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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Search Planes Heading To Suspected Crash Site; First Lawsuit Filed By Families Against Boeing, Airline

Aired March 25, 2014 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next breaking news, at this hour, search efforts for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have resumed. There are still more questions than answers tonight.

Plus, what we're learning about the two pilots tonight. Investigators are now focusing on their professional and personal lives.

And the latest from the deadly landslides in Washington State. At this hour, 14 people confirmed dead. Nearly 200 missing. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news, search efforts just resuming for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. At this hour, the search had been suspended due to horrific weather, but conditions have now cleared enough for planes to head to the possible debris site. There were waves like these recorded in the Southern Indian Ocean last month to give you a sense what the gales are.

This is a huge ship. It made the search completely impossible yesterday with clouds in some cases seemingly touching the tips of the waves. Conditions have now improved. As for the search in the northern arc, the area from Vietnam to Kazakhstan, Malaysian officials now say have completed that search entirely there. No longer looking there. Right now the search is solely in the southern arc.

Today families in Beijing exploded with anger outside the Malaysian embassy. Now tonight, the first lawsuit in this case, a multimillion dollar suit has been filed by some families against the Boeing Company, which, of course, is the manufacturer of the 777 ER in this case. They're also filing against Malaysia Airlines.

Kyung Lah begins our coverage in Perth tonight. Kyung, there's a new tactic the searchers are taking today as we talked about, they're taking off. They are looking. They are not finding affirmatively this debris. What's the new tactic?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What they're trying to do is they are trying to hit more ground or sea that is in the search zone. They're going to try to split it up into three different areas and attack those. It's a total of 80,000 square kilometers. So they basically just want to try to get more of the area covered. We are -- we do know that the planes have left here. They are zooming down to this area. It is a remote spot. It is four hours flight away from here.

The Chinese plane that took off, took off an hour earlier than the other planes have normally taken off. We don't know if that's also another new tactic. What the goal is to try to bring a chip of that debris home. They want to bring some evidence to the families, Erin, so that they can finally have some resolution, some answer about what happened. They may hear everything that's coming out of Malaysia. But until they have that debris in someone's hand to verify it, it is really hard for those families to accept -- Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung, obviously, you know, when you talk about -- they get off perhaps in different ways or sending these planes out, they may get a visual as they have, but it's impossible to confirm unless someone goes and gets it and physically removes it from the surface of the ocean. So that's where the ships come in. I mean, what resources are now in play here for this search?

LAH: Well, we know that the Australian ship this morning will be heading out and this morning being here in Australia, this morning will be heading out to the area where an Australian plane on Monday spotted debris. You may remember it spotted a green or gray piece of debris, an orange spot of debris and that beacon was dropped from a plane.

So the Australian ship is heading to that location. They're going to try to find it. Now the challenge is, is that even though you drop a beacon in the water, because the water is swirling, because there have been storms, extreme waves, they're not certain if that beacon has stayed with that debris. That's going to be the first tactic there.

Chinese ships are on their way. Basically an entire fleet of Chinese ships are going to be heading into this region to try to help out because when the planes spot it, they mark it with those beacons and then the ships have to go out there and retrieve it.

BURNETT: All right, Kyung, thank you very much. Reporting live from Perth this morning or tomorrow morning. The search area has been narrowed down dramatically, but the investigation is getting bigger. Now two things seem to be inversely correlated. Pamela Brown has the latest on what we know at this hour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT ((voice-over): With anguished family members of the 153 Chinese passengers now demanding hard evidence that Flight 370 is lost, even protesting outside of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.

STEVE, MOTHER ONBOARD FLIGHT 370: I don't think that this kind of government liar and even a murderer can solve anything. I don't believe they can solve anything.

BROWN: Today CNN learned the Chinese government is launching its own inquiry demanding to see the satellite data that the led Malaysian authorities to conclude Flight 370 crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean before finding a single piece of wreckage. Under mounting pressure, the British company that analyzed that the satellite data, Inmarsat, released more of its analysis today in an attempt to explain why it believes the plane went down 1,500 miles off the coast of Australia. Just last night on this program, the senior VP said his company is confident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not a single one of the pings that fits the northern pathway. There's simply no correlation, no match.

BROWN: And tonight, the Malaysian government is making a move that some believe is, too little, too late, expanding its inquiry.

HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION: The Malaysian investigation has set up an international working group comprising of agencies with expertise in satellite communication and aircraft performance to take this work forward.

