tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 19, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT
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 up could be the underwater
locator beacon, the pinger mounted on a bracket located on the flight data record he. and it is designed to ping for 30 days under water to give the searchers the ability to hone in on the signal. and kit continue to ping and operate at depths of 20,000 feet. i don't know what the depth is of the mediterranean sea but that would be encouraging for finding the debris. for finding this plane if in fact, you'll notice caveat. if this report is accurate. that they have in fact, if the egyptian military may have picked up some sort of an emergency locator beacon. you know, jose, we need to stress yet again. these are very early hours in this investigation. all we really know definitively is that a plane is missing. it lost radio contact at 2:30 a.m. local time.
and that this plane has in fact crashed. where it crashed, we don't know. is this in fact a transmitter coming from the underwater beacon or the emergency locator? we don't know that either and this is a part of the world that information is often conflicting and difficult to get a handle on. the egyptians, the egyptian air crash off the u.s. coast back in the lapt 1990s, as well as the metrojet crash and explosion. the attack in the sinai on halloween just last october. the egyptians disagreed that the co-pilot simply crashed the plane. or on the other hand, that we had a bomb bring down metrojet. can i ask greg, he is a wealth of information.
and he knows egyptair very well. having been a former senior investigator with the ntsb. can you remind us with that crash off the u.s. coast, was that a pilot or co-pilot that purposely crashed that plane? >> i don't know -- >> we may have lost tom. let me ask you. i know the area pretty well there. you know, that series of 6,000 islands that greece claims. the aegean sea, the ionian sea. there are 6,000 islands and they're saying maybe it flew over one of the islands. certainly possible that as the sun rises, they're able to determine if that pinging is from that flight box. they're going to probably be able to find it quicker than they did, for example, in that air france flight gone from
brazil. it took them forever. and it was an incredibly deep water. and yet they were able to find that black box. >> that's right. it was incredibly deep water between brazil and africa where that plane went down. air france 447. the cause of that crash, it turned out to be pilot error. they quite simply lost situational awareness. and at one point became confused about what the controls of the plane were telling them. they became confused about the air speed. at one point became confused about which way was up and down which can happen when you're in a complete vortex like that. greg is back on the phone with us. i was just asking when you were gone, the u.s. air crash as determined by the ntsb investigators. >> the safety board when they did their investigation, first
because it was beyond the 12-mile limit, the egyptians had the authority to technically investigate the accident. but they delegated it to the united states and the ntsb. the board's findings were that it was an interceptional act. the co-pilot was intentionally trying to take the flight down and the co-pilot. like many others, it has flight controls. in the event of a jam, you can split the flight control as well. because one pilot was pushing on the elevator and one was pulling back on the elevator to bring the nose up. the controls split. the airplane went into an uncontrolled descent and crashed into the ocean. so it was deemed an intentional act. the egyptians to this day still don't agree with the findings of the ntsb.
>> interesting. tom and i were discussing this. it seems as though the egyptians are reticent a lot of times to recognize problems like that. we bring it to the metro jept crash. isis claimed responsibility for it and took maketure. they put a picture on the website. in the web magazine of a soda candle they said was one of the ones they used to bring that plane down. because once again, the economy that is so dependent in egypt on tourism, it seems officials are very rhett sent to bring up what they determine to be a terrorist attack and to publicize it. >> we have these events.
