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tv   The Kelly File  FOX News  May 19, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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good morning, and welcome to an early edition of fox & friends. first, a fox news alert we've been following all night long. an egyptair airplane with 66 people on board has crashed. >> here's what we know so far. military and rescue teams picking up an automated emergency signal from the plane moments ago in the mediterranean sea. egyptair flight 804 was flying from paris to cairo and it vanished from radar. >> search for debris is now under way. and here's the timeline to break down what happened. what we know at this point, the airbus a-320, that is the type
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of plane involved. it took off from charles de gaulle airport just after 11:00 p.m. local time wednesday. 56 passengers including children were on board, including two babies. >> the pilot sent an emergency signal at 2:26 a.m. however, the egyptian military denies ever having received a signal. the plane was 10 miles into egyptian airspace and was flying at 37,000 feet. >> and it vanished from radar at about 10 minutes later. egyptair confirming an automated emergency distress signal was sent from the plane two hours after it crashed. >> so let's get right to benjamin howell. he's been following the breaking news as has heather. he is live in london. what can you tell us so far? >> reporter: well, good morning, there have been a lot of conflicting reports over the
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last few hours. this plane has crashed somewhere off the coast of egypt, maybe 100, 150 miles north. this distress signal that everyone is talking about, at first we heard there was no distress signal. it vanished. there were reports from the ground that, the captain of a merchant ship saw a fireball, again, that's unconfirmed. then the authorities came out and said, no. the captain did get a radio call in, a distress call before the ma plane went down. we're now learning that that distress call may be false and a beacon call in the water. egypt says they have received no distress call, and it is too early to rule anything out. egypt's prime minister, france's prime minister saying, when asked if it was terrorism, it's too early to rule anything out.
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the greek authorities reported no issues. we do know though plane, 12 years had a spotty record but it had a full maintenance check in cairo. the plane is an a-320, a workhorse of the aviation industry, it was just fine. horrible scene with the families waiting. they've been moved to a special terminal and looked at by doctors and as they try to find out what happened to their loved ones. we have recently heard from a ship in the area your the beacon was supposed to come from. they requested to go do the occasion. they arrived at the pointen eo dropping and did not find any objects or fuel.
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they found nothing there on the sea. so at the moment, still a big mystery as to where the plane crashed and what the cause of it was. of course, this is a region where everyone thinks of terrorism. there is no confirmation or any indication that that is the case. but cairo, egypt, has been so hit by terrorism since the arab spring that its economy has been decimated. whether this was terrorism or not, there will be huge implications to the egyptian economy. the metrojet last year was a bomb put in place by a baggage handler connected to isis. this left from charles de gaulle, french, very big, respected airport. so the idea that they could have got and bomb on at charles de gaulle is far afield, but families, very, very concerned. we'll keep you updated.
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>> benjamin hall, we'll check more with you later as we get more information. >> joining us now is retired air force pilot and contributor tom mcenneny. thank you for joining us. >> delighted, heather. >> you've been listening to the information as it has continued to come in. and at this hour, discrepancies involving this distress call from this beacon, allegedly, an automated call going out two hours after the flight disappeared, local time, it disappeared around 2:45 a.m., and i think this call went out, the automated distress call around 4:45 a.m. so what does that tell you in terms of, like the timeline? >> well, i think, heather, when we look at this, i do it very simply. the fact is, when an airplane disappears from 370, 37,000
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feet, it is a catastrophic accident or terrorism, act of terrorism. i believe this is an act of terrorism, and i do, for the following reasons. it's catastrophic. we're getting lots of mixed signals. but normally, an airplane does not have a catastrophic failure like this. very, very seldom. i can't think of any times when an airplane just explodes. so i immediately revert to what my expertise is, is terrorism, radical islam, and then i look at the pattens of behavior. what happened in baghdad yesterday. what's going on with isis? what happened on the russian airplane from sharm el sheikh. and you look at what they're trying to do to egypt and destabilize, frankly, our most stable government over there, president el sisi. and most important in my opinion. so i immediately revert to the number one priority is terrorism, and i then look at paris. you look at the paris massacres.
