tv A Healthy You Carol Alt FOX News December 28, 2014 1:00pm-1:31pm PST
this is a fox news alert. we're continuing our coverage of the missing airasia plane. rescue crews are searching 100 square miles of the indonesian waters for that mying airliner. it disappeared with 162 people on board. right now we're told that ships from three nations are already involved. this is the united states state department says that the embassy in indonesiastanding by ready to assist if asked. search planes are grounded due to rough weather and darkness but expected to resume in 90 minutes from now when it will be sunrise and daylight once again. hello, everyone. welcome to a brand new hour of
america's news headquarters. >> here is what we know right now. airasia flight 8501 took off from indonesia. it was heading for singapore. now the last communication between the pilot and air traffic control was made at 6:18 a.m. local time. when the pilot asked to climb to 34,000 feet to avoid clouds. will carr is live in los angeles with the latest. do indonesian authorities believe weather played a part in the aircraft's disappearance? >> reporter: well, julie, no distress signals or beacons have gone off to this point to indicate a crash. right now they say they are not making any assumptions. here's what we know. the plane was actually over the java sea when it lost communications with air traffic control. that's an area that sees a lot of air travel on a daily basis. there was bad weather in the area before communications were lost. it's monsoon season there so the storms can be especially violent. there's lightning and strong
winds. but this is the type of plane an airbus a320-200 that's built to fly in rough conditions. >> anything could have happened. systems could have failed. deicing systems could have failed. there could have been excessive ice, abnormally excessive ice that got into engines. whatever it is it happened very quickly. >> reporter: indonesia has dispatched at least three war ships and five planes to the war. malaysia and singapore are helping as well. the java sea has a very shallow sea bed. the average depth is about 150 feet. no canyons or ravines. very similar to the bottom of a pool. far different from steven location of malaysia 370 which went missing nine months ago in the west indian ocean. as for airasia the airliner has a great safety record. the ceo released a statement said they are cooperating with authorities and their main priority is keeping the families informed.
on the flight of the 162 of the passengers, there were 17 children and one infant. right now the families of the missing are at a crisis center in west indonesia hoping that they will get some more answers later today. >> what else do we know about the pilot? >> from all accounts he's very experienced. according to the airline he actually has more than 20,000 flight hours, in particular he has 6100 flight hours in that exact plane for airasia. the first officer has more than 2,200 flight hours as well. so they are not inexperienced and they are very familiar with this type of airplane. as part of routine investigation, authorities will look into their backgrounds and the time they spent leading up to the flight. while the search continues we'll tell you there's supposed to be more bad weather in that area that could hamper search efforts. will carr in los angeles, thank you. >> the search for flight 8501 on hold right now due to continued
bad weather in the area. weather, as we have been reporting may also have been a contributing factor behind the disappearance of this jetliner. the plane vanished in airspace that was thick with strong winds, clouds, lightning and thunder. the last communication with air traffic controllers the pilot requested permission to try and avoid clouds by veering left and climbing to a higher altitude. our meteorologist is live in the fox "weather center" with more on the weather that they were facing during that flight. >> we've talked about monsoon season and that's typically when they get the worst of the weather in terms of heavy rainfall. we've had incredible flooding in this region. of course, the thunderstorms and the updrafts and downdrafts that typically come with this season. now what we have to look at is whether people, the satellite presentation, the cloud tops. this is infrared.
where you see the deeper shades of red those are the colder cloud tops indicating where the strongest thunderstorms are. and the presentation that we have is we get a frame every three hours or so. so we're missing a little bit of data. it's not the very sophisticated data that they have in the planes and of course the people that are also looking at the activity in the air. looking at what we have on our satellite presentation there were strong thunderstorms in the area and an indication that strong thunderstorms were within 50,000 feet in the region where we last got our word of where the plane was. so there's the satellite again on the flight path strong thunderstorms, when the flight took off, conditions were good, very calm but, again, monsoon season, thunderstorms can come up at any time. it's very hard with the satellite radar forecasting where and when thunderstorms will crop up. certainly very likely that a thunderstorm was in its path.
