This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 26, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me now with more reaction is aviation expert, attorney Brian Claypool, as well as aviation attorney Sal Lagonia is with us.
Sal, a lot of this doesn't make sense. Now, I looked at the A320, and in a post-9/11 world, and they have all the controls. You could actually drop a grenade and you're not going to be able to open that door.
Here's what I want to know. Do you suspect, as the prosecutor does, that he did this consciously, he drove this airplane into this mountain?
SAL LAGONIA, AVIATION ATTORNEY: I think in one way or another, most of us on Tuesday were thinking that. There's not too many natural ways an airplane does what this airplane did. He had to actually keep the pilot outside of the cockpit door by holding down a button that overrides the...
HANNITY: The code.
LAGONIA: ...the code pad.
LAGONIA: And he had to reprogram the FMS, which is...
HANNITY: Well, let me...
LAGONIA: ... management system.
HANNITY: ... let me explain this because there are literally three buttons, unlock, normal and lock.
HANNITY: He had to literally put it in the lock position.
LAGONIA: In the override position...
LAGONIA: ... to override that code.
HANNITY: ... that pilot from trying to get in.
LAGONIA: That's correct.
HANNITY: OK, so that means the pilot otherwise would have been able to get in. Nor do I think the co-pilot on his own would descend in what is a gradual descent, right?
LAGONIA: Certainly not...
LAGONIA: ... in the flight. That stage in the flight, they were at cruise. They were at 38,000. They were expected to stay there.
LAGONIA: The next thing we know, the flight management system is being reprogrammed to start the descent all the way down to the surface.
HANNITY: Yeah. Brian, do you agree with that? It seems to me that there's too many -- the plane didn't descend -- it didn't make this descent on its own. Obviously, the co-pilot...
BRIAN CLAYPOOL, AVIATION EXPERT AND ATTORNEY: Yes. Sean...
HANNITY: ... made that decision, they heard him breathing. But that doesn't prove that he's conscious, right?
CLAYPOOL: Well, it doesn't. But I agree, though, that this was a deliberate act. He was breathing normally. He was making a conscious effort to stop the pilot from entering into the cockpit. So I think -- and the descent was a normal -- it was semi-rapid, but it was a pretty much normal descent. And I think that's an important fact.
HANNITY: It was a normal controlled descent, right?
CLAYPOOL: Right. Exactly. And I think that supports the proposition that this was a deliberate act.
HANNITY: Yes. What do you think?
LAGONIA: I absolutely agree. It was a normal descent. It was a normal descent at the same air speed, a consistent air speed. Look at his air speed at the top of the descent and at the bottom. You typically would speed up as you go downhill in a car.
LAGONIA: Well, it didn't happen here. His air speed was 442 knots all the way through.
HANNITY: So he probably switched the altitude number. He wanted...
HANNITY: So he knew where he was going.
LAGONIA: He told FMS, Keep me at this speed so the airplane doesn't fall apart.
HANNITY: Yes. Unbelievable. All right. So now, I guess, the next question is, why are they so slow in giving out the information?
LAGONIA: Well, you have to remember, in Europe, they treat this as a criminal offense right from the get-go. In the United States, we treat it as a civil offense. So now that it's truly a criminal offense, they're going to be a little bit slower with their information.
HANNITY: And Brian, I know that a lot of airlines starting -- Norwegian airlines, Canadian airlines and others have now have adopted rules that we have in America -- that is, that you have to have two people in the cockpit at all times, so if one of the pilots leaves, somebody else goes in his place, right?
CLAYPOOL: Well, yes. I think that's true. And I think one of the bigger issues that I think is coming out of this tragedy, Sean, is to what extent are airlines not only in the U.S. but around the world are vetting the pilots after they've been hired?
Because I did a bit of research on this, too, and there isn't a lot of Federal Aviation Administration regulations in the U.S., for example, that regulate pilots once they've been hired. For example, are there any drug testing? Is there any type of mental health checking after pilots have been hired? Are there any attempts at looking at, you know, issues like depression here?
HANNITY: Well, here's the question. Should somebody that is a pilot that if in their later years, they somehow suffer from depression, anxiety -- should they be taken out of that seat?
CLAYPOOL: Well, I think so. And I think a big issue here, Sean, is we -- I think airlines have to take a close look at themselves because if you have a pilot that's putting -- and you're putting a lot of lives into that pilot's hands, I think that pilot has to relinquish a certain degree of privacy. In other words, they have to be transparent about what's going on in their life.
CLAYPOOL: And I think airlines have to be vigilant in doing so, and I don't think we have that.
HANNITY: All right. Sal, we'll give you the last word.
LAGONIA: Well, I agree with that to some extent. However, the pilots do go through a physical every year, which does include drug tests and...
HANNITY: Psychological testing?
LAGONIA: Not psychological testing. And that may be where we're falling short.
HANNITY: You know, in one sense, they did such a good job after 9/11. They made these doors that nobody could get through, and in this case, the pilot wanted to get back in.
All right, thank you, guys. Appreciate it.
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