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Lion Air Plane Crashes In Indonesia With 189 People Aboard. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired October 29, 2018 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, NEWSROOM HOST: Hello. Good morning to you. We begin with breaking news from Indonesia. Rescuers are scouring an area of sea off the island of Java for the wreckage of an airliner that crashed with 189 people on board.
Lion Air flight JT 610 went missing from radar just a few minutes after taking off from Jakarta. It was on its way to the city of Pangkal Pinang. We're seeing heartbreaking scenes at the airport where that aircraft was due to land. Families waiting for news of their loved ones. Among the passengers, 20 officials from the Indonesian Finance Ministry.
Search teams do now believe that the plane sank. Weather doesn't seem to have been a factor in this crash. The skies were clear when the Boeing 737 went down.
Now the pilot and copilot have logged a combined 11,00 flying hours between them. Here with me now to discuss all this, Aviation Consultant, Alastair Rosenschein. He's a former pilot. And you were just telling me, Alastair, that you flown one of these planes regularly as well, a Boeing 737.
ALASTAIR ROSENSCHEIN, AVIATION CONSULTANT, FORMER PILOT: Yes, I flew the earlier models, the 100 and 200 series, which are actually materiall different from this new type. What is specific about this aircraft is it's got a completely new type of engine. It's called a CFM LEAP-1B engine, and that's a very fuel efficient engine, but it has carbon composite fan blades. And so, that will be a factor that makes this aircraft somewhat different from previous models.
JONES: Well, from what we know so far, the fact that it seems to have crashed quite soon after takeoff, that the pilots both had a decent amount of experience between them, that it was a regular route as well that this plane was taking, what do you think may have been the cause of the crash?
ROSENSCHEIN: Well, we're into speculation here -
JONES: Yes, of course. ROSENSCHEIN: - with very, very little data on it, but from what's been shown, certainly on the Internet from the flight data radar, this Internet based app that you can put on your phone, it shows that the aircraft climbed up and then there were variations in the vertical speed. That means the aircraft seemed to be going up and down and generally maintained a level height for about an eight minute period which is quite long when it's supposed to be climbing up to near 30,000 plus feet -
ROSENSCHEIN: - on it's hour long flight. So there was some handling issues with the aircraft, and then eventually the flight gets red (ph). It shows it descending very rapidly into the sea.
JONES: Do you think human error could be a factor here? I mean, obviously the investigation is still ongoing, but given the fact that the plane seemingly went down just a couple of minutes into takeoff, does that indicate that there was perhaps something that the pilots were at fault with?
ROSENSCHEIN: You're talking about human or pilot error here as it used to be called. It's almost impossible to say. Certainly from - you know, if they made a - they made a radar call saying they want - they already called.
ROSENSCHEIN: They wanted to go back. It's impossible to say whether or not it was pilot error. That doesn't seem like it to me. It sounds like it's probably a mechanical issue.
JONES: And we understand that - well at least authorities think that this plane sank, and they're now sending divers down to try and retrieve presumably not only, of course, the victims, but black boxes and things like that as well that might give some more indication as what happened.
ROSENSCHEIN: Well, yes. Here we're talking about the cockpit voice recorder -
ROSENSCHEIN: - and the flight data recorder. A cockpit voice recorder will record typically about two hours of conversation in the flight deck, and that's very important for the accident investigators to reproduce what was happening in the flight deck so you get the human aspect of it and whether, you know, the calls for emergency check lists (ph) or whatever the two pilots were talking about.
And then you've got the flight data recorder which requires - which can record up to 700 parameters. And so, all the flight controlments (ph), the pilots' movements of the controls, the engine par (ph), fuel flows, et cetera, and that - you know, you picture these together and they can reproduce the flight on a computer and show you exactly what had happened. JONES: You talked a little bit earlier, Alastair, about this aircraft, the Boeing 737. You're very familiar with them, of course, but this was a recent purchase I understand by Lion Air, this budget airline in Indonesia, and a relatively new plane.
ROSENSCHEIN: Well, it was only a few months old and as you mentioned earlier, the pilots had a lot of experience flying this thing. But with a new aircraft, you have - you're not looking at the sort of problems you would find with an older one when things start to go wrong, break, have to be replaced.
But then you do sometimes have teething problems with a new aircraft. In this case, it's a completely new type of engine and a new model of aircraft, so Boeing's going to be particularly interested as, indeed, the CFM, the aircraft manufacturers very interested in what caused this.
JONES: Yes, thank you so much for your expertise on this devastating tragedy that is still unfolding in Indonesia. Alastair Rosenschein, we appreciate it.