looking ahead into tuesday, monday and tuesday, most of the thunderstorms right now stay to the south of the area that we will be searching and as will carr mentioned the water here is very shallow. so if the plane, unfortunately, did crash it should be very soon or shortly we'll find out where the plane was. back to you. >> janice, those thunderstorms sound especially violent and at least because that water is rather shallow, perhaps they will be able to find wreckage if that was the case and the black boxes can tell us what happened. captain chuck nash is a former navy pilot and fox news military analyst and he joins me now with more of an in depth look as to what possibly could have gone wrong here. your insight is fascinating because you yourself have been in the air and i'm sure have flown through storms. so perhaps you can maybe break town the last final moments, the communication with air traffic controllers that had received a
message from the pilot who apparently requested permission to avoid the clouds by veering left and then climbing to a higher elevation of 34,000 feet. we understand the storm reached levels of 50,000 feet which is not airspace that this aircraft was capable of flying in. does it seem impossible then that the pilots were actually able to avoid these storms >> i want sounds like what they flew into is a boxed canyon of thunderstorms or a massive area of thunderstorms that possibly were embedded in clouds so that they couldn't see the thunderstorms. a lot of times when you're on the ground in the summer time and you got clear skies and you look out, you see this thunderstorm coming across the horizon that's the way things play out on the ground. when you're in the air it's a totally different picture. you can be flying in clouds and you have these thunderstorms embedded in those clouds and the only way you're going see them is on radar or if air traffic
control alerts you to it and gives you a 10 or 15 degree heading cut so you can avoid it. the last thing you want to do is fly into a thunderstorm. if you get in a thunderstorm the last thing you want to do is turn around to get out of it. you want to press straight ahead and punch through it and get out on the other side. >> do you believe it was a mistake to climb an altitude they should have kept on course? >> julie, i think they ran out of air speed and ideas about the same time. they were probably in this area. they couldn't get out. knew they couldn't turn around because either way they were in a boxed canyon of thunderstorms, possibly and figured out the only way we maybe can get out of this if we can climb out it. they started at 34,000 feet. the surface ceiling is 39,000 feet which means that at 39,000 feet you can only climb maybe 100 feet a minute and then you reach your absolute altitude where you can't go anywhere. you're up there. the air is so thin. you're on a razor's edge which
is why they fly the airplanes on auto pilot up there because they don't trust human control inputs. so when you get up that high the air is rare. it's so thin. and with all the turbulence of those thunderstorms it's very easy to upset that aircraft and put it out of controlled flight. >> what does your gut tell you regarding the speed in which it tried to elevate and then the turbulence if you mix all of that into this and possible lightning strikes. in these thunderstorms you have these drafts that are incredibly violent and powerful and could literally rattle an aircraft into pieces. do you believe that turbulence was ultimately to blame or do you believe that in the speed in which they tried to reach a higher altitude that they went up too quickly as opposed to the 100 feet that you just discussed. >> i think what happened, possibly what happened if weather is the cause and i think weather certainly played a part in this, is that they got up,
they were up too high. the aircraft was heavy. it was only about an hour into its flight. it would be the equivalent of flying from new york to atlanta and this happening around richmond. so, they were still heavy. they were up high. right near the surface ceiling with all the violence. these thunderstorms are reported with tops of 50,000. that's breaking the troposphere which means they are violent storms. each one of them are packing enough energy of a nuclear weapon. they are masses forces that are at play here. when you're up dancing on that thin air anything can happen. >> we've been talking a lot about pitot tubes and there's some discrepancy whether they contributed to the reason nor. after the 2009 crash of air france flight they were a huge concern, icing being a factor in that crash. some meteorologists say at 32,000 feet the temperature not necessarily impossible but not
likely to be cold enough to cause significant icing. do you agree with that and do you believe that icing is possible at 32,000 feet? >> absolutely positively. it's been reported and it's completely wrong that you can't get icing up there because it's in the tropics. there's a thing called a standard lapse rate, one degree per thousand feet. i looked it up before i came on air. air temperature at 34,000 feet in that area of the world right now is minus 39 degrees. so at 34,000 feet minus 39 yeah that's about one degree per thousand feet. yes. the tops of those thunderstorms are all ice crystals and you got these massive down floss and updrafts and that kind of shear within these things and the hail that's generated -- you know you got a jet engine. think of the flight that landed in the hudsons.
that took guess. >> we're talking small hail at this elevation? >> it could be anywhere from golf ball to soft beautiful size hail. >> all right. interesting. >> these are big storms. you're talking 50,000 feet. 50% of the earth's atmosphere is below 18,000 feet. once you get -- >> i got to ask you. >> floss air. just energy. >> you just described such violent thunderstorms and the weather in the monsoon season and i know these pilots are trained to fly in these type of weather conditions. but here in the united states we typically don't fly into weather like this on a regular basis. here in the united states had pilots known the weather was in front of them wouldn't the aircraft have cancelled the flight and do you believe that's what should have happened in this case >> a lot of times people get angry when they sit in the airport and see that their flight has been cancelled for weather something like that. leapt me tell you what. that's people exercising prudent judgment and taking care of you.
