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

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

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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December 29th, 2014
06:22 PM ET

Disastrous year for Malaysia-based air carriers

(CNN) - This year has been a tragic year in aviation.

If you crunch the numbers, according to the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, there have been 111 plane crashes this year. That is the the lowest number in decades, but when it comes to the number of fatalities, it's another matter. 1,320 people were killed in aviation disasters this year. That is the most since 2005.

Malaysia-based air carriers were involved in three of the deadliest incidents.

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December 29th, 2014
06:19 PM ET

What impact could weather have had on Flight 8501?

(CNN) - The grueling search continues for a passenger plane that disappeared on its way from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board - 18 of them children, including one infant.

The expansive search effort has yet to uncover so much as a speck of debris. So for now, investigators are left piecing together clues based on the plane's last transmissions.

CNN's Tom Foreman joins "The Lead" from the magic wall to show just how investigators are sorting out what went wrong.

world lead

December 29th, 2014
05:51 PM ET

Investigators explore what may have brought flight down

With so few details about what happened to the AirAsia plane, investigators and experts are digging to find out what happened in the final moments.

CNN's Rene Marsh reports on the ongoing investigation.

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December 29th, 2014
05:48 PM ET

No sign of AirAsia jet, search area expands

Searchers are racing to find traces of wreckage or oil slicks, anything that might lead them to the plane's resting place.

When the sun rises over the Java Sea in a couple of hours and day three of the search begins, it's still very much unclear what happened to AirAsia 8501.

Or even where it ended up. In fact, there are many questions about the flight's final minutes.

CNN's David Molko reports from Surabaya, Indonesia.

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