tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC May 18, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
-- they're coming to us now. guys, i'm sorry. i have apointly lost my ear piece. let me give you the latest. as we look for this flight, what is concerning here, and not to be redundant but let's reiterate at the top of the hour. what is concerning here is that this plane was lost at 37,000 feet. completely without any warning whatsoever. a complete loss of communication and went off radar. the thinking here is that it is highly unlikely that a plane
goes off radar like that and it is lost without any communication whatsoever without air traffic control on the greek side of the egyptian side. the fact that it's lost we believe over the mediterranean and the altitude is very concerning. this is the same region of the world where we lost the metro jet plane. the russian jet liner brought down by an improvised device that was packed into e essentially a soda can. the flight originated on heavily flown routes from paris to cairo and in the final few 45 minutes to an hour of flight that the plane was apparently lost. you know that the navy is responding. the egyptian navy is responding as is the greek navy. but jose, in a situation like
this, the stakes here, as you expect, are very, very high. and the conditions here very concerning because it is not normal that you simply have a plane lose all communications like that and go down in the ocean. if you give me a second, i need to re-establish my communications so i can hear you. >> tom costello. that is the nature of live audio. there are issues he just brought thaup are important to under line right now. 37,000 feet is the average altitude of an a-320 that is flying in this route from paris to cairo. it left from charles de gaulle airport. no indication of problems on board. tom, you talked about 37,000 feet. it's the first thing i thought about when a plane disappears from radar screen. no distress call. 37,000 feet. it sounds like an average
routine flight from paris to cairo that happens day in and day out. the plane had no distress call. the average height that one expects at this point in the flight. it's so routine sounding, tom, that there is something unusual in that. >> at this point, we are dealing with a catastrophic break up in air. by the way, i now have communication with you which is nice. or a failure of the fuselage. but that is extremely rare. this is a relatively new plane that came off the line in 2003. in the life span of a plane that is a young plane. the airbus is very well made. the a-320 is out of airbus.
so a couple things they are going to be interested in right now. in the immediate term. they want though know who was on board. we have the passenger manifesto right out in. and is there anything that had a connection to terrorism. what isn't at cargo? where did it originate. who packed it? that will be critical. 6700 hours for the pilot. 2700 hours for the co-pilot. and then we will look at more information to the plane itself. when was the last time it was serviced. any concerns with the plane when it was serviced? did anything notice anything? a crack in the fuse lge? they will clearly want to know that. the conditions of the engines? any issues with the engines at that point? and anybody who serviced the plane, whether in paris or eps in egypt itself.
more about the crew, do we know about who they were? what their backgrounds are? that will be very much front and center. at this hour, it is very early on. it is a part of the world where terrorism is a daily reality, i think that has to be very prime focus right now as a possibility. we are talk about the cockpit ta da ta recorder. but in the immediate concern, finding enough pieces of the plane to find where it is. literally floating on the sea surface or an oil slick, anything of that nature. if you break apart at 37,000 feet, nobody survives that. you exposed immediately to a lack of oxygen, assuming that is what happened.
you lost the structural integrity at 37,000 feet, people are rendered unconscious very, very quickly. and anybody that would have fallen, they would have perished. >> i stay with me. i want to go to cal perry with new information. >> we are getting new information on the search area. we know it's a dual search open ration with the greeks and egyptians. we are hearing -- we heard they were looking 50 kilometers off the coast of egypt. we know they are searching more about 270 kilometers off the egyptian coast. that may help explain why we haven't seen any pictures. the need to get out on the water and to look for pieces of the aircraft if it went down in the water, which all ind kagtss from officials are they believe it did. that would put it ten miles inside egyptian air space.