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you look at what happened in belgium, and then all of a sudden, you see this radical islamic threat that we have had there in europe, in what's on. so that is where i'm going to default right now. i think there's a much, probably 75% to 85% chance that it was terrorism. the egyptian government doesn't want to say that. the french government doesn't want to say that. nobody wants to say that. we have political correctness. we have all these things, but i do believe it's interconnected. >> the egyptian government, heather, even saying at this point that it's too early to say if it has crashed. it's egyptair itself saying that it's crashed. >> general, this is heather here. i want to ask you about this automated distress call, because we still don't know what happened yet. the plane disappeared at 37,000 feet. some sort of distress call went out. could you talk to us about an automated distress call and a voice distress call from one of the crew members or a pilot or
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co-pilot? >> i believe, heather that an automated distress call is when you have a structural failure, something in the black box automatically puts out a significant mal. >> mm-hm. >> and that's what that would be. the other would be a distress call from the pilot, in which he had time, if there wasn't a large explosion that he could say mayday, mayday, mayday. but we haven't heard that, yet. so we're going to get a lot of conflicting answers. and there are going to be a lot of people say well, how can you jump to terrorism, and i gave you the rationale. >> a lot of people would be asking questions about that. >> precise lay. >> there was a time frame, i think there was ten minutes where there was no communication from the plane, and then it disappeared from radar ten minutes later. so when you're seeing a catastrophic event had to have occurred, if that had not been the case, would there have been a way for someone from, like the
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pilot or the co-pilot, someone to either do a distress call or communicate in some way? >> yes, that would have been, heather. but the fact is, is when you have an emergency like that you immediately do the first thing, which is fly the airplane. try to do that. and then you start communicating and telling people. >> mm-hm. >> but i don't think, because it was catastrophic, and you see it's catastrophic from the flight 24 radar system, the transponders, you see that, that it was catastrophic. i'm quite surprised that the egyptian government would say that we don't know if it's, if it's crashed yet. you know, we got that same kind of reaction from malaysia when they had that problem. >> mm-hm. >> and so the governments, of course, are very sensitive to this. i mean, this impacts their whole aviation industry, it impacts
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their economy, and i can understand that. but we also must be realistic. >> and after that russian flight was taken down by isis, it took a real hit on their economy. talk to us about the flight, the altitude. one report has it within 10 miles or in 10 miles of egyptian airspace. so where would the plane be at that time? would it be in descent mode? explain that. >> well, it did not start descending that we know of, because it said, in the radar from the transponder said it was at flight level 3-7-0. it could have been, i don't know this, that it had started to descend and there was a pressure switch, an altitude pressure switch that detonated the bomb. we don't know that. we know it was in the egyptian air defense identification zone, the eadiz. but it was over water, and
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that's going to make it more complicated. >> mm-hm. >> because when you have it over water, it is very difficult, and particularly if it was a catastrophic event, it exploded. the parts and the debris will be all over. when they start searching out there, which it's daylight out there. i think they'll start finding debris, which will indicate that it was a catastrophic explosion. now if there are not lots of parts, then it means it went in in tact. we don't know that yet. but the debris field is very important. >> i believe, in terms of the debris field, we do know that it had just crossed over into egyptian airspace about 10 miles or so, it had gone in, and it crashed in the sea shall the mediterranean sea itself, about 175 miles off the coastline of the port city of alexandria. >> and we also know that there are search and rescue teams dispatched to the area. one of the things that so many of our military experts have been saying is that this is a busy space when it comes to a
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lot of ships, a lot of radar, a lot of assets in the area. so hopefully they will find some sort of debris field soon. lieutenant general thomas mcen ernie, please stay with us. >> the time now is 11 minutes after the top of the hour, and we do continue to follow this breaking news for you. an egyptian air plan falls from the sky. we'll have the latest news when we come back, stick around.
