difficult to get access near to the passengers in order to be able to for their part the passengers on board continued to call greek tv stations. they're asking for help and support. they are shivering, choking from the smoke. and earlier today there were reports some people were saying that their shoes were melting from the heat. it is not entirely clear if the fire has been completely put out. it's difficult to tell because there is so much smoke. it has certainly been contained. it is a fire that appears to have started in the lower deck
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a car deck. but we don't yet know the exact causes of the fire. by now it has been over 15 hours since this ship caught fire in the early morning hours. these passengers remain stranded on the deck. >> what about the captain and crew? >> he has been taken to hospital in italy, but those are not confirmed reports. we didn't have too much cooperation from the captain. most of the crew is on board the ship.
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>> thank you very much for the update. they will continue to follow this. >> in a statement, he said thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, ou combat mission in afghanistan is ending coming to a responsible conclusion. more than 2200 american troops lost their lives during the war. we will return to our coverage of the missing aircraft in asia in a few minutes.
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>> let's getd back to our top story, joining me now on the phone is allen neil a former air force accident investigator. thank you for joining us. as an investigator what is the first thing ha maybe comes to mind in this incident to you. >> similarities with another incident earlier this year.
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air alger, and that north african case the african broke out in flight. there is another one that's a good one. it is equipped with what is called a ditching switch. remember sully sullivan landed in the hudson. it turns the fuselage into a boat. it makes it water proof. if they got the aircraft down on the water safely it should be floating and we can only hope for that martin. we don't really know what the status of the aircraft is. >> obviously, an example you give of the former. what about the issue of lightning? i know you have talked about the
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turbulence factor. could a single bolt of lightning bring down an aircraft? >> it's very rare. not far from atlanta. we had an older aircraft make a forced landing. just conventional icing on the wings. severe icing conditions. we remember the air france over the south atlantic. hopefully it's not a scenario like the air france tragedy which was a bigger model of air
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bus. >> we heard there were reports that the pilot requested to climb and gain altitude. some of these go far high sner. >> absolutely. and incidentally i'm a former ntsb investigator as well. you were talking about thunderstorms over 50,000 feet. he was deviateing. obviously this man was -- this man was obviously looking at his on board radar trying to deviate around whatever he saw that looked threatening. >> lastly no emergency distress call. the aircraft itself is down -- wherever it may be down. why may that be? >> pilots get very busy especial
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especially when you're in heavy weather. i happen to have a license. you know that the controllers can't really help you. you and your co-pilot will have to solve this. you're talking about the emergency locator transmilter. we done know why that happened. they're bobbing around like sully sullivan was only for a lot more hour. going to have to cut the switch off the controls and opening. >> thank you very much. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> let's bring you up to date.
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here is what we know at this hour. authorities because of darkness is just after 4:00 in the morning. this area is a busy shipping channel. a full search expected to resume in a couple of hours from now. the air bus a-3220 left around 5:30 in the morning bound for singapore. avoiding stormy weather. families have been anxiously waiting for any kind of update or news on their loved ones and what may have happened. there were no americans on board. the