why is that important? that determines who will lead the investigation. where it's the egyptians or greek officials. the first thing to be increased after anything happens around the world is security at airports. we have seen increased security at paris chars de gaulle. there was an incident where an egypt airplane was hijacked by a an employee. that would probably explain why there were three security officials on the plane. >> let's look at the map there. i want to go over with it you. it's so close to cairo. let's take it back. it looks like authorities were saying it was not as close to cairo as originally thought. and kelly talked about that moments guy. greece claims about 6,000
islands just in that area there between the mainland there. you see italy there. the left part and on the right, you see the purple line that plane was flying over, right there, the representation of the plane as it leaves the mainland. there are 6,000 islands that greece claims, all throughout that area, heading over to egypt. and the largest islands of crete and mykonos and santorini. and between greece and the area there to the right of it does have a lot of land masses. small, some of them, but it has a lot of them. and cal, you are citing that egypt and greece are par tirs pating in the search operation. but so far, not any search of
it. >> you are saying this is sparse places as well. they are remote islands as well. why the greek air force put two c-130s in the air. they want to pinpoint a better location. keep in mind, 37,000 feet. that is cruising altitude. what they want to do, they want to both search the location of which they lost communication. with that aircraft and they also want to search any decent it went into. it would have been a portion of the flight where the plane began its decent. they are going to want to lay both of the scenarios out and search that grid area. and of course, we have been talking about the grid areas when it comes to the malaysian airliner. the good news, this is not the indian ocean this is the mediterranean. there are countries, egypt, libya, israel, iran. >> we are also looking at
turkey. which has seen the passing through of tens of thousands of people that have left the syrian civil war and the disaster that has been doing on there and turkey and get to the smallest of boats and rafts and any kind of floating thing they can find. and they head into greece. lesbos is one of the islands we have been talking act for a year now. where it's seen thousands of people coming in trying to get into greek and from greek into the mainland and into europe. and we've seen the images of literally thousands of people that have been braving the seas to get to greece. so greek authorities have some experience searching for people in this area. >> and i'll tell you something, john kerry, u.s. secretary of state, was in cairo today talking about exactly this we
jipgs officials. every day, thousands of people stand on the coast in libya and pray for good weather to make the crossing. we are all now praying for good weather so the search and potentially rescue operation will go smoothly. >> cal, stay with me. i want to go to greg feith. former ntsb investigator. talk to me about what you hear when you hear the breaking news of the plane, a-320 that literally just disappears from the air, close to cairo after taking off from charles de gaulle airport. seems like a routine flight almost fours into it. what do you hear when you hear that bit of information? >> unfortunately, jose, it sounds like the same old story that we have reported in the past where we had an airplane at
all th altitude, seemingly nothing going wrong and some sort of terroristic attack, and metro jo jet, a bomb took that one off the sky. it is disconcerting that the altitude is probably the least work intensive for a flight crew. this crew would have been preparing for a decent into cairo. they were 10, 15 minutes boo the decent. they would have been preparing for the decent. that is not a high workload period of time for a flight crew. everything is status quo, they are monitoring systems, going routine communication. so what investigators are going to be looking at is not only whatever radar is available from the civilian side but military radar to see if they have any low altitude returns, whether
they are a primary return or what is called a secondary return off the transponder and they are going to be listening to the recorded transmissions between the crew and the air traffic controllers to see if they are routine or was there something in any of the transmissions that may have given indication that the crew was dealing with some sort of aircraft related issue that could have rendered the airport incapacitated or something happened that the crew is trying to deal with external to the normal operation of the airplane. >> a couple nuggets we are getting at this hour. some reporting telling us there was routine maintenance performed on the plane wednesday. so it would be some time before taking off from charles de gaulle airport, heading over to
egypt, number two, talk to me, greg, about the a-320. it is one of the safest -- it's got one of the safest records certainly of airbuses. >> absolutely. and when you take -- when you take the intentional act events out of it, the a-320 airbus is a very safe airplane. it is in numbers. it's a very popular airplane just as the 737 is a popular airplane for these types of routes. so in this particular part of the world, it's a french built airplane. it came out of paris. if there is any mechanical issue, they have airbus and they have their own maintenance folks there to deal with any maintenance issues. but investigators are going to be looking for trend information. were there particular issues with the aircraft that were reoccurring? they fix and it still have a
problem, things like that, that could give indication if it was a mechanical failure. >> if it was a mechanical failure at some 37,000 feet over the water, there could be a possibility of some communication from the air traffic control from egypt or maybe over greece and maybe some communications. so far we have -- so far, no communications, no distress call. nothing unusual in the communications between the folks in that airplane. 66 people on board. and ground control, in greece, or in egypt, and certainly nothing coming out of france. stay with me. we are going to go back to london.