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welcome back to fox news alert. we continue to follow for you breaking details coming in by the minute of the crashed egyptair passenger jet. >> crews searching for wreckage at this hour trying to find out what brought that plane down. >> we are joined from washington, d.c. with a history of other egyptair tragedies. good morning garrett. >> we have been looking into the history of egyptair for the past couple hours, thus far we have not found any reports of major mechanical issues with the
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airline's planes thus far. egyptair will sound familiar. it's been in the headlines a number of times over the years, most often for hijacking-related incidents, according to the aviation safety network, since 1976, the airline has been the victim of at least eight hijackings. you may remember the most recent one a couple months ago when a flight heading to cairo was forced to land in cyprus by a man on board who claimed to be wearing a suicide belt. authorities later learned that the belt was a fake and he wanted to meet his ex-wife who was living there. back in 2009, on another egyptair flight, a sudanese passenger pulled out a knife shortly after takeoff and deemed the flight be delivered to jerusalem to quote, liberate it. they overpowered the man and that ended well. the deadliest hijacking was 1985
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when three terrorists shot and killed the security guard and two flight attendants while taking over the plane which eventually landed on the island of malta. and 60 deaths included the hijackers and many passengers. we have not heard from authorities at this time whether or not hijacking or terrorism played any role in today's crash. all of this unfolding before our eyes, changing by the minute. we'll keep you updated. >> we do want to make sure that we do industries thastress that. no one has claimed responsibility. >> joining me is a former pilot, jp tristani. the latest information is this distress call that came in, reportedly by egyptair, saying that it came in, but the egyptian military saying they did not receive a distress call. why would that be significant, if it was from the pilot or
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automated. >> well, first of all, it wouldn't be automated if it came from the aircraft. it would be a transponder distress call. it automatically transmits on the transponder and the military can read it. the other way is verbal communication with the pilot where he says i have an emergency or i have mayday, mayday, mayday. or in european terms, pan, pan, pan, which means i have an abnormal. there was a communication, what was it? was it verbal or pilots dialing in a frequency. that was important to what was going on. did he have a control problem? a threat from the back of the aircraft? that's all important. >> you tell me if it makes sense that a call would have gone out around 2:26 a.m. but then contact was lost at 2:45 a.m. so there's 19 minutes in between there. so does it make sense that the
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timeline would have happened that way? because the other is that the distress call was automated and came two hours later. >> no, that doesn't make sense. >> the 19 minutes? >> no, the 19 minutes makes sense, okay, let's say at 2:26 that he gave a distress call either from the transponder or communicated a difficulty or a threat. now, in that period of time of 19 minutes, the pie hlots could have been working the threat or the problem or the control problem that they had. so the aircraft supposedly disappeared off the radar at 2:25. that probably says it was the transponder that stopped operating, not secondary radar but there still remains primary red radar that is painting the aircraft. it's a radar sweep reflecting off that aircraft. >> 2:45 it disappeared. >> leaving the radar screen to me implies with no further
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communication, no transmissions, nothing, not from the transponder or the pilots, you've got a catastrophic failure that occurred in the aircraft, because all the electrical is lost. >> okay. and now the reports coming in from egyptair, once again denied by the egyptian government, that there is a beacon or some sort of automated distress call coming from this area in the mediterranean sea approximately 4:26 a.m. local time. so about two hours later there's a distress call coming from this beacon about 175 miles off the coast. >> i'm not sure they're confusing local time with gmt time. and i think that's part of the discrepan discrepancy, but getting back to the possibility of a non, i mean, an automated distress call, yes, that could be the elt that was activated when the black box struck the water. that's logical to me. i wouldn't be so concerned with that time business, because i think there is confusion with
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broadcasting gmt and we have a six-hour difference in time. >> but it would be significant in there was a call that went out prior to losing them on radar. >> yes. and that would mean to me that something was occurring in the cockpit. maybe they had a flight control problem. maybe they had a fire. maybe there was a threat from the back. and that threat from the back could have been someone with a nefarious or just a simple bomb on board the aircraft and decided that was the point in time to detonate it the but perhaps there was discussion. the person would never be allowed to be into that cockpit as a captain, i would never allow that threat in the cockpit. if he's going to blow anything up, move him to the back where after the center of the fuel tanks, things like that. but basically speaking, that communication, was it verbal with the pilots? so at one point, it will be very important if they can get that cockpit voice recorder. >> significant. >> that's significant, because
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now you hear the cockpit conversations, and there is a lot of always confusion when you're talking to egypt, flight control atc, military, it's not a cut and dried situation, and the experience i've had in operating in egypt. >> as we were discovering this morning as all this information comes in and the discrepancies with it. thank you for joining us and the great information as we try to figure out what happened. well, an egyptair plane crashed moments before landing in cairo, headed from paris to cairo. we'll have much more on this breaking news as it continues to develop, keep it right here.