if you look at the malaysians, they would never go with intentional act. they were looking for a variety of different reasons to be a pure accident rather than one or both of the pilots doing something intentional to this airplane for which we still haven't found two years later. metrojet, this is national pride. it is guarded, i think any country would be guarded with the information. the last thing they want to do is publicize that they have security problems that could lead to the intentional downing of an aircraft. one of the thing they were talking about earlier. there was security in charles de gaulle. this was the fifth flight of the day. they had traveled through a variety of airports. something could have been put on
this plane at any other points. if it was an explosive device with a timer, it could have gone through the circuit based onseting a timer for eight hours or ten hours or 12 hours. and it just happened on this portion of the leg, that explosive device went off. it may not be the problem at charlie de galle. it could have been at any of the other airports. >> tom, go ahead. >> greg and i went through a lot of discussions in late october and november when that metrojet liner was down. we were talking about could it have been a catastrophic break-up in flight. could it have been a crack in the fuselage. greg with his expertise told me over and over again. that is highly, highly unlikely because of how these planes are built. and the composite nature of the
materials. can i just ask greg to give us a quick primer on that. why are we now more focused on the possibility of this being a terror attack as opposed to a catastrophic break-up in flight. the possibility of a fuselage, having some sort of a weakness, of metal fatigue. >> tom, that's a good question. when you look at any airline operating around the world, there are very tight tolerances which maintenance must be accomplished. egyptair is a well known established flag carrier. they like any other flag carrier around the world, operate to the highest levels of safety. there is a lot of scrutiny. if there is a structural issue with an airplane, it will be
fixed. it will be identified through the normal checks and processes of maintenance oversight. in fact this airplane had gone through some level of routine maintenance just previous to the start of all of these flights. now what that encompasses, we're not really sure at this point. we haven't seen the records. if this airplane has been maintained, as we would expect, that's not to say something could not have happened in flight like an explosive decompression that weakened the fuselage and basic aerodynamics at 37,000 feet will do its best to take the airplane apart. if something was going on like that, we've seen this before where we had an issue with, if you remember, japan airlines where they had a breach of the aft pressure bulk head. the plane had been flying around
for some period of time before that bulk head finally let go and the airplane crashed. if there is a structural issue going on, it doesn't that typically emanate into a catastrophic loss instantaneously. that's why when tom and i talked previously with metrojet, that was a rapid catastrophic break-up of that plane. you could tell by the wreckage or the debris pattern that the tail was very far removed from the main wreckage. really in this day and age with the way they bull these airplanes, it is very, very unlikely that any kind of action, unless the pilot had an intentional act, which we have no understanding of any of that, to cause the airplane to go in to some sort of uncontrolled descent.
i've seen where the captain intentionally rolled a 737 from 35,000 feet and took the airplane down. so there are still a lot of circumstances yet to be determined by the recovery of the wreckage and would reside on the cockpit voice recorder. >> our weather counsellors are telling us there was no weather issues in the area between paris and all the way through greece and then heading over toward egypt. there were no weather concerns for pilots flying an aircraft into the area around egypt. i want to go back to london. kelly, give us a recap of the time line. what we know about this egypt air flight 804 that left from
paris charles de gaulle airport earlier today. >> so this flight left at 11:09 paris time, bound for cairo. about a four and a half hour flight. about three hours in, the greek officials, greek civil aviation authority just performing a routine contact with the flight and with the flight crew, they say that they spoke to the pilot. this would be 2:05 cairo time. now we're in the very early hours of the morning. about three and a half hours into the flight. the civil aviation, the greek civil aviation said there were no problems reported. it was a routine communication. the plane was at 37,000 feet. everything proceeding normally. then about 20 minutes, just under 20 minutes later at 2:24 a.m., greek civil aviation authorities tried to contact the pilot once again and were not
able to reach him. they then at 2:29, lost the flight from radar. they say they contacted the egyptian military to see if this plane was flying at a lower altitude for some reason. if for some reason they were not seeing on it their radar. it was at that time the plane was deemed missing and simply vanished from radar. now we have these reports as you've been saying of a possible emergency beacon. some sort of distress signal received from the plane. this is according to egyptair. they are citing civil search and rescue officials in egypt saying some sort of emergency beacon was detected two hours after this plane disappeared from radar. about 4:26 a.m. local time. to give you an idea of where they're searching, this is a stretch of the mediterranean
that is sort of wide open sea. you're south of crete. halfway between greek islands and alexandria. almost 200 miles off the coast of egypt. about 130 miles if you're going the other way off the coast of a southern greek island there. so a wide expanse of ocean that they're searching right now. they've been looking, longer than three hours. now they're in daylight hours for about three hours now. we're coming up on six and a half hours since this plane disappeared from radar. i should mention the official in egypt are backing off that this plane has crashed. we know it has disappeared. the likelihood is that it has crashed. they're not officially saying that. what they're saying is that there is a very strong possibility that that is what
has happen. there is no report of it landing anywhere. that's where we stand in terms of the search. the greeks are involved in the search as well as the egyptians. the egyptian navy, coast guard as well as two greek aircraft and helicopters on standby in case they're needed as well. >> thank you. in london, back to cal. greek officials unfortunately have a lot of experience in search and rescue because of this crisis that whole continent has been seeing for over a year now. with people fleeing the syrian civil war. and the death that occurs there on a daily basis. they're going through syria, into turkey, they're getting any makeshift raft, boater, whatever they can find to get into greece. the island mostly affected.