And now fans of the British Football Club, Leicester City, are grieving for the team's owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The Thai billionaire died when his helicopter crashed and burst into flames in the parking lot just outside the Leicester City Stadium. It happened just after Saturday's premiere league match. Four other people aboard the helicopter were also killed.
The club didn't confirm the owner's death until nearly 24 hours after the crash, but by then fans, well wishers had already created a memorial to him - flowers, scarves, and prayers being offered up.
CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now from Leicester outside the stadium now. Hadas, given the details that we know so far, I know it was a long time - a relatively long time since the names of the victims were confirmed to the public, but what do we think happened? How did this helicopter crash?
HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So Hannah, what happened was on Saturday evening as Vichai - as he is just called here by his first name - often did at the end of the game, he took off via his private helicopter from the center of the field. But the helicopter had barely cleared the stadium walls when it crashed in a car park just from the other side of this stadium behind me.
Now, U.K. officials are on the ground and investigating, and they have not yet announced what the cause of that crash was, but they did, as you know, release the names of the five victims. Among them was the owner and chairman of the Leicester City Football Club, and as you can see behind me, this memorial sprang up really soon after the crash was first seen because a lot of people were - could see it, could hear it, had heard about it.
And as you can see, there's just been an outpouring of grief, of flowers and scarves and jerseys laid out right in front of the stadium. Ever since officials had confirmed the death of the chairman, they've built some of these more formal podiums behind me along with a portrait of the chairman.
He is a Thai billionaire who bought the club in 2010 for $57 million when the club was actually struggling quite a bit financially. And he really helped pour money into the club and increase its investments. And that helps lead the club to what was unthinkable which was the Premiere League Title of 2016.
When they went into that season, they had a 5000 to 1 odds of winning, so it's seen as this sort of miracle team. Beyond the football, though, he was really well-known in the community because he would give out things like free beer, season tickets on his birthday, scarves for away games, and people felt like they really knew him. And he also gave millions to the community here, to the hospitals and to university.
I want to read to you a little but of a statement that the club released late last night. Excuse me. They said, "Vachai - in Vachai, (ph) the world has lost a great man - a man of kindness, of generosity, and a man who's life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully lead. Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy."
And Hannah, I have to say that even this morning I just watched a few people come on by and leave some more flowers. You can see right behind me a man is leaving a scarf. People here are so clearly touched and moved by this owner that really brought this whole community together.
And I just want to leave you with one note. There was a sign on the gate here in front of the memorial clearly written in a child's script, and it said, "Chairman, you made Leicester." And I think that really encapsulates how this community feels about this football club owner. Hannah -
JONES: Yes, and Hadas it's interesting there from the statement from the club itself talking about family when we all watched in awe when Leicester City, this football club really had this fairytale, rags to riches story really, and that was in large part put down to this one man, the Chairman Vichai.
GOLD: Yes, I mean he just poured so much money to the stadium, and in fact just before his death, they're working on an expansion to the stadium behind me. There's a lot of work being done into it. He also invested it - beyond football in Leicester, he also invested in a polo team here, in horseracing. So he has a huge presence in this community, and as you can see that presence behind me just now.
JONES: Hadas, we appreciate you reporting on this. Hadas Gold in Leicester.
Demonstrators in Brazil are venting their anger after far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, won Sunday's presidential runoff ballot by a 10 point margin.
Riot police in Sao Paulo fired tear gas at protestors. Bolsonaro defeated left-winger Fernando Haddad after one of the most divisive elections in Brazil's history. But there was jubilation from his supporters as well. As you'd imagine, Bolsonaro's victory follows a four-year anticorruption probe that targeted many politicians across party lines and landed one former president in jail.
Our Shasta Darlington is in Sao Paulo with a closer look at what makes Jair Bolsonaro such a polarizing figure.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's known as Brazil's Donald Trump, an anti-establishment politician who promises to drain the swamp and crack down on crime.
And like his U.S. counterpart, he campaigned on change and won. 63- year-old Jair Bolsonaro is a seven-term congressman with a reputation for controversial comments, often aimed at homosexuals and minorities and women, once telling a congresswoman she was not pretty enough to rape.
He has a strong conservative base, who, like him, are prolife and against same-sex marriage. A former army captain, Bolsonaro wants to bring back law and order, which he says was strongest under Brazil's former military dictatorship.
And even though military rule ended in the mid-'80s, Bolsonaro still believes in, still, of the old regime's brutal tactics.
JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF BRAZIL (through Darlington): I support torture, you know that.
DARLINGTON: It's tough talk that has resonated with voters, tired of political corruption and widespread crime. Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and Bolsonaro plans to fight fire with fire, encourage police to use lethal force on criminals.