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good morning, and welcome back. if you are just joining us, we are following live, egyptair flight that crashed just off the coast of egypt. we are taking a look at the
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airport in cairo where the plane was due to land. it's 10:27 local time there. the plane went missing about 2:30 in the morning or so local time. so we are trying to figure out exactly what happened. security in the region a big concern, but also this could have been a mechanical disaster somewhere on the plane. we're not certain just yet. so we're looking at all angles of this, 66 people on board including the crew and passengers. >> children on board, two babies at least. last known to have been at 37,000 feet. and joining us to weigh in is fa-18 hornet pilot, leah gabriel. always nice to have you here to share your expertise. >> good morning to both of you. >> you've been following this all morning long as well. the discrepancies with the alleged distress call, either coming from the pilot or being automated after the fact,
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approximately two hours from where the plane allegedly or possibly went down. and then flying at 37,000 feet at the time that it was lost on radar. does that give you any clues as what could have happened to this plane? >> the biggest clue is to find out whether or not that distress call actually happened, because it's a very different scenario if pilots made a distress call versus if they didn't and the plane just disappeared from radar. planes don't disappear from the sky. when they disappear from radar that means something outside the radar no longer saw it, there was no longer an object large enough in the sky for it to see it. if there was a distress call we might know there was some kind of problem inside the aircraft. it could be terrorist-related activity where the pilot was trying to make a distress call or a malfunction with the plane. but if there was no distress call made, we're dealing with something very different. most likely as many people have
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been saying, something catastrophic happened, either something causing the plane to essentially blow up from outside the aircraft or from inside. and there are a number of different scenarios that could cause that to happen, heather. >> leah, talk to us about security in the region. you've served in the navy for years. this is obviously a very hot, intense area. we have that russian plane downed by isis over the sinai peninsula. talk to us about your concerns with that. >> this is a very dangerous area right now. the sinai peninsula has been a major problem. you have an affiliate of isis located there. they're called sinai province. back in july that organization claimed to have fired a surface to ship missile and hit an egyptian ship, you know, the egyptian military has denied that, saying there was some sort of gunfire, but either way, there were images posted online of what appeared to be a missile hitting an egyptian ship. so there's a lot of extremist activity in the area. and there's a lot of risk for
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miscalculation. and let me explain that. in the mediterranean we have a lot of different navies operating. the u.s. navy six fleet is there in naples, italy. the egyptian navy, which is a huge navy, the sixth in the world in terms of the number of their ships. very, very, very advanced navy. there have been past situations where miscalculations occurred where aircraft were shot out of the sky by ships in the water because they believed them to be hostile. i would point back to 1988, the u.s. vincennes did that with an iranian passenger plane. so there are a number of things that could have happened. the russian plane you mentioned, they believe there was a bomb on board that. then you look at malaysian 17 that was shot down over dou.
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>> there was at least one person, a americaen tile ship captain who uses the words "flame in the sky" the but i want to ask you what you were talking about, when that amount of security, there would be a high amount of traffic, you would think, a highly populated area, so you would think more than one person would have seen what happened if it was in fact an explosion. >> yeah, you know, very high trafficked area, but i think that if that actually did happen, we probably will hear reports of other witnesses that saw something in the sky at some point. a ship captain is typically pretty experienced. they're not somebody who would see a meteor and think it was an explosion. now they might just be reporting er everything, because they're trying to bring in everything
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and help out with the situation. so somebody who's a captain in that area probably would know the difference between something very unusual like an explosion in the sky and something like a meteor. i want to point out i spoke with a navy official who pointed out that we do have u.s. navy ships in the mediterranean. when i was deployed in the military we spent a lot of time in the mediterranean. so it's likely that we will see u.s. navy ships moving to the area to support the search and rescue effort of the >> and we do know there's a search and rescue effort under way now. the plane disappeared 37,000 feet. i want to touch on something you mentioned. you brought up the issue of ukraine and the malaysian air jet that was shot down over the ukraine last year. we can't nasaecessarily rule ou that something could be shot down at an altitude of 37,000 feet, correct? >> that can happen. it would take a more sophisticated weapon, from a
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group like sinai province, the affiliate of isis in the region, but there's the risk of miscalculation. we've seen a lot of incidents in the maritime regions, where of you've seen russian planes zipping by u.s. ships. a lot of situations where navies may miscalculate. >> weave have talked about this, it's a scary time on the seas globally. a lot of things could have happened, whether it be terrorism or mechanical failure. i think we can certainly pray for that. you served us in the navy, fa-18 fighter pilot. it's nice to have you here with your kind of range. >> surface to air missal, 175 miles out where they're searching? would that be a pooblt? >> that would most likely be from a ship if that were to
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occur. >> if you are just joining us, we are following breaking news, an egyptair plane has crashed. >> teams picking up an automated signal from that plane in the mediterranean sea. egypt flight 804 flying from paris to cairo was minutes away from landing at cairo international airport when it left radar. >> in the last few minutes egyptair issuing a notice saying caution, please, that they do not want terrorism mentioned yet, but the ooeptsen prime minister and the french prime minister saying everything is on the table. they were asked specifically about this, and they say they cannot discount anything. both countries are getting together their national security teams to discuss. someone over here, former head of counter terrorism said that area where this plane came down is such a hotbed of interest at