let's not forget little boy that washed up on lesbos. give us a better picture of where exactly this happened and the whole flight line. >> these are those same waters. and we're bridging two hemispheres. there is an emergency meeting taking place with the french government taking place this morning. and in cairo, an emergency center as well. this is about 250 kilometers north of that egyptian coastline. keep in mine, libya to the west. also a country in great peril. a great deal of violence. and you have refugees flowing from there as well into the mediterranean. and egypt as well. there has been violence that has forced people to flee. this is a region in flux. the reason that we are talking about terrorism at such an early
stage. is the things we take for granted. air travel we take for granted. isis has made it very clear, this is the same magazine where they put that now famous picture of that soda can you've been talking about with tom costello that brought down the metrojet plane around halloween on the sinai peninsula. they threatened more attacks on the aviation industry. so that is why we are having this discussion. to your point, jose, it is incredible when you think about what is going on regionally and its impact on europe. the security at charles de gaulle airport was already heightened because of the recent attacks that took place in belgium. that area is patrolled very well. so they're looking at who had access to this plane when it left charles de gaulle airport? we know there were three security officials on the plane. probably because two months ago
there was an incident in which a disgruntled engineer hijacked a plane. so this is the third incident that we have had had in egypt in the past six months. all of this is bad news for a country as you have said in the past has relied on tourism. single 2011, since the revolution in egypt, the airport is different in cairo. the airport in sharm el-sheik is totally different. the israelis have taken a new interest in that peninsula because of the ever expanding violence. so we're seeing here a tectonic shift in politics. we're seeing it play out again on the thing that people take for granted. the passenger airline travel system. >> that flight that left paris city. has been scarred twice in the
66 people disappeared when the flight took off from charles de galle airport in paris. these are live images from charles de gaulle airport. it is an airport, a humongous airport. about 30 minutes away from the french capital. you can see reporters are already doing their presentations. the egyptian capital where egyptian air officials and others have set up areas to receive family members of the 66 people on board this flight. you have more information on what seems to be some conflicting reports only flight. >> not unusual in the early hours of something like this. certainly not unusual for egypt. we're now hearing from a spokesperson saying they have not received a distressed
signal. we had earlier heard from the egyptian airline that there was some kind of an automated signal from the aircraft that the egyptian military received. the egyptian military saying they have received no such signal. this really does highlight the country of egypt. in 2013 you had a military coup. the division between the civilian authority and the military authority in egypt is a very real division. and we're sort of seeing that play out in the early hours of this story. >> it is a complicated in egypt. mubarak who is now at sharm el-sheik, infirm, house arrest, and the former general under the muslim brotherhood who then took over, it is a very complicated panorama there in egypt. i want to go back to tom costello. with his conflicting reports, as to whether egyptian officials do have some distressed report.
