Fox News host Anna Kooiman speculated on Sunday that an AirAsia flight could have gone missing because international pilots were trained using the metric system.
During breaking coverage of missing Flight QZ8501, Kooiman asked former FAA spokesperson Scott Brenner if the "real reason" the plane had disappeared was because of the "different way other countries train their pilots."
"Even when we think about temperature, it's Fahrenheit or Celsius," she pointed out. "It's kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different."
Brenner, however, said that the major difference between international pilots and U.S. pilots was the reliance on automatic pilot.
"And a lot of that... is because a lot of crashes are due to pilot error," he explained. "So, if you try and eliminate any potential risk, you try and eliminate the pilot's ability to make incorrect inputs into the aircraft."
"It's not just a difference in the way that we measure things?" Kooiman replied. "Is it not as safe in that part of the world? Because our viewers may be thinking, 'International travel, is it safe? Is it not safe?'"
"It's incredibly safe," Brenner pointed out. "It's the safest mode of travel you can have. But just on training, I believe our U.S. pilots are very well trained... They also actually fly the aircraft when they're in the cockpit versus, a lot of times as soon as those wheels are up, a lot of times folks are required, foreign pilots are required to hit that autopilot almost until wheels come back down again."
Co-host Charles Payne added that many of the recent international incidents could have occurred because foreign pilots did not have a "cowboy attitude" like American pilots.