Last month, Bolsonaro himself was stabbed in the stomach at a campaign rally by a man who policed believed was mentally ill. On the economic front, Bolsonaro promised free market reforms and privatization.
But as the head of the South America's largest economy, he also said he would safeguard natural resources and warns that China already owns too much of its land. Whether or not Bolsonaro makes good on his campaign promises to make Brazilians safer and more solvent is yet to be seen.
He'll get that chance when he officially takes office in January. Shasta Darlington, Sao Paulo.
(END VIDEOTAPE) JONES: A man accused of shooting dead 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue is expected in court this Monday. Robert Bowers faces 29 federal charges, including 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of hate crimes.
Saturday's mass killing is believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history. It has prompted some to question whether divisive political rhetoric has emboldened extremists. CNN's Boris Sanchez has more now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump was asked multiple times last week about potentially toning down his rhetoric, in light of two domestic terror incidents. But the president, on multiple occasions, denied that his rhetoric had anything to do with those cases.
He was asked specifically whether he would tone things down last week, and he joked that he might tone them up, in fact, before a rally in front of his supporters in Southern Illinois. The president told reporters that he would consider toning down his rhetoric if only he didn't have to combat what he called a dishonest media.
At that rally in Southern Illinois, the president called on his supporters and all Americans to unite in the face of anti-Semitism, and he condemned the Pittsburgh shooter. I should note that, when the president was specifically asked if he would consider gun-control legislation as a way to prevent these sort of incidents from happening in the future, he dismissed that idea, and he had other thoughts. Listen to this.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they had protection inside, the results would've been far better. This is a dispute that will always exist, I suspect. But if they had some kind of a protection inside of the temple, maybe it could've been a very much different situation.
SANCHEZ: There, you heard President Trump reiterate an idea that we've heard before, previously, after that school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida, the idea that armed guards at schools or places of worship could potentially deter a shooter from entering the premises.
Aside from that, whether the president decides to tone down the rhetoric or not, we will be hearing more from President Trump, as he continues to crisscross the country, stumping (ph) for Republican candidates, adding more and more events to his schedule before the November 6 midterm elections.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Boris, thank you. Now we want to know what you think. What does this synagogue attack say about the state of America today? Log onto facebook.com/cnninternational; there you can have your (inaudible) CNN talk. It starts at 11:00 am here in London; that is 7:00 pm in Hong Kong.
Now the synagogue shooting capped off (ph) a week in the United States. It also included a wave of pipe-bombs being sent by mail. Critics of President Trump, top Democrats and this network, CNN, were targeted. Now 14 bombs were intercepted; none of them exploded.
This man, named Cesar Sayoc, was arrested on Friday. He is set to appear at a court in Miami, Florida, in the coming hours. He faces a string of charges, including the illegal mailing of explosives and could get up to 48 years in prison if he is convicted.
Search and rescue teams in Indonesia are looking for a plane which crashed in the sea on Monday, with 189 people on board. We'll have a live report on this ongoing investigation next. Plus, Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor is in Turkey; we'll tell you who he plans to meet in the ongoing investigation into the death of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
JONES: Welcome back. We're following breaking news out of Indonesia this hour, where investigators are examining debris from a flight which crashed into the sea, off the capital of Jakarta, on Monday. One hundred and eighty-nine people in total were on board.
The plane vanished from radar, just minutes after takeoff, on its way to Pangkal Pinang. Families of the passengers are gathered at the airport in Pangkal Pinang to wait for news about their loved ones. Ambulances are also lined up along the shore, near the crash site, waiting to take any casualties to the hospital.
Will Ripley has been following developments for us from Hong Kong. Will, just heartbreak for the families, and of course - and we can almost be sure now, I guess, that those ambulances that are lined up are not going to be used. It does seem that all 189 people will be lost in this. What's the latest from authorities?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is just truly heartbreaking, Hannah, not only to see the families waiting there, this was supposed to be just an hour flight. And of course, it never arrived. But then the ambulances as well, they're still, I'm sure, holding onto some sliver of hope that perhaps, amongst all of that debris that's rising to the surface, maybe there could be somebody alive.
But obviously, it looks very grim at this point. What we know right now is that this plane took off, and just minutes after takeoff, their pilots may or may not have called back to air traffic control and asked to turn around to go back to the airport.
Indonesian authorities said that initially, then the airline disputed that account. But what we do know is that this was a new aircraft; it was just delivered to Lion Air in August. It had 800 flight hours, a seasoned crew on board. The - the captain and his co-pilot had a combined 11,000 flight hours.