we continue following breaking news. a plane crash, 66 people on board from charles de gaulle in paris to cairo in egypt. you see where it was heading when it vanished off the radar careen. kelly is in london with the latest. kelly. >> i want to give you a couple bits of information. first the french president, french media reporting that he has spoken about this. he has been in touch with the two counts and french media reporting there is an emergency meeting held by the government officials in the next ten minutes or so regarding the missing flight 804. we want to tell you more about the time line here. according to the governor of greek civil avian authority. bear with me here. the timings are a little strange. we are hearing from the egyptian
authorities from egyptair, that the flight disappeared from radar at 2:30 a.m. local time, cairo time. here is the break down from greek civil aviation. they say about 35 minutes prior, that is about 1:55 a.m., cairo time, egypt air entered greek air space. ten minutes later, 2:05 greek air traffic controllers speak to the egyptian pilot while we was flying above the greek island of kia. no problems of communications there. the aircraft is at 37,000 feet at a speed of 519 miles per hour. then at 2:24, so this is six minutes before it's reported missing, air traffic controllers in greece tried to communicate with the egypt air pilot. he is ten miles from particular
geographic point that air traffic controllers use. at that point, at 3:29, they lose communication with the egypt air flight. so it looks as though, according to greek air traffic controllers, the last communication was actually at 2:24 a.m. cairo time. and then of course egypt air saying the flight is no longer in contact with anyone by 2:30 a.m. about 40 minutes before it's scheduled to land in cairo. >> just thinking, we will talk to tom costello about this in a couple seconds. i remember being you with the days of the terrorist attacks of november, at last year in paris. and then going to charles de gaulle airport after our coverage there and the security had been increased tenfold what
it was before the attacks. is a situation that has been on the minds of european officials from way before the attacks in november. but certainly after the november atta attacks, the security after airports has been beefed up, it's something that is consistent. >> certainly. considering the population in paris, the number of attacks that paris has now been witness to. that france has been witness to. yes, there's a very deep concern. at that airport, at airports across europe, about security. you talking about who is working in the airports, the luggage handering, the people workinger the airports, the security personnel at the security lines. you have something like 86,000 employees at charles de gaulle. it is a massive airport and a
logistic logistic logistical maze when it comes to getting flights off the ground and you think of the number of people who work there and the number of security clearances you need to get and then you sort of extrapolate that out to friends, family members, connections, remember. the case of metrojet in egypt, the russian budget carrier, people involved in baggage handling connectioned to getting the flight down. getting a bomb on board in the luggage hold and bringing the flying down. it's a massive concern in airports like charles de gaulle and airports here in the uk as well. and getting off the passengers through and all of the luggage through is a massive operation. >> and security.