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the moment, that there's little chance they wouldn't know what happened to that plane. there are so many eyes on the ground, military and otherwise, that it's unlikely, the authorities don't yet know what happened. and we're seeing online at the moment, we're seeing various ships converge for this search and rescue operation, a desperate search hopefully for survivors, if not, for information about what happened. one bulk carrier has got to the site and reported back that they had seen no floating object, no traces of fuel, and that is the location they were sent to. it seems like they are searching for this beacon, a beacon that may have been activated when the black box hit the water. previous reports saying that there was a distress call from the call, but that cannot be confirmed or ruled out. this plane left charles de gaulle. one of the major hubs for aviation. so if a device was smuggled on board, that would radically change the aviation industry in the region.
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so we're waiting to see what happened, a desperate search and rescue operation to discover what happened to these 66 people. >> thank you, benjamin. we'll check back with you if anything new develops. terrorism could be a factor. nothing can be ruled out. joining us is steve rogers. thank you for coming in for us. >> you're welcome. >> everyone is involved in this particular crash investigation at this point. >> yes. it's absolutely imperative that we don't jump to conclusions. this is why we have investigators. the fbi, the national joint terrorism task force are all involved. as we speak, i'm sure they're hooking at the manifest of that aircraft, they're going to drill down to every passenger, every crew member, who touched the plane, who loaded the plane, all this has to be done before we even think about terrorism. >> mm-hm. >> then, if there's enough evidence, and you've got to look
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at the totality of the evidence in an investigation, then you can draw a tlenlt conclusion. but right now what we do know is that we don't know. >> exactly. we know that this plane, it was the egyptair flight 804 went down, and we know that they possibly found a crash site about 175 miles off the coast there. in terms of charles de gaulle airport, which is where this flight originated, it was coming from paris to egypt. obviously, paris, this entire area is under a heightened state of alert. how difficult would it have been to get some type of explosive material on this plane from charles de gaulle airport in paris? >> from what i understand, at this point very difficult. you have to remember, france is a target. >> absolutely. >> is a target. >> and they know it. >> they sure do know it. and france as well as egypt, their economy's getting rocked when these things happen. so they want to make sure that the security is tight and that there are no terrorist attacks that are going to continue to
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rock their economy. but look, as we've learned, nothing is foolproof. this is why an intensive investigation is going on. and it will be before the end of the day, we're going to find out, i'm sure, at least hopefully that there is or is not a terrorist connection. >> and we would either find that out by a terrorist organization claiming responsibility, which sometimes they do when they're not responsible for it. >> that's right. the only way you're going to find out conclusively is the ground pounders, that's the troops on the ground, when i say troops the law enforcement people. they're going to pull all this information together and make a very informed conclusion at that point. >> what will they need to find in order to make a judgment call that quickly, if they do make it today, the black box? >> the black box is very important. it will tell you whether it was a catastrophic event in the air, whether it was a burst strike, something mechanically wrong, that is going to be very, very important to find. but in the meantime, again, interviewing people, look, if they find somebody that was on that aircraft who's on a no-fly
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list, that turns this investigation very, very quickly. >> and family members apparently already on site at the cairo airport. they obviously do know who was on board this plane. >> that's very important, because they get to drill down to who was on the plane, who their relatives were. they look at the communications that they had before they boarded, and, gone, the crew. you may have the crew, the people loading the aircraft, the baggage, that may have a sketchy background. the point is we don't know yet. but this is being rapidly investigated so at least some informed conclusion can be brought to us. >> whou the impact of the investigation, we heard benjamin hall reporting that at least one ship has managed to make it to the area where this possible beacon, this distress signal from the beacon came from in the mediterranean sea there, but there is no visible wreckage, nothinging on the surface
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of the sea or no fuel on the sea either. >> if, but that ship has gone to that location, and that may eliminate something that the investigators will not have to go, you know, research further. so there's going to be a process of elimination, but it's so uncertain right now, so too early, but the important thing is that the fbi the international community is on it. if it is a terrorist attack, somebody at that airport got on that plane. every airport is going to be on their toes today. >> we have a list of nationaliti nationalities, 30 egyptians, two iraqis, one belgian, one algerian, one canadian and 15 french citizens have been confirmed to be on board. >> which may lead you to believe it wasn't terrorism. usually you'll have a group of
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people from a particular country that they're looking to target. but you hit the nail on the head. this is so widespread. we have to be very careful before we conclude this is a terrorist act. >> thank you for joining us, and we'll have you back as we continue to learn more. if you hear anything let us know. >> we are following breaking news for you from overseas as you just heard. an egyptair plane crashed between cairo and paris, it was headed from paris to cairo, egypt air 804. 64 countries helping in the search for survivors and the plane. stay with us.
