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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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December 29th, 2014
06:26 PM ET

What would pilot have done after being denied permission to elevate to avoid storm?

(CNN) - If weather is truly to blame for the sudden disappearance of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, that raises questions.

Such as why, according to the Wall Street Journal, nearly a dozen other planes managed to fly through the same region at the same time, without incident.

If the weather in the region was that bad, should this plane have been allowed to take off in the first place? And knowing that the pilot of the AirAsia flight requested to fly at a higher altitude and was denied, what options would a pilot have at that point to safely fly the plane?

CNN aviation analyst and former pilot Les Abend joins "The Lead" to discuss, along with CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise.

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