EgyptAir tragedy latest in string of disasters for Egyptian aviation

CAIRO, Egypt -- Families came to Cairo's airport Thursday looking for answers, but there weren't any. No bodies, no culprit, and so far, no explanation.

"I want to know where my son is," one man said "what's the government doing?"

U.S.officials: EgyptAir flight fell like a "rock"

Mervat Mounir told us her husband's niece was one of the flight attendants and had just got married.

Egypt's civil aviation minister Sherif Fathi said he didn't know what caused the plane to go down, but has strong suspicions.

"Terrorism is the most likely cause?" we asked him.

"Most likely the case. But again, it is not a statement on behalf of Egyptian government. It is what I think personally," he said.

It's been a disastrous year for Egyptian aviation.

In October, a Russian plane crashed after taking off from the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. A bomb was the suspected cause, and ISIS later claimed responsibility.

Looking at Egypt's troubled aviation history

Egyptian airport security was tightened after that tragedy. But then in March a man hijacked an EgyptAir passenger jet, forcing it to land in Cyprus. His "suicide belt" later turned out to be fake, and the hijacker -- according to the Cypriot authorities -- had mental health problems.

The series of incidents has raised questions about Egypt's airport and airline safety, but the minister defended his country's record.

"This incident has nothing to do with Egyptian airport security," Fathi said.

In its public statements, EgyptAir has been emphasizing how experienced the crew members were. According to the airline, the pilot had more than 6,000 flying hours, including more than 2,000 hours on the same model of aircraft.