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a good morning to you, 4:46 a.m. on the east coast. we are taking a live look at cairo, egypt, 10:46 a.m. local time. and that is where officials are gathering around where we reported overnight that an egyptair flight was brought down. 30 some egyptians on board that plane, that plane was coming from paris, france, due to land in cairo.
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it never happened. >> disappeared from the radar around 2:45 a.m. local time. flight 804. an airbus 320. last known altitude was around 3 37,000 feet. 66 paeople on board. two babies, you are just seeing the scene in cairo. >> there's a lot of talk about what brought down this plane, was it terrorism? that's something a lot of people are considering given the volatility of this region. there was that russian plane brought down late last year, carrying passengers also to cairo, that killed hundreds of people when it was brought down, believed by isis, by many governments, including the u.s. government, but there's also another issue, and that could be mechanical. we have a lot of people weighing in on the sides of this.
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did something catastrophic happen mechanical, or something else? >> we know there was one witness, a captain of a mercantile ship who describes a "flame of light", across the sky. we have a look at the history of egyptair. garrett? >> yeah, i want to point out, were you mentioning the questions about the mechanical issues potentially, and that's one of the things that we look for as well as investigators when these things happen, is looking at the airline itself. is there any kind of pattern or history of its aircraft having major mechanical issues. many airlines around the world don't have the same standards as we do in the u.s. as far as maintenance and upkeep. so that can shed light on factors that could have occurred. but at this point, as we've been looking into theist trif egyptaegyp -- history of egyptair, we haven't found any mechanical issues.
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it has been in the news for hijacking-related incidents. since 1976, the airline has been the victim of at least eight hijackings. you may remember the most recent one a couple months ago when ha man on board a flight heading to cairo claimed to be wearing a suicide belt and forced the plane to land in cyprus. authorities later learned the suicide belt was a fake and said the man wanted to meet his ex-wife who was living there. back in 2009 on another egyptair night heading to cairo, a sudanese passenger pulled out a knife shortly after takeoff and demanded that the flight be diverted to jerusalem, to quote, liberate it. two air marshals who happened to be on the flight overpowered that man. the deadliest hijacking was in 1985 when three terrorists shot and killed a security guard and two flight attendants while taking over the plane and forced it to land on the mediterranean
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island of malta. it turned into a massacre when egyptian troops attempted to storm the plane, throwing hand grenades inside and that led to 60 deaths, including the hijackers and many passengers. while authorities are not ruling out terrorism in today's crash, we have not heard any indications from them that either hijacking or terrorism played a role in the crash. more as we get it. >> we'll continue to investigate. thank you so much, garrett. we appreciate it. >> it's now about ten minutes until the top of the hour, we'll have more on the egyptair crash for you when we come back. >> we'll be right back.