charm al shake, and i want to go back to tom costello, our aviation expert. tom, we are getting report that the a-320 that left from charles de gaulle to cairo on wednesday had been serviced. there had been maintenance on wednesday at france. nothing unusual there. >> no, i don't think so. this is one of the most heavily flown aircraft in the world. an airbus 320 takes off every 2 1/2 seconds some where in the world. it's incredibly reliable. thought to be as reliable and safe as the boeing 777. incredibly well built and very good aircraft. can we back up just a tad -- let me take a point at the a-320 in
france. if you are egypt air. it makes sense you have the mate sense done in france, if you do the route for france regularly. it is the airbus home, it's based if tulouse. and back to what brought down the metrojet. this is why we have been so focused on the back-door security at the airports, the aircraft for the last number of years. they believe explosives packed in a soda can brought down that jet. imagine how easy it is to smuggle a soda can on a jet liner, without anybody checking to see if the cans are free
explosives redue. they detected explosive material in the container. they don't necessarily believe that the trismg was responsible yet they have arrested at least one individual in connection with it. it is a small device. not a suitcase. a soda can. all you have to do is have a device that will have a catastrophic breach of the haul, and sever the communication lines, you can very quickly create nothing but a terrible ha hull of an aircraft that destined to fall in the sea below. we are not saying that terrorism is what brought down egypt air today. and we are in the neighborhood
with isis has claimed responsibility for the metrojet. and isis has to be a main topic that you have to consider given the situation right now. >> tom, stay with me. i want to go with live pictures out of paris. charles de gaulle airport outside of paris. a 30 minute drive from downtown paris. this is cairo airport. i stand corrected on this. there are different centers set up to receive family members, concerned family members, folks that were on that flight. 66 people on board. this is a live broadcast. this is happening at 8:27 a.m. cairo time. there is a lot of activity.
and two hours later, getting a signal from the plane. i'm wondering if that is true. that part of the world, you have to take everything with a grain of salt to begin with. it is possible we are talking to an under water pinger that would be on a flight data recorder. that is important. and able to operate immerse in 20,000 feet. in the egyptian military has picked up a pinging sound from the flight data recorder, that will be critical to be able to hone in on the cockpit voice recorder, the black boxes of the airbus a-320. the flight data recorder is built to withstand the force of a high speed impact, fire. it's made of the titanium or
stainless steel boxes. kit record literally thousands of flight parameters, pieces of data. that is positions, the flips, engine performance, speed, all that is the flight data recorder. that is 270 hours of data or a loop. and the cockpit voice recorder records the radio conversations between the cockpit and air traffic control but the ambient sound inside the flight deck. the microphones that are inside the flight deck picking up what is said between the cockpit and the first officer. sometimes you will hear something that could not be recorded on a radio transmission but rather just them talking inside the cockpit.
the standard cockpit voice recorder is four channels of audio for a period of about two hours or so and it's also on a loop. what is going to be critical is to get ahold of the cockpit voice record interthe data recorder. if that is what the military has picked up. we are attributing it to reuters. reporting that the e egyptian military may have been picking up a signal from the downed plane. there is a possibility that it happened two hours after the plane went down, that it's the under water pingers. >> i want to greng in greg feith, if this is create, a ping that was listened to -- it doesn't mean there is any human inintersection on it. if it fell into the sea --
>> it is interesting it's two hours after losing contact. we don't normally characterize the pingers as a distress signal. there is another device on the airplane, a transmitter that went on impact. it has a g switch on it. so a force of five gs or greater would trigger it. you would have aim pact or of course any water of ground impact will fire the elt. if the airplane goes in the water, it's battery operated, electron electronic, the system will stop working. it's interesting they used the terminology distress signal.