BROWN: Meantime, officials tell CNN, the Malaysian Air Force is opening its own investigation even though it was criticized early on for its role in not scrambling jets after spotting Flight 370's erratic flight path. Back in the United States, sources say the FBI continues to dig into the background of the plane's two pilots, but after a day of rumor and tabloid speculation about the men, Malaysia Airlines CEO gave a rare interview with the BBC defending them, especially veteran, Captain Zaharie Shah.

AHMAD JAUHARI YAHYA, MALAYSIA AIRLINES CEO: Based on the records, they have been quite exemplary. The pilot has 18,000 hours, has been at Malaysia Airlines I think for than 30 years and so he's also an examiner for the 777. So there's no disciplinary record or anything.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And at today's press conference, Malaysian officials refused to answer questions about the pilots, but they did say they're still waiting for information from the hard drive of the captain's simulator and the pilot's laptops that British and U.S. forensics experts have been working to recover -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Pamela, thank you very much. And I want to bring in our panel now, Richard Quest, our aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien, pilot and aviation attorney, Arthur Rosenberg and editor-in-chief of "Flying" magazine, Robert Goyer. Great to have all of you with us.

Miles, search area smaller. The investigation a heck of a lot bigger. Are we ever going to know where the plane went down?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I still say we don't know where the haystack is, Erin. We don't know enough about the altitude, the speed and for that matter the direction of the aircraft even the Inmarsat data, which was not really released. We haven't really seen what underlies it all. I'm still a little bit skeptical of it. But paints a couple of possible paths based on speeds they're not sure about, 450 knots, maybe 400 knots. What if it was down to 12,000 feet, it will be a lot less range. They've got to the look somewhere. I'm not convinced they know well enough where to look. BURNETT: Robert, we're in a race against time, too. In terms of that flight data recorder and how long it will ping its location.

ROBERT GOYER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "FLYING" MAGAZINE: Yes, we really are. And we're looking at probably less than two weeks now. That's under the best circumstances, Erin. Depending on how deep it is and depending on the weather, too. Those can be things that really influence the ability of searchers to find that signal. And when they do find that signal, I mean, that's like Miles said, that's the goal. But you have to get close, it's not something that you're going to hear from very far away.

BURNETT: Right, exactly.

GOYER: Miles is right. You need to find the wreckage. You need to trace it backwards, figure out where the actual wreckage might be under the sea.

BURNETT: No wreckage and no reason at this point. By reason, that could be mechanical, right, Richard, or it could be involve a motive with a human being. At this point, we just don't know. Yet, that is not stopping families from already suing.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": No, it's not. This is the law firm that's doing it, Ribeck law. It's a firm out of Chicago. They are suing the Boeing Company. They are suing Malaysia Airlines, and I mean, if you talk about the potpourri of everything, they want details on the wiring, the electrical, the manuals, the batteries, they want to know the people who designed and manufactured the generators, the emergency oxygen, who last inspected the fuselage, the identity of the maintenance amongst other information.

BURNETT: We'd all like to know a lot of that information.

QUEST: Right, but we haven't even found the plane.

BURNETT: Right. Now Arthur, here's my question. How can you sue when you don't yet know whether a human being brought the plane down or an error at Boeing? I mean, that's a pretty big difference?

ARTHUR ROSENBERG, PILOT: Well, bringing a lawsuit this early in my view is premature to say the least. Certainly, there's no real factual basis yet to understand what happened, what brought the plane down, mechanical, pilot, something else. But it's an effort I believe albeit appropriate for the firm to basically get themselves out there for publicity and it really is not proper.

QUEST: I just want to know how this law firm justifies the unseemliness of issuing such a --

BURNETT: I can say this only because there's lawyers in my family. I feel like I have the right. They're lawyers, Richard.

QUEST: And I qualified.

BURNETT: Unseemliness of suing somebody, too, early. ROSENBERG: I mean, it's always nice to know.

BURNETT: I hear Miles laughing.

ROSENBERG: It's always nice to know what you're suing about and have a factual basis for doing it before you bring the lawsuit.

QUEST: Correct.

ROSENBERG: I mean, so --

BURNETT: I pause because we do have more on our coverage of the search of Flight 370. Our panel will be with us for the hour. So here's the question, if something went horribly wrong, would the flight crew have been able to handle it?

An official report from the Australian safety report. This is an incredible report about something that happened not long ago on a Boeing 777. Investigators focusing on the professional and personal lives of the two pits and how cell phone and e-mail messages from passengers to their loved ones might ultimately be retrieved. We have a special report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 tonight. Search planes have just taken off. They are now on the air over the Indian Ocean. There was one different thing that happened today. A Chinese search plane took off about an hour earlier than had been anticipated. We are not yet sure why, but anyway, they are flying out about four hours, time to search and come back. Ships are also trying to identify the pieces of debris that Australian planes had picked up in the targeted area.