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welcome back. we're back with a fox news alert. this just in, we've been following for you all night. an egyptair flight, flight 804 with 66 people on board has crashed over the mediterranean
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sea. there's no official word on the cause, but officials are not ruling out terrorism. the flight was headed from paris to cairo, egypt. benjamin hall has been joining us from london, benjamin? >> well, very sad news in the sense that we are just hearing that france has expressed their condolences to their counterp t counterpar counterparts. it is the first indication that they suspect those on board may have died. that is not confirmed. but france expressing condolences to the families. and a lot of the families are meeting in the cairo airport. distressing scenes there, doctors are on site. but the rest of the world still trying to figure out what happened to this plane amid conflicting reports. egyptair going to great lengths to say this was not terrorism and to say they should not jump to any conclusions while the
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egyptian prime minister, the french prime minister saying nothing can be ruled out. if there is any indication of terrorism, this would be devastating for egypt itself, which has suffered a great deal with its economy, as isis have ruled in, and moved into that region. so a lot of people, really on edge, waiting to find out what happened. the search at the moelment on t ground, we're seeing ships diverging on the area where the distress signal came from. some are saying that the distress signal could have come from a third party, and the first ship on site said it found no debris, no oil spills, nothing at the supposed location. so still a great mystery as to what happened. we do know the plane was flying at 37,000 feet. the weather was calm and clear. the pilot last spoke to greek air traffic controllers over an island and went down over the island of karpathos.
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they're looking for the black boxes. they give off emergency beacons as soon as they hit the water, in some cases as soon as there is a catastrophic event, such as losing pressure. people talking about possible surface-to-air missiles, but it does seem at 37,000 feet above the water that may be unlikely. the only other plane shot down over heavier complement than any terrorist had. the families waiting to hear about their loved ones. >> joining us now is pilot and aviation expert sal livonia. what is most significant about this to you? you say the altitude is key 30,000 feet where it went down. >> 37,000 feet. it was descending where we think
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this all happened. probably the most hornt part is this is mid flight. this is not at takeoff and not at the approach end of the flight which is where you would expect accidents to happen. >> mid flight is always the safest. >> at cruz you expect very little. we would look at the weather. the weather was clear and calm. that's not something that is going to factor into this as far as we know. >> talk to me about the distress signal that went out? egyptair said a signal was received the egyptian army an hour after the plane was due to land. the army denied in a statement it received a message. >> it is the emergency locator on aircraft. there are several of them. when it crashes they go off so someone can find them. just before we came on the air i looked at the maritime traffic in the area. they were all going to one point. my guess is that's the point they are going to. they also pick up that signal.
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>> there is a search and rescue effort underway not that any one could survive that kind of catastrophic crash. nonetheless you want to bring the ships to the area to help find the debris field. is that it? >> you never know. there could be survivors. you have warm water so there's a small window so you want to make it as advantageous as you can. >> as a pilot and attorney who covers these things what stands out as being abnormal? >> where it happened in the flight profile. you are on a descent on an uneventful flight. nothing has been communicated the pilot. the communication is now between them and us needs to be looked at. but as far as we are concerned this is not a place where you normally see an accident. are we talking about an external
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or internal source, talking about a nefarious act? all of that has to be flushed out. >> when you are looking at the debris field it would provide you good intelligence, good information about what happened if the plane went down in tact or the plane is in a whole lot of pieces? >> if it broke up in the air it would be a wider footprint of debris. if it broke up when it hits the water it would be much smaller. >> thank you so much for getting up early with us to bring our viewers the latest. heather let's go to you. >> thank you very much. good morning to you. welcome to an early edition of "fox & friends first". a fox news alert for you. we are following breaking news overseas. an egyptair plane with 66 people on board has crashed. specifically it is egyptair flight 804. it was headed from paris to cairo. military search and rescue teams
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picking up an automated emergency signal from the plane in the mediterranean sea moments ago. egyptair flight 804 flying from paris to cairo was minutes away from landing at cairo international airport when it vanished, simply vanished from radar. the search for debris now underway. here's the time line to break down exactly what happened for you. the air lift took off after 11:00 p.m. local air time wednesday. 66 passengers including children were on board as well as 7 crew members and three security officials. aviation officials saying the pilot sent an emergency signal at around 2:26 ax m. loc-- am ll time. the military denies ever getting that signal. the plane was approximately 10 miles into egyptian airspace. it was flying at approximately 37,000 feet. it vanished from radar about 10 minutes after the last known
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communication. ee egypted air confirms emergency distress signal sent two hours after it crashed. let's get to benjamin hall who joins us from london with the latest. good morning again>> good morning again. reports are coming out about what exactly happened. the facts that we know about the plane and pilot the plane was air bus 320. there are around 5,000 of them plus in operation around the world. they are the work horse of the aviation industry. this plane left charles-de-gaulle a major hub of aviation around 11:00 p.m. local time. 3 hours 40 minutes into the flight it was at 37,000 feet. it was flown by muhammad sakar. this is an experienced pilot