a pinging or something like that, it looks like they're backtracking on that. that isn't unusual. a couple hours after the disappearance of a plane, it is not necessarily logical to immediately find some pinging sounds coming from under the ocean, for example. >> we're dealing with a part of the world with conflicting information. it is difficult to get a straight answer. that said, let's make the following point. this body of water. the mediterranean sea is of course crawling with navies from not only europe and the united states, and russia but of course, the egyptians have their navy, the israelis have their navy, the greeks have their navy, the turks. there is a tremendous am of activity because of the
geopolitical and the strategic interests involved. also the immigrant situation there with the syrians and libyans. fleeing their countries and trying to make it to europe. there is no shortage of naval assets on the water. from multiple countries. from italy to greece to the u.k. to france to the united states, russia, israel, et cetera. if there is any sort of a device. any sort of a signal coming from this plane, one would imagine that these navies have the capacity on their own. that's observation number one. and number two, i think we do have the photograph of the can. if pact with explosives, over the sinai on halloween.
220 people died. that's all it took. on the left is the can. notice there seem to be some soldering in the can. packed with explosives, we believe and then put it all back together. on the right you have the detonator. on the far right we believe is the actual switch. so if they're able to bring down, if we take them at face value. isis and the sinai brought it down. in addition to that, the russian authorities and investigators believe, in fact, it was brought down by an explosive device. if that's the small of a device that it takes to bring down a plane, you can imagine why right now, there is keen interest on knowing whether this plane was brought down by a terrorist act. >> we're speculating but a terrorist has all the time in the world to plan things. if they try to put explosives on
a shoe sole and that doesn't work. like it didn't work in the shoe bomber situation between paris and miami. then they try to put explosives in a terrorist's underwear. if that doesn't work, they're looking for all kinds of things. they have all the time in the world to plan these things and officials have to be right 100% of the time. that's a very difficult thing to do. >> i'm very fortunate, i share the guy who is literally one office down from me. pete williams. he and i talk regularly about what is he hearing? what is the latest intel? what are the latest concerns? he says regularly that u.s. authorities are always concerned that in fact, aviation remains a prime target for terrorists. i've had conversations myself with the tsa chief as well as the secretary of homeland security. jay johnson.
both of whom are reiterating. they know that al qaeda and isis and other groups are always interested. there is an attack in november. the president of hanls has said that france is at war. on a war footing. the general has said had he country is at war with extremism. you know they have a problem with egypt and they're accused of abusing civil rights. nonetheless, that government also believes it is at war with islamic extremism. so you have the main parties involved here. the main countries involved here are on a war footing with isis, with islamic extremists. and there is a recent history.
66 people on board. in charles de gaulle airport, in paris, there are situations there that have been set up to receive the family members of those 66 people on board that plane. and of course, the same thing is happening in the airport in cairo. i want to go now to charles de galle airport just outside of paris. rafael is there. an associated press reporter. give me the very latest that you're seeing this morning. >> family members are beginning to arrive. we spotted grieving relatives who arrived at the information point about 45 minutes ago. they were ushered away by officials and airport staff. otherwise, the air egypt counter remains empty as it has been all morning, surrounded by journal i haves and members of the airport staff. there's not much more to report.
the family members are being taken to an annex site outside the terminal. officials are discussing what to do. >> bits 9:35 or so. your time. an hour later in greek ar archepelago. >> talk to me about the charles de galle airport. with what happened last year with the charles hebdo and then the different cafes there. it is a pretty secure airport. >> it is so. absolutely. the airport is extraordinarily busy airport.