we don't normally characterize a pinger as a distress signal. you could characterize the elt because it's for the purpose of locating a airplane. so it will be interesting to see if that is pinpointed, whether it was on the water or some land mass some where two hours after it supposed event. >> greg, this is more than just semimantices. and the officials are reporting there was a distress signal that was determined. greg, semantics is important. this is two hours after it first disappeared from communications, that it doesn't necessarily have to imply there was a human aspect to it, there was no
actual signal, the pilot or the co-pilot was able to call in. it could be upon worst-case scenario, if there was impact on water, it could trigger the impact that could trigger a distress signal. >> it could be, yeah. if they are combing the area, to hear the pingers, those are acoustic signals. so you have to have listening devices in the water, in the area, to hear one of both of the pingers, the elt of course is not submersible. it will fire and provide a signal if the aircraft crashed on land or momentarily it will provide a signal to the search and rescue satellite if it does collide with the water and break up before it possibly fails
because of water con tam nation. that is why it's critical why they characterize it as a distress ball or a distress signal. >> and the time line that kelly cobille has reported on. and the greek air traffic controllers spoke to them over greece, did not report any problems. it's about 130 nautical miles southeast of karpathos. tom costello? >> we are getting word from the egyptian authorities they believe the plane has crashed. widely reported now on the associated press that this plane, again, to repeat this is
egypt air 804, 66 passengers and crew members on board en route from paris to cairo, egyptian authorities say has crashed, we believe, some where over and into the mediterranean sea. airbus a-320 built in 2003, you may recall, on board, a total of 66 people. the pie loot, 6700 hours in light. and the co-pilot, 2700 hours. a respectable amount of time in the cockpit. whether there was anything unusual in the cargo hold. initial reports from the airline suggest it is very, very early hours in the investigation and knowing exactly what was in the cargo hold and who was in the plane will take some time and a good deal of forensics and also good old, hard detective work.
clearly done by the egyptian authorities and the french authorities. as to who is in charge, it's a e egyptian aircraft. they would have the priority in terms of who is in charge. if it went down in international waters, the french agency, maybe involved to piece together and gather the pieces of debris and look at evidence and determine what might have brought the plane down. and given the fact it's a french built aircraft, all the more reason it would play a critical role. >> tom, continue with me. bringing us the latest information. i want to go back to greg feith, former ntsb investigator. let's go over the passenger man kes. 15 french, 30 egyptian, one
british, one belgian, one chadian, one portuguese, one al jeer algerian, and one canadian. close to turkey. what group would start that investigation and be leading that investigation? >> because it's, as tom talked about, it is a flag carrier of egypt and it's probably in the coastal waters, within their air traffic control space. most likely the egyptians will lead this investigation. they will definitely utilize the bea, the french version of the ntsb. the french version of our faa
will also be involved and they will be utilizing the expertise from airbus. one of the things to remember is that all of the newer generation of airports are constantly providing a health check of the aircraft as it's en route after takeoff to desation. so it's on a routine basis dumping data about the health of the airplane as it's progressing in flight. we talked about that through the cars and the data bumps that could be coming down. of course, malaysian air didn't subscribe to the service so they were not getting regular downloads. egypt air, that is a question to how much data was coming offer the airplane to see if they can see a trend developing and
whether or not there is an issue the crew was strong deal with. may give them some sort of indication like we saw with air france 447 where we had data bursts where we can start to piece together what was going on with the airplane before it impacted the water. >> during the metrojet crash, egyptian officials in charge of the investigation were reticent to talk about the possibility it was a terrorism attack. and isis later claimed it brought the plane down and put explosives in a soda can. published a photo of a similar can that they said brought down the plane. is it difficult for authorities of egypt to depend so much on tourism to recognize and publicize if it was a terrorist
attack and come to that conclusion so easily? >> jose, look at the last two years where we had a number of events that terrorists have claimed responsibility for. and given the fact that egypt is recovering from the previous explosion aboard on aircraft, and as you said, they depend on tourism. the last thing they want to do is say this is another terroristic event. because that sends a message it is not save to be in egypt or any of the territories surrounding egypt. and they cannot at this point in aware, shape or form, because they have no factual basis to make that determination without being able to examine the physical evidence. and the evidence sounds like