The thing is you got to find the debris to know what went wrong, almost certainly you do. Was it pilot error or was it something mechanical or was it something nefarious. We have been actually looking at an incident from 2005 involving a Boeing 777 actually heading from Perth to Kuala Lumpur. Of these 40 some odd page report from the Australian transport safety bureau, it is pretty fascinating and it raises questions about how automatic a lot of the flying is, you know, autopilot and the training that pilots are getting on that for when something goes wrong.

So according to the ATSB, the Australian Safety Bureau, the incident happened on this flight a 777 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur which was said to have been an issue with the autopilot and sudden changes in altitude.

This is the report and the takeaway is this in a sentence. When the hardware failure occurred combined with the software anomaly, the crews were faced with an unexpected situation not foreseen. Subsequently, the crew had not been trained to respond to a specific situation of this type.

You know, we called Boeing and they did not comment on this incident. But if there was some sort of mechanical failure with flight 370, would the pilots have known what to do?

Our experts are all back, Richard Quest, Miles O'Brien, Arthur Rosenberg and Robert Goyer.

OK, great to have all of you with us.

Let me start with you, Richard. I mean, you look at a lot of these things. You had a chance to go through this report. Some of these things sound, we don't know exactly what happened on this plane but some things sound like it could be analogous.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, this plane, the bit like the inner air, the bit that works out whether the plane is going at the right direction at the right speed at the right altitude. It went -- it malfunctioned. There was a problem with the ADRU.

It doesn't matter what the details are. The plane went up. The pilots had to take control of it and fly it manually. The difference here is they were able to control the plane quite quickly once they disengaged the autopilot and crucially they got a message out. They called out and Perth immediately vectored them back into it. And what they did was, they flew the plane. What the report says is that there are certain circumstances with automation where the pilots have not been trained.

BURNETT: And that could be a big issue.

Miles, what is your take away from this? Obviously, you know, this happens to have also been a Malaysian airlines triple 7200.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, subsequent to that the particular incident, there was a software upgrade for the 777. It would be nice to think that Malaysia airlines did in fact do that upgrade. But again, we haven't seen the maintenance record for this aircraft, so we don't know for sure. We can hopefully they did especially given that it was so close to home.

Now, did this particular potential failure, could it have caused the scenario we've laid out here? In and of itself I don't think so. It's not enough. It certainly won't have shut down the communication. It doesn't explain a lot of the turning and, of course, this long course deviation which ultimately heads it out.

BURNETT: Right. Arthur, what you pointed out something Miles just said is we don't know the history of this plane. But there were a couple issues you said on the maintenance front.

ARTHUR ROSENBERG, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Right. I took a look at some of the air worthiness directives against the 777 and two that actually caught my eye were one dealt with a wire bundle dealing with the control of the supplemental oxygen for the flight crew.

BURNETT: Which would help you in a depressurization situation.

ROSENBERG: Also, it could start smoke and fire. So that has some potential analogy to this situation. The other one was, and this one already really caught my eye. There was an air worthiness directive that came out days before this flight took off, and is not due to be in effect until early April. And that dealt with fatigue cracks around the satellite communications antenna and adaptor on top of the fuselage. That has the potential to catastrophically destroy the airplane in the air.

QUEST: And if I'm not mistaken, this was addressed by Malaysia airlines very early on in the investigation. And this was not a relevant rest AD for this aircraft.

ROSENBERG: However, we have not yet seen the maintenance records from.

QUEST: You're not going to till the final report comes out.

BURNETT: Go ahead, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Actually, it wasn't me. I think it was Robert.

ROBERT GOYER, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, FLYING MAGAZINE: Yes, what I was going to say was that this scenario doesn't make any sense if we conclude that the airplane's in the south Indian Ocean. If we had an explosive depressurization when these problems first started happening, we would looking for the airplane up there and we would be looking for small pieces. That's not the case.

BURNETT: Right, which is a fair point. I mean, a lot of these mechanical and maintenance issue dozen have that problem that they don't explain then flying on for several hours.

But Miles, what about the take away here, which is, you know, the Australian transport safety board and obviously, again, you know, we are talking about a Malaysia airplane, but it is talking about that crews, because these planes are so automated don't have the ability when things go wrong to trouble shoot quickly.