just this morning it was full of soldiers. they mufbl upwards of 100, perhaps even two hundred soldiers we saw this morning. so security is very, very tight. and likely to get even tighter. >> with the associated press, thank you very much. from charles de galle airport. to london, kelly is standing by with what we know so far about egypt flight 804. kelly? >> reporter: so this flight took off from charles de galle airport at 23:09, at 11:09 last night. 66 people on board, 56 passengers, ten crew. three of the crew were security personnel according to egypt air. we don't have an idea what kind of security person wrestle on board. it left charles de gaulle at
11:09 local time. paris time. a very diverse group of people. about half the passengers are egyptian. a dozen, more than a dozen are french. about three and a half hours into the flight, civil aviation, greek civil aviation authorities say that they lost contact. that this plane dropped off the radar. they actually spoke to the pilot about three hours into the flight. this would have been 2:05, bear with me here. we're dealing with several different time zones and different times. spoke to the pilot about 2:05. there were no problems. the flight was at 37,000 feet. no issues whatsoever. a routine check-in. they were in greek air space at that point. approaching egyptian air space and about to hand over to
egyptian civil aviation authorities. somewhere in this 20 minutes of time when this plane lost contact. the greek official say they tried to talk to the pilot. they were not able to contact the pilot. and then at 2:29. five minutes later, they spoke to egyptian civil aviation authorities. trying to find out what had happened to this plane. it had disappeared from radar. at that point it would have been a few miles into egyptian air space. so the question is, if this plane did go down in that time frame, where did it go down? the area of the search is about 170 miles north of the egyptian mediterranean coastline. and then south of crete.
southeast of crete by 130 miles. we've got several search and rescue flights as well as boats in the area. the greeks are involved in this search, as is the egyptian air force, navy, coast guard, looking for any sign of this flight. we should mention that egyptian officials are saying that they have received no distress signal. no signal whatsoever. really dialing back from the reports earlier in the morning. that potentially some sort of sos signal, an emergency beacon was received. they're now saying absolutely not. they're cautioning against any of these reports that we've been talking about over the last couple hours saying we don't
have an official statement on whether or not this plane has crashed as yet. and asking media outlets to solely go by information they released. as you know, it is conflicting. egyptair has put out these reports about distress signals. we've heard different reports about the civil aviation authority. it is a little confused. cautioning against any reports that any distress signal was received. >> thank you very much for that clarification. greg, earlier tonight you were talking about how these planes, the a-320 and other planes are so technologically advanced that they are doing on their own a communication with different parts as the flight progresses. like a self-health check-up.
as the plane flew for an hour and a half, how often do the different ground controls expect to have communication or at least have some interaction with the plane? if they are set up through the cars, you can do a data burst. every 15 -- at least a lot of hope was hung on the fact that we would have these pings which went through the satellite with the data bursts. and of course, we ended up talking about the fact that the airplane didn't have data to send. it would go back to ping.
that's where we have the flight time. i'm sure egyptair down loads this data on a regular basis but we don't know what that interval is. i'm sure the airline folks have already pulled that data to see if there is anything they can tell that may help or assist in determining whether or not this aircraft was in distress, or this was something the aircraft was flying. normally at 37,000 feet. then whatever happened, happened very quickly. >> let's take it something happen. it disappeared from the face of the earth in this four and a half hour flight. in an area that is relatively small.
this isn't like the air france flight from bras toil europe. thousands of mile of water. they had on look through some very deep waters. a relativy contained area. they had some communication over the greek islands area. is it unusual to have this conflicting reports, oh, there was some pinging, or some emergency communication. now they're kind of dialing it back. can we expect with the sun already out, it is post 10:00 in the morning, post 10:35 greece time. that it would be relatively easy to final these black boxes? >> you know, jose, the federal officials, the government
officials are under enormous pressure to provide information. it is not unusual to have information come out that hasn't been vetted. we saw it ad nauseum with mh 370. every hour there was new information and then the next hour it couldn't be confirmed. the next day it went away. it is unfortunate. we're dealing with an event on the other side of the world. we're dealing with a pipeline, it very calculated. the egyptians are putting out enough information without really committing themselves.