it's in the water. the wreckage and the recovery of the cockpit voice recorder. >> the officials saying egypt air has crashed. and tom, i want to go back to you. is a difference between security and chaurts and plays like sharm el sheik and charles de gaulle an airport. you have a high footing at charles de gaulle airport, after the brussels attack and the paris attacks in november and then in january, more than a year ago. so they are on a very high al t alert. it's one of the heightest footings they can be on in security at airports. if you have been through a european airport, you go through several layers of security where they check you, they check your
documents, they screen your belongings, they are supposed to do a thorough screening of your bags. but it is never 100% foolproof. and what every airport in the world struggles with is that threat from possible insider. whether he or she might be working for the airport or the airline, whether they might be working for a food handler, a caterer or might have access to the plane and may be able to sneak something on, that is simple to smuggle on like a soda can. i can hear the viewers saying why are you rushing to judgment that it's terrorism? we're not. and one of the most reliable air raft in the he's river thistory world, the airbus 320. and two cities with the target of terrorism over the last few
years, and isis has brought down a jet over the sinai, you have to consider the extreme possibility that terrorism has brought a plane down. because as we mentioned throughout the morning, planes just simply don't fall out of the sky at 37,000 feet. this is the safest portion of your traveling day or your journey. it's takeoff and landing where the vast majority of accidents occur. mechanical or human air. when you have an accident at altitude, when they are on auto pilot and the plane is operating smoothly. it's highly computerized, you have to consider that a chief possibility here is terrorism. so we will be watching closely to see whether there is any evidence of that in the debris
field. when they get a hold of the cockpit voice recorder? can they hear a fraction of a second of an explosion? that is what they will listen to. and the bea, the french investigative agency will be involved in this. there is sometimes bragging righting with the ntsb and the bea, who is better. they are very thorough in their approach. >> the metrojet plane was according to isis with us brought down by essentially the liquid in a soda can. something that fills this glass e sessentiall essentially. and this big. let's go back to richard reed,
the underwear bomber, paris to miami bound. he didn't have the time to explode the material he had in his underwear was able to save that plane. but it was at risk of also a catastrophic. the shoe bomber. >> the shoe bomber and the under wear bomber in. speaks to the intent that isis and the al qaeda affiliated group, their intent to bring down and target a western aircraft, as you know, they brought down the metrojet jet liner in the sinai. we had the north western flight in december of 2009, we had the cargo plane bomb plot in 2010 and then we had the transatlantic aircraft plot back in 2006. the plan was to board at least
ten airliners to the uk to the u.s. and canada. and thankfully the british and u.s. intelligence got in that and let me ask the producers if one of them can find in the data base the photo graph that isis put out of the can, the soda can, packed with explosives to bring down the metro jet liner, but that will illustrate, it's a very small amount of lethal explosive. plastic explosives with a detonator that can blow it up in the sky. 225 guying when the metrojet went down. >> according to the associated press, egyptian officials say that e egypt air has crashed.
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we continue to bring you the very latest on breaking news. an aircraft, an airbus a-320 from paris to cairo disappeared shortly after crossing into egyptian air space. this flight air 804 with 66 people on board essentially disappeared. the passed and crossed over greek air space. there you see greece in the middle of that arrow. there is no problem, there is no concern. it seemed all was a normal flight, that is a four hour and 15 minute flight. all is normal and as it approached egyptian air space,
it literally just disappeared. egyptian officials say it may have crashed, according to the ea soesh yated press. we do know it disagreed. there is never a communication issue of any concern while the plane is flying over greece, which is about halfway into that flight. we are going to continue monitoring this breaking news situation for you. 66 people on board. no americans. but 15 french, 30 egyptian, one canadian among those right now missing. 66 people on board including one child and two infants. we are going to continue to monitoring the situation and breaking news as it develops here on msnbc.
no communication between the crew on board this plane and ground control as it approached egyptian air space. nothing unusual. it was 37,000 feet when officials say the flight has crashed and that there was some kind of emergency signal that had been received. so egyptair is tweeting, and this has been translated from arabic into english. so this is what they're saying. the plane's emergency device says an emergency locator or beacon sent a signal that was received at 4:26 a.m. some two hours after the last radar contact. or last time that they had contact. and radar could not tack was lost. so that brings up the possibility that what they have heard, what they may have picked