O'BRIEN: Well, we have seen this as a recurring thread in a series of incidents whether you want to talk about air France or you want to talking about Asiana. This is a real problem. When you create airplanes that are flown by computers essentially and human beings are voting members that have cooperation if you will, when the computers fail, things go to seed very quickly. And there are -- there is a lot of criticism about the industry right now that pilots, it could the fly crews do not have a lot of good old fashioned stick and rudder training like they used to. That gets overlooked. And you know, is that a factor in all this? Hard to say but it's another thing to think about.

QUEST: It is -- Miles is right. It is the single biggest issue for pilots and aviation at the moment. Except for mechanical detects which is airmanship, good old fashioned airmanship. And what we are hearing again and again is that the quality of airmanship for newer pilots is not there because they are basically systems monitors of aircraft rather than pilots flying the planes.

BURNETT: All right. All right, of our panels is going to be back with us. We're going to look more at this incident with this particular plane because it did involve the sudden altitude changes. We are going to be look more at that in the coming days.

But more breaking news coverage of the flight search for 370 at this hour. Those search planes are headed to the possible crash site. We are going to have an exclusive look at an underwater vehicle that can be used to find this plane. Actually, we went under. You're going to see it go down into the water and the crucial clues that could be in the wreckage, passenger's cell phones. You would think if they are at the bottom of the ocean, any text message might be on a sim card. You might not be able to get it. Well, guess what, they might be able to get the messages to the family members and they might help solve this mystery. How is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: To the passengers of flight 370, did they try to send text messages or instant messages of any kind before the plane went missing? That is a crucial question for the family members, but also for investigators who in those text messages may find out what happened in the flight's final moments.

So what if the passengers did send a final message? If and when the plane is found, experts say those personal cell phones and electronics, even deep underwater could be the key to solving this mystery.

Ted Rowlands is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul Weeks left his wife and two sons at home in Australia to start a new job and boarded Malaysia airlines flight 370. Now, his family and others are left wondering if their loved ones tried to use their cell phones to send a message before the plane went missing.

But so many questions still unanswered. Texts and e-mails could provide crucial details about what happened to flight 370 and all of that information could possibly still be retrieved.

CHAD GOUGH, PARTNER, 4DISCOVERY: Absolutely. I'm sure there's test messages. I'm sure there's drafts of e-mails. I'm sure there's video testimonials that people made.

ROWLANDS: Chad Gough is a partner at 4Discovery, a computer forensics company in Chicago. He says even after several weeks or even months in the ocean, unsent texts, e-mails and videos can still be retrieved from electronic devices.

GOUGH: It's a matter of finding the devices, determining what kind of damage was associated with them and handling them properly.

ROWLANDS: Handling them properly is the key just like retrieving a flight data recorder, a cell phone or computer would have to be kept in water until it's ready to be analyzed. Even if a device has been smashed, as long as the data cards are intact, the information is still there.

It's getting them out of the saltwater but actually keeping them wet and putting them in special solution that would dissolve the minerals in there, dissolve the salt and clean off the components.

ROWLANDS: Finding the devices will likely be the most difficult part of the equation. It took two years to locate the flight recorders off the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean from air France flight 447 which crashed in 2009. No cell phones were recovered. But if flight 370 wreckage is found over the next few months, passenger texts, e-mails and videos could possibly help solve the mystery of what happened on board, while also providing some grieving families a final message from a loved one.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, CHICAGO.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: And still to come, more coverage of the search for flight 370.

Investigates are now zeroing in on the cockpit and in particular on the two the pilots. There are questions about their personal and professional lives. We are going to tell you everything we know so far.

And an update on the deadly landslides in Washington, 14 confirmed dead, nearly 200 still missing after days. Tonight, we are going to go live to the scene.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news: "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that a partial ping -- all right, this is a communication between the airplane and that Inmarsat satellite -- that a partial ping received eight minutes after a final complete transmission or ping between Flight 370 and an orbiting satellite began on the missing jet.

All right, I emphasize began and partial ping. This wasn't a full communication as that happened every hour since that plane went missing as it communicated. The British satellite company Inmarsat is investigating the partial ping as, quote, "a failed login to its satellite network whereas," and I quote again, "a potential attempt by the system aboard the aircraft to the reset itself." That's according to Inmarsat.

Now, the cause of this partial ping could have several possible explanations but here's what is significant in terms of this new development at this point. They are saying human interaction with the satellite communication system has been ruled out.

That is a significant development, Richard. I mean, that means there was not a person at that point on that plane trying to re- establish communication.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Correct. It basically -- it's important for the negative, not the positive. It takes off the table the idea that there was somebody who was trying to re-establish communications. What it doesn't, of course, tell us is the circumstances of that partial ping.

But if that partial ping -- if the integrity is proved, then it's very significant because it adds another link in the chain.

BURNETT: All right. Now, an a layperson, Miles, what I'm saying is, it would seem to me if you have a failed log on, it wasn't a human, that would essentially if you could locate it, isn't that the same thing as kind of saying that's where the plane would have gone down?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I think there's a good chance of that. One of the potential explanations of this is that as the plane runs out of gas, runs out of fuel, both engines don't quit at the same time. One will quit and then the other one will quit.

And if there were a scenario where the -- what happens, of course, when you lose one engine is the electrical bus distribution changes, the generating system changes. That could have caused some sort of electrical spike, which could have caused this device to try to wake up and check in and perhaps by the time the -- you know, the return handshake were to occur, it was unable to do so.

I'm getting beyond my technical capabilities here. But the fact is, something drastic obviously happened there. Was it impact, was it sea water impinging upon the device itself, or was it the flameout of one engine which might have caused this so-called partial handshake.

Again, I would like to call Inmarsat and AAIB, the UK's version of the NSTB --

BURNETT: Right.

O'BRIEN: -- to release their data. Let's look at it. I'd like to do some peer reviewing myself on this. They say it's peer- reviewed. Let's see it.

ARTHUR ROSENBERG, AVIATION ATTORNEY: You know, I agree 100 percent was him on that. But here's the point. If the integrity of that last partial ping is verified, it stands for the proposition that the search field can be more narrowly drawn and really cut out a lot of area where we're currently looking now.

It is a very, very important piece of data. The integrity has yet to be established.

BURNETT: All right. That's the latest information we have.

But we also know that investigators are zeroing in on the pilots. I wanted to tell everybody what we know about them because this is part of the great mystery, and could be -- could be, we just don't know -- part of the answer to what happened on this flight.

Sources tell CNN the FBI is now digging into their backgrounds personally and professionally. And here's what we know: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a veteran pilot. He's been with Malaysia Airlines since 1981, 18,000 hours on the 777. He even supervised pilot training for the airline. He was married. He had three children and one grandchild. Reports say that this wife routinely, though, stayed at another smaller house with relatives.

We also know the captain was a public supporter of an opposition party leader named Anwar Ibrahim. The pilot had gone to Anwar's pro- democracy rallies and even meetings. He even wore a "democracy is dead" t-shirt denouncing the ruling party in Malaysia.

Officials are also investigating the homemade flight simulator seized from his home. Malaysian police say some of those files where is deleted before the flight vanished and the FBI says deleted much closer to the takeoff date of this plane than had previously been reported. We don't yet know what was on there. There are various reports about testing landings and things like that.

We can also report the pilot made a phone call just eight minutes before takeoff. 777 pilot Les Abend tells CNN this likely took place after the plane left the gate and that does go against all flight protocol.

Now, the co-pilot, Fariq Hamid, only 27 years, joined Malaysia Airline in 2007. He had 2,500 flight hours on this plane, though. He'd only been in a few times. He lived with his parents. He was engaged to marry another employee for Malaysia Airlines.

The airline said Hamid had flown the 777 only five other times before Flight 370. They confirmed this was his first flight without a check co-pilot supervising him. Obviously, something that the pilot they would have maybe felt safe because he was being put with a pilot who had overseen pilot training for the whole airline.

There are questions about the co-pilot's judgment. You see this here. You may recall a woman told CNN that Hamid had allowed her and her friend to ride in the cockpit a few years ago. Malaysia Airline says it's shocked by those allegations.

And I want to bring back our experts now, Richard Quest, Miles O'Brien, Robert Goyer, and Arthur Rosenberg.

All right. Robert, this is what we know about the pilots. Obviously, we don't have idea whether they were involved in this at this point. You do think this was an intentional act.

Are you concerned it was one of those two men I'm just talking about?

ROBERT GOYER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, FLYING MAGAZINE: Yes, that's what I've been saying all along. It has all the hallmarks of it being something that was done intentionally by one of the crew members, just the fact that it seems as though the flight plan was entered, a new flight plan was entered into the FMS and it seems as though the airplane was maneuvered and that when you look at all those things, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which someone other than one of the pilots could have done it.

I also -- I mean, at first -- a totally personal point of view, I've listened to a couple of interviews with the pilot and I've heard people talking about him. I'd seen his resume. He's the kind of guy I would want to fly with. He seems like a totally standup person and remarkably experienced and expert pilot. So, that's a personal judgment.

As far as the co-pilot is concerned, 2,700 hours is not a lot of time, period.

BURNETT: Right.

GOYER: And for somebody