so, yes, a lot of times the guys that fly in the worst weather quite frankly are not the guys hauling passengers it's the guys flying for u.p.s. and fedex hauling boxes. they don't complain. those guys fly in nasty weather. looking at that i don't think those guys would have flown in that. once you get out in that area of the world maybe you get too used to it. you should never get used to it because that stuff will kill you. >> a very sad fact of course speak after fact. captain chuck nash we appreciate you coming on. chuck nash talking about hail. hail brought down a dc in 1979. now the questions mount in this case. weather, aircraft systems and safety. and concerns about that extremely severe weather. coming up we'll look at exactly what that weather can do and
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flight 8501 comes during severe weather in the region as we've been reporting. this turns out not be the first time that turbulent skies have been suspected of possibly bringing down a jetliner. over the past decade there have been six major airline accidents in which weather was to blame. >> reporter: as you said there have been six major passenger airline accidents over the past decade. where those weather conditions played a big role. in 2005 two planes in separate incidents crashed during landing. one due to a severe hail storm and the other due to bad visibility from a thunderstorm. in july of this year, a transasia airways plane crashed in taiwan killing dozens during an emergency landing in bad weather there. winds were about 40 miles per hour. four of those flights you see
there crashed during takeoff and landing. the most risky part of flying. but two other crashes air france flight 447 and plight 612 crashed in mid-air and resemble what may have happened to airasia flight 8501 which was trying to maneuver past a storm. a crash that is more early is flight 612 which crashed in eastern ukraine. in august of 2006 like airasia 8501, 612 was cruising at 35,000 feet when pilots asked to climb over storm clouds that extended to 50,000 feet. investigators say the plane hit severe turbulence while trying to climb pushing the plane up so fast it went into a deep stall. it crashed and killed all 170 people on board. investigators found pilots were properly to manually
fly the plain at high altitudes particularly in a storm. >> oftentimes when a pilot is trying to get out of a storm they are doing all kinds of things, heroic measures to save an aircraft that's potentially unstable. when you're in a storm and the engine is choking like you're choking yourself you're trying to get power back. >> reporter: in 2009 air france 447 crashed over the atlantic. the plane's speed sensors, pitot tubes were clogged with ice. investigators ultimately blame that technical malfunction and inadequately trained pilots for failing to properly manually control the plane during high turbulence. all those crashes have some experts wondering whether the airline industry is suffering from auto pilot addiction, essentially they are so used to planes flying themselves and only have to fly them manually during takeoff and landing that
when something sudden occurs they are not prepared to handle it. brian, that is a concern auto pilot addiction as you say and all part of the investigation. thank you. julie. >> president obama getting briefed on the missing airasia plane while vacationing in hawaii so how is the white house responding to the international crisis? also, the longest war in u.s. history comes to an end. american military leaders officially handing over security responsibilities to afghanistan. as our troops prepare to withdraw in just a few days. >> working together we cannot fail. working together we will prevail. to save up to $40.
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back now with our continuing coverage of the missing airliner. white house officials telling fox news the president has been briefed on missing airasia's flight. he is on vacation in hawaii. officials say they are continuing to northern this crucial situation. >> reporter: secretary of state john kerry is one of those officials awaiting some news on the fate of the airasia flight. he sent out a tweet today saying quote, our hearts and hopes are with the passengers and families of airasia qz8501. a state department official tells fox that the indonesian government has not asked for u.s. help through diplomatic
channels but the embassy has offered u.s. assistance if needed. the national transportation safety board also is offering its expertise. according to ntsb public affairs officials the ntsb is aware of the missing airplane and monitoring the situation. if asked we would provide investigators and technical advisers to the lead investigative agency. based on early reports so far it appears there were no americans on board this airasia flight. eric. >> thank you, molly. there is other news we want to tell you about today. president george h.w. bush showing positive signs of improvement as he remains hospitalized in houston this weekend. he was admitted on tuesday for shortness of breath. he does suffer from a form of parkinson's disease. doctors are discussing when to send mr. bush home. >> one person is dead and hundreds more were stranded after a ferry caught fire in the
waters between italy and greece. there is no word, those on what exactly caused that fire. a second crisis at sea near italy. a turkish cargo ship collides with another vessel and sinks in the northern adriatic. two crew members killed and four more missing. the other ship involved in the crash suffered only minor damage and was taken to port for the investigation. isis saying it killed a top commander of iran's revolutionary guard. iran says its official died during a battle against those terrorists in iraq while he was helping iraqi troops defend a city near baghdad. the commander's funeral is set for monday. a ceremonial end to the longest war in american history. u.s. and nato leaders returning security responsibilities in afghanistan back to its people. and trying to reassure the world that the troubled nation will have continuous support from the
west. the majority of u.s. combat troops currently deployed in afghanistan are scheduled to withdraw in just a few days and that is raising serious concerns about the country's ability to fend for itself against increasing terror attacks. dan springer live from honolulu, hawaii with more. we have a bit of a satellite freeze if you will. we'll try to get back to dan as soon as we can. meantime our coverage of the breaking news of that missing airasia jetliner continues. daylight approaching in indonesia and teams hoping to resume search-and-rescue operations in just a matter of hours. as of this time they are lost. speculation saying they found the plane. as of this time it's not true. as of this time we're still searching for the plane.