but this early in any investigation. whether this is a deliberate act or an accident, you have to take this information with caution. it is subject to change. every minute if not every hour. >> and we of course are keeping a very close eye on this for you. breaking news out of the egyptian area. very close to cairo. between greece and egypt. this plane was 66 people on board. we'll be right back. we have a lot more information that's coming into our newsroom. we'll be sharing it with you in just seconds.
as had flight approached egyptian air space. kelly has the very latest. kelly? >> reporter: hi, jose. we're waiting for a press conference that has been announced now. a good couple of hours away yet. by the egyptian aviation ministry. there's been conflicting information coming in through early morning hours from egyptair as well as aviation authorities and military authorities, government authorities. we're hoping to get the press conference scheduled to take place in cairo. the search has now been underway for a good several hours. four hours of daylight now in that region south of the greek isles, south of crete. c-1 three and another aircraft from greece. a frigate, two helicopters on
standby. greek helicopters on standby. of course the egyptian officials, coast guard, navy, search and rescue. they've got tons of resources out looking for any signs of this aircraft. there have been reports throughout the morning including a report of a possible distress signal or an emergency beacon. some sort of aircraft. the official saying no signal has been received from this missing plane. it disappeared completely vanished from radar about three and a half hours into flight. 66 people on board. 56 passengers. ten crew members. three of them. security officials. we've talk about the security information. not only in europe but also in the middle east and in egypt over the past couple hours. the greek civil aviation authority, as i said, said they
had some very normal contact with the pilot as he was preparing, the flight was preparing to exit in the early morning hours. about 2:30 in the morning cairo time, a routine check. no answer from the pilot. and the plane disappears from radar. so the last communication really in the very early morning hours from greek aviation officials to the pilot. and everything appeared to be normal at that point. the french have had an emergency meeting in paris. the french transport minister confirming there was no sort of sensitive or dangerous pilot on board. the french offering their services in terms of rescue. as you know, this is a very busy part of the world. a very busy part of the mediterranean. we're trying to get an idea of how many vessels are in that
area, militarily or otherwise. you would have italians, lots of european contingencies in that region, for no other reason than the refugee crisis. we'll see what they come up with. >> kelly in london. thank you vex. we're seeing these images after cairo airport. it is after 10:53 in the morning. 9:53 paris time. tom costello was talking about how everything seemed so routine and mundane and average and this flight from paris to cairo. and that all the times that these planes had to control with the control tower. and everything was perfect. all of a sudden, poof. disappeared. >> there are times like this,
and you and i have had this conversation many times. we're at war. this is a deadly war. the other side has no qualms about taking out unarmed and innocent civilians. you may not we're rushing tonight choogs here. but it clearly has to be to lead. it is so unusual. virtually unheard of that a plane in the 21 century disintegrates at 37,000 feet. it doesn't happen. because they're built in such a composite. if there was such an emergency, the crew would have time to call out a distress signal.
to say may day. this sounds we similar to the crash over the sinai. the plane went off radar and dropped leak a rock, we learned there was a nano second of a trace of what under, there was nothing. no conversation between crew members. had they been dealing with an emergency, trying to control the plane, there would have been something, expletives. there would have been this may not went off radar at but the:30 in the morning ask no trace. no distress call.
that's why we come back to this notion that they have a determin determined. you're talking about two countries who. they're at war with al qaeda or islamic extremist. france as well as egypt and have been the victim of terrorist attacks. with breaking news, this flight from paris to cairo. 66 people on board. as it was approaching egyptian air space. simply disappeared. much more on msnbc.
it is egyptair flight 804. it departed paris, charles de gaulle airport. it was bound for cairo airport in egypt. it left about 15 minutes late local time in paris, about 1111:09 pam. it was scheduled to land 3:00 a.m. local time in cairo. this is something that obviously did not happen. we're talking about ten, 15 minutes or so prior to the scheduled landing time, that plane disappeared from radar, simply disappeared. it was approximately 260 kilometers north of the seashore. the shoreline there in egypt, in those waters of the mediterranean between greece and cairo. it is a most peculiar situn.