The plane had been inspected; it passed inspections, and while there were thunderstorms in the area, they were not in the immediate vicinity of where the plane is believed to have gone down. They were a safe distance away. So it really is a mystery at this point; what could've happened to bring this new aircraft crashing down to the sea.
Radar shows that it rose up to an altitude of around 5,200 feet; they made a quick descent before it vanished from radar screens all together. And you mentioned 189 people on board; eight crew members, 181 passengers, including one child, two infants. It's just heartbreaking.
People get on a plane every day. Especially a short flight like that you think you're going to get somewhere and then you don't. And you have people waiting for you at the airport who love you and you never arrive. It is obviously a nightmare on all fronts and just a real tragedy.
So now the questions are where is the plane itself? Where are the flight data recorders so that they cannot only find these people but also get some answers as to what happened?
JONES: Will, the investigation is ongoing as you say. We appreciate your reporting on this. Will Ripley live for us there in Hong Kong. Thank you.
Now, Saudi Arabia's Chief Prosecutor has arrived in Istanbul. Turkish State Media say he's there to discuss the killing of Jamal Khashoggi with Istanbul's Chief Prosecutor. Saudi Arabia acknowledges that the journalist was killed in his consulate in Istanbul on October the 2nd after going there to obtain papers he needed in order to get married.
The U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis says he discussed the killing of Khashoggi with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister at the weekend while the two of them were in Bahrain. Mattis says he again emphasized the need for a full and transparent investigation.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh standing by for us in Istanbul. Jomana, good to see you. Transparency is what Mattis is calling for, and that's the one thing that we haven't seen much of so far in all of this.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And we'll have to wait and see, Hannah, what comes out of all of this. As you know, there are two investigations going on. You have Saudi authorities investigation the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and you also have Turkey doing it's on investigation for nearly a month right now.
And then have this joint working groups where both sides share information when it comes to this investigation, and that is why you have the Chief Prosecutor of Saudi Arabia here in Istanbul. He arrived overnight and a short time ago according to the semi official news agency here. He arrived at the courthouse in Istanbul where he will be meeting with Istanbul's Chief Prosecutor. That is the man who is leading the investigation on the Turkish side.
Now, we expect Turley is going to share some of the evidence that it has. It's unclear how much evidence they're going to be sharing. For example, whether they're going to be sharing that audio recording that Turkish officials say they have of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and at the time we know that the Chief Prosecutor is coming with the testimony of the 18 individuals who were arrested in connection with the killing of Khashoggi to share them with Turkish authorities.
Now, we've heard in recent days that that's not going to be enough from Turkey. We've heard this from the president. We've heard it from other officials saying they want those 18 individuals extradicted to face justice here in Turkey, something that has not officially been dismissed yet by Saudi Arabia, but all indications are they're going to do so.
We've heard from the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia over the weekend saying they are Saudi nationals and they will face justice in Saudi Arabia. So have to wait and see what happens with that. There are some key questions, Hannah, that Turkey wants answered, and the key question right now is where is the body of Jamal Khashoggi.
JONES: Yes, of course the family no doubt still wanting to conduct some sort of funeral all of these weeks on since his death. Jomana, thank you so much for reporting for us there from Istanbul. We appreciate it.
Now, new details are emerging about the pilot of an Indonesian passenger plane that went down in the waters minutes after takeoff, these waters here. That is our top story, and after the break we're going to bring you the very latest on this ongoing investigation. Stay with us for that.
JONES: Welcome back to CNN. In Indonesia, it's an agonizing wait for families as the rescuers hunt for remnants of Lion Air flight 610 which crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff. Ambulances are currently lined up along the beach just in case rescuers are any to find any survivors. There were 189 people on board.
The place left Jakarta early on Monday morning local time. It was just on a short flight, less than an hour north to the city of Pangkal Pinang. Now, divers have already recovered some of the debris from the flight - a cell phone, a life vest, that's about 30 to 35 meters deep that those items were retrieved, but they have yet to find the plane's main fuselage.
And meanwhile, families waiting at the arrival gate are facing an unthinkable scenario. They are, of course, hoping for any news of their loved ones and still clinging on to hope of some survival stories. We'll have more on the downed Indonesian plane in just a moment, but first a typhoon. Yutu is continuing it's destructive track across the Pacific, and this time the Philippines is in its path. The storm is weakening, though, and set to make at landfall there on Tuesday. Yutu currently has wind speeds of 165 kilometers per hour. That is the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane. We'll keep across this story for you.
In other news, Japan's Princess Ayako got married at Toyko's Meiji Shrine on Monday, but true love came at quite a hefty cost it seems. The 32-year-old groom works for a shipping company, and that means Ayako will lose her royal status for marrying a commoner, but the Japanese government will, though, give her a lump sum of $959,000 for her living expenses, so I'm sure that softened the blow for her of marrying the love of her life.
You are watching CNN Newsroom. Still to come on the program, families, of course, still waiting for news of their loved ones in Indonesia after that plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta. The very latest coming up after this short break.
ANNOUCNER: This is CNN Breaking News.
JONES: Welcome back. We're keeping you updated on the developing news that we are following out of Indonesia. Search and rescue teams are looking for a plane which crashed into the sea of the capital Jakarta on Monday.
There were 189 people onboard, including eight crews. Search teams believe the plane sank. Weather doesn't seem to have been a factor in this crash; the skies were clear when the Boeing 737 went down.
And also, another factor, the pilot and co-pilot, very experienced; they had logged a combined 11,000 flying hours. We'll get more on this as the developments keep coming through to us. In the meantime, Pittsburgh is nicknamed "The Steel City," and its strength is being tested right now, of course, in the wake of a horrific tragedy.
Eleven people who had gathered to worship at a synagogue in the heart of the city's Jewish community were killed on Saturday, in what the Anti-Defamation League calls the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
The suspected gunman is in custody; he is expected in court on Monday. Sara Sidner tells us now about the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventy-five year old Joyce Feinberg of Oakland, 65-year-old Richard Gottfried of -
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The names of the victims read out the world, we'll know who they are.
SUSAN HAUPTMAN, VICTIM'S FRIEND: I have no words. I'm shaking inside; I'm shocked.
SIDNER: Susan Hauptman knew three of the dead, including brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal.
HAUPTMAN: The victims need to be talked about a lot. They can't talk for themselves anymore. Cecil was tall; David was small. They stood proud at the front door, at the door that was open into the sanctuary, whichever sanctuary it was. They just stood there, hello. They gave you book. Or they said hello, or they said good shabbos (ph), or they - they - they were like the ambassadors.
SIDNER: She and Susan Blackman also lost their family doctor, Jerry Rabinowitz.
SUSAN BLACKMAN: I can't imagine the world without him. Dr. Jerry was just somebody who, when you see him your eyes light up.
BLACKMAN: And he's gone (ph).
SIDNER: Robin Bloom Friedman (ph) is a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue. She cannot remember a time when 97-year-old Rose Mallinger was not there.
ROBIN BLOOM FRIEDMAN, VICTIM'S FRIEND: Spry and vibrant, just - just - you'd look at her (ph), she had a lot of years left. She - you know, and to have this happen is - I heard the age this morning, and the tears came.
She and her daughter went that morning, maybe expecting to go home and have lunch, afterwards, together. And it's not something we'll ever be able to wrap our heads around.
SIDNER: Each of them had come to pray and celebrate together on the Sabbath, when hatred entered their synagogue.
SYNAGOGUE ATTACK POLICE AUDIO: Tall white male, short hair, light blue shirt, jeans.
SIDNER: The police, dispatching a suspect's as they geared up for a gun battle.
SYNAGOGUE ATTACK POLICE AUDIO: We have at least four down in the atrium, DOA at this time. We need armor.
SIDNER: The suspect had walked into a place set aside for peace, with guns and a mission to kill Jewish people, and succeeded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most horrific crime scene I've seen in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
SIDNER: The suspect, later telling police he wanted to kill all Jews, according to court documents. In the end, it would be the deadliest attack against Jews in America, according to the Anti-Defamation League. More dead than you can count on two hands, and six wounded, including four police officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, you have situation here where you have disturbed minds with hate in the heart and guns in their hands.
SIDNER: The deadly shooting, sending a wave of sorrow across Pittsburgh and the world, drawing thousands together to mourn.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are like a hand -
- with various fingers connected.
So when one finger hurts -
- we all hurt.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Pittsburgh.
JONES: Well, the heartache is being felt thousands of miles away, in Jerusalem. Here's what some mourners were saying in Jerusalem's old city on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always had this illusion that Jews in America can feel safe. Actually, we were jealous in Israel to see the successful and the safe community in the States. And now, it seems that, all over the world, Jews are not so safe, apparently, also in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We feel their sadness, and we are all one people. We're Americans, and we believe in being able to have your own religion, whatever you want to do. And to have somebody be so - so much full of hatred, we condone it (ph), then it's not America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all one nation, and what makes us different is we're really one spirit together; we're one soul. So when someone gets hurt in America, everyone in Israel feels it into their soul, because we're one connected soul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: And the devastating fallout, of course, from that attack on Saturday in Pittsburgh. And now, let's return back to our top story in Indonesia. Search and rescue teams are looking for a plane which crashed into the sea, off the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, earlier today; 189 people were onboard that aircraft.
Greg Waldron is a Asia managing editor for Flightglobal Group and joins us from Singapore. Greg, thanks so much. Good to see you. So from what we know so far, we know that it was a Lion Air aircraft, but the plane itself was a Boeing 737, seemingly quite a new aircraft as well.
I know we're in the realms of speculation, but what do you think may have happened?
GREG WALDRON, ASIA MANAGING DIRECTOR, FLIGHTGLOBAL GROUP: It's almost impossible to say yet. There'll be a very thorough investigation. I think the search teams are looking for the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
And once they bring these two items up, they'll be able to really start to dissect exactly what happened. But from what we can see so far, I mean the aircraft was proceeding as per normal, requested a turn back to Jakarta, and then suddenly plunged into the sea, a very sharp dive into the ocean. So what caused that is anybody - anybody's guess, as yet.
JONES: You know, there's so many family members who are, of course, waiting at the airport to hear any news of their loved ones, at the moment. As for the flight itself, it was a - due to be a relatively short flight, I think about an hour. Was it a regular route? And what can we then glean about the likely identities of the people onboard? Would they have been tourists, commuters?
WALDRON: It's a fairly routine right. I mean it's not one of the major frequencies in Indonesia, but I think there's certainly a few frequencies a day. And I think, you know, you'd have all walks of Indonesian life. I think you'd have business people traveling online air (ph).
A lot of business people use the airline; it's a very major airline in Indonesia. You'd have families; you might have some students. It'd be a real - you know, all walks of life and I think perhaps even a few tourists. So it's - you know, it's a real tragedy for those involved.
JONES: Yes, we already know. I think that it's been confirmed now that there were at least 15 government ministers - government members - Indonesia government members on that flight as well, so our thoughts are with them and their - and their loved ones.
What's been the response so far, then, from the Indonesian Government? Are they used to dealing with these sorts of aircraft incidences?
WALDRON: Indeed, they are. Indonesia's got a very strong ability of, you know, investigating and researching air - you know, air safety issues. And I know that's probably because there are quite a few such issues in Indonesia.
So they're regulatory sharing reports about incidents that involve various aircraft and various - even if things aren't fatal, or there's not an accident involved, like near-misses or procedural lapses, they'll certainly report on that. So they're quite good about that, and they've - they're springing into action quite rapidly here.
JONES: You mentioned about Lion Air, saying that it's a very popular, or at least very well known budget airline within Indonesia. Can we glean anymore about the - from the pilots, for example, about the number of flying hours that they had, the experience between them and the track record of the airline itself?
WALDRON: Well, on paper, the two pilots have, you know, very good experience. I think it's like 5,000 for the co-pilot, 6,000 for the pilot. So of course, you know, the crew and that kind of thing will be something that the investigators look at.
As far as Lion Air goes, it's one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and you know, growing very rapidly. And they've had their fair share of accidents over the years. I mean the most famous was a few years ago, when a plane crashed flying into Bali and was seen, you know, on TV screens all over the world, kind of floating in the sea.
Now fortunately, everybody made it out alive. And then there was crash they had, you know, some years back, where I think 54 people died. But you know, this crash is a massive one. This is the second- biggest crash in Indonesia history, and it's very significant.
JONES: And Lion Air have already said that they - I think they purchased this particular Boeing 737 just a couple of months ago. It was a relatively new aircraft, then. And what sort of track record do these - these planes have, in general?
WALDRON: Well, this is a 737 MAX 8, and I think there's about 200 in service, globally. It's the latest state-of-the-art Boeing narrow- body aircraft. And of course, the original design was from the '60s, and they've updated it many times. But this is a state-of-the-art modern plane. It was only delivered two months ago.
Certainly the first major air disaster involving this type, and of course everybody's going to want to know. There's going to be a very careful scrutiny about, you know, whether it was the aircraft, whether it's the crew, what could have possibly cause this.
And so, all - everything's open right now, but this is going to be a very major investigation.
JONES: Certainly will be. Greg Waldron, we appreciate your analysis. Thank you.
Well, you're watching CNN Newsroom, and still to come plenty more on that story. We were just discussing search and rescue teams in Indonesia are still hunting for survivors after that airliner crashed into the sea. We'll have more live reporting on that coming up next.
Plus the Chief Saudi Prosecutor is in Istanbul, Turkey where the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi is front and center. The latest version of events being put forward by the Saudis just ahead.
JONES: Welcome back. We're following the developing story from Indonesia. A plane carrying 189 passengers and crew crashed into the sea. Rescuers are taking turns, heading out to the area where the aircraft is thought to have gone down. Search teams have found debris from the plane, but not yet the main fuselage. The plane itself took off early on Monday morning. It was due to be on a - just a short flight from Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang. Weather doesn't appear to have been a factor in this crash, and the pilots had logged some 11,000 hours of flying time between them.
CNN's Will Ripley joins us with the very latest on this developing story. So Will, it's still a search and rescue operation by the authorities presumably soon to turn into a recovery operation.
RIPLEY: At some point although they're not ready to make that change and classification yet understandably because I'm sure if it were me waiting at the airport for my family member to arrive, I'd want them to make absolutely certain that nobody could have survived this, but when you look at the images, you know, pieces of the plane rising to the surface, what looks like jet fuel in the water and the, of course, items that the passengers were carrying with them.
It does seem very, very unlikely that there's going to be anything - any sort of good outcome here even though they do have ambulances lining the shore - empty ambulance, you know, waiting possibly for survivors. And that in itself is just so heartbreaking. You think about 189 people on board, eight crew members, 181 passengers, one child, two infants. And then when you think about the fact that this was a new plane, 800 flight hours that had just been delivered back in August, an experienced, seasoned crew. We have an image now of the captain, Bhavye Suneja, an Indian national with 6,000 - more than 6,000 flight hours. His copilot had 5,000 flight hours. So this is a seasoned crew.
And weather conditions, while there were some thunderstorms in the area, they were far away from the plane. They were a safe distance away, not believe to be a factor in this crash.
What really does raise the question how this could have happened? We know that Lion Air has had some safety issues in the past. They were actually on the European Union's list of banned aircraft - air carriers from July of 2007 to June of 2016, but they've been taken off the list. And as of this year, they actually received the top safety rating from the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The pilot, according to the airline, conducted all of the pre-safety checks. The plane had passed inspection. This is a fast growing, very popular, low cost air carrier here in South East Asia, the second most popular, the second largest after Air Asia.
So they're buying a lot of planes, they're adding flights, and this is a - this is their kind of route. It's about an hour flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, the kind of flight that we as journalist and a lot people in a lot of fields get on every single day possibly just to commute a short distance. You never think anything of it. Of course, you never expect anything like this is going to happen. It's very rare when a plane goes down, but it is always sad.
And as we start to learn in the coming hours more about not only the crew members but the passengers, it just is undoubtedly going to be heartbreaking for everybody - everybody involved in this situation. And, of course, we want answers. We want to know - they want to know what happened and they want to know why.
JONES: Yes, of course the families, it just must be unbearable for them at the moment. Is it too soon, Will, to start talking about pointing a finger of blame at anyone or anything for this?
RIPLEY: Well, certainly there are a lot of stakeholders here that are going to be paying very close attention. Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer that just delivered this plane back in August as I mentioned, they will certainly be watching and monitoring this very closely, probably send some of their own investigators.
You'll be talking to air traffic control. You'll be talking to - you'll be looking at the list of passengers and crew. Unfortunately whenever there's an incident like this where there's no obvious sign of what may have happened, you have to look at the backgrounds of everybody on board.
I remember five years ago or so covering MH 370. Initially when the plane vanished, you know, they were scouring the backgrounds of everybody trying to think was there somebody who would have ill intent on board. It's obviously too soon to know at this point.
And step one, given the fact that the difference between MH 370 as this, MH 370 is presumed to have gone down somewhere in the very deep waters of the Southern Indian Ocean. This here is the Java Sea, 34 miles off the coast of Jakarta, the water relatively shallow just 35 meters or 114 feet. So divers are actually able to get down there and scour the surface, so it should be too long before they find the plane and the flight data recorders.
And it hasn't been too long since the crash itself, so those, you know, key pieces evidence should provide the answers that'll move this investigation forward.
JONES: Will, thank you very much indeed for sitting (ph) across this.
The U.S. Defense Secretary says he pressed Saudi Arabia for a complete investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. James Mattis met with the Saudi Foreign Minister over the weekend while the two were in Bahrain.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Chief Prosecutor is in Istanbul, Turkey today for an important meeting. Sam Kiley joins us now from Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Sam, good to see you. We've had various narratives from the Saudi's over the course of the last couple of weeks as to what happened. Are they going to stick with this latest version of events? SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the Saudi's have insisted late (ph) most recently face-to-face to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and that was the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir himself saying that there will be a full and transparent investigation.
Now, there has been a progressive change in the Saudi position from Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate in tact right through to the latest position adopted by the prosecutor who's just arrived in Turkey that in his view and the view of his investigators, there was actually premeditated murder of Mr. Khashoggi, undermining the previous Saudi argument that he had died accidentally in an altercation during an interrogation inside that consulate.
There are some key questions that these Turks want answered, not least where is the body. The Saudi's say they handed the body over to a local collaborator, but so far have not identified that collaborator and therefore undermine their own case.
At the same time, a commitment to go all the way in this investigation from the Saudi perspective does imply to the United States, a very close ally but also the G7 that has asked for answers, that there will be no holes barred in the investigation, but it could lead all the way to the top identifying who gave the order for a mission that the Saudis now admit was involved in a premeditated murder becomes incredible incendiary here locally but also regionally in terms of Saudi Arabia's relationship with the international community because the crown prince here, Hannah, holds all of the reigns of power. Mohammad Bin Salman himself had a number of his staff of people close to him who are among the 18 that the Saudis have arrested or detained rather as part of their investigation.
[04:50:00] ] On the other side, the Saudis will be wanting to hear from the Turks what do they know. So far, the Turks have not, we understand, revealed the audios or videotape (ph) that they claim to have from inside the consulate to any outsider other than the head of the CIA.
The Saudis will want to know, want to try and find out what it is that the Turks have over them, if you like, during this encounter. So whilst it's officially a joint working group to get to the truth, it's actually about global geopolitical future of the region ad whether or not the Turks will actually finally play their trump card or always keep it to themselves, Hannah.
JONES: Yes, a huge amount of demands on the Saudis at the moment for transparency from all sides. Sam live for us there in Saudi Arabia. Thank you very much.
You are watching CNN Newsroom. Next we'll bring you the very latest on this ongoing search and rescue effort for 189 people on board the Lion Air plane that crashed off the coast of Indonesia. Plenty more on that after this break.
(COMMERICAL BREAK) Welcome back. More now on our top story. Investigators in Indonesia are examining debris from a flight which crashed into the sea off the capital, Jakarta, on Monday. 189 people were on board, including eight crew. The plane vanished from radar just minutes after takeoff from the capital. It was on a short flight - path on its way to Pangkal Pinang, just around and hour's flight scheduled.
The search teams believe the aircraft sank after it crashed. Weather does not appear to have been a factor. The sky was clear at the time that the Boeing 737 aircraft went down. Officials say debris including the life vests and a cell phone have already been found in the water near the crash site. There is no sign yet of the main fuselage.
And families heartbreakingly - families of the passengers who have gathered at the airport in Pangkal Pinang to desperately await for news about their loved ones.
The English premiere league football club, Leicester City, has confirmed its owner and Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, died in a helicopter crash outside its stadium on Saturday. He leaves a huge legacy not just in terms of his impact on the football club but on the whole city.
CNN World Sport's Patrick Snell has more now on the man behind the team.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORT ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Born in Thailand in 1958 becoming involved in football, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was best known for founding the duty free giants Kim Power in 1989 which grew to prominence in his homeland as a leading travel retail group and made him one of the richest people in Thailand.
He purchased Leicester City in 2010 for a reported $70 million when the team was in England's second tier of the championship. The site (ph) known as the Foxes did make it back to top flight, the Premiere League in 2014 but weren't considered a powerhouse in English football and flirted with being demoted back down to the lower tier.
Despite the team's fluctuating fortunes on the field, off fit (ph) thanks to his backing, Srivaddhanaprabha became a hugely popular figure in Leicester. Leicester began the 2015-16 season as 5000 to 1 outsiders to win the title and incredibly produce the greatest fairytale in the history of the Premiere League and perhaps English football itself by proceeding to in the league by 10 points.
Led by veteran Italian manager, Claudio Ranieri, (inaudible) did not really contain superstars, but blended exciting talents such as forward Jamie Vardy and winger Riyad Mahrez with some older, experienced players. The results were staggering as a quite incredible team spirit and dominant displays took the Foxes to the pinnacle of English football and making all involved legends in the process. The celebrations in Leicester as well as back in Thailand were truly memorable.
While subsequent success of that nature was unlikely to be obtained in a league traditionally ruled by the big clubs found in the northwest of England as well as the capital, Srivaddhanaprabha's legacy with Leicester could never be underestimated.
JONES: Now, the 12 rescued boys from the Thai football team who were rescued from the cave, of course, they were in the stands in the U.K. for a moment of silence for Leicester City's owner during the Manchester-Everton match on Sunday.
The boys got to meet players from England's famed Manchester United Football Club. The youth team known as the Wild Boars also toured the team's training ground and stadium, no doubt paying respects to one of their countrymen as well in their time here.
I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. Thanks so much for joining us. Amanpour is up next. Stay tuned for Christiane's interview with the Apple CEO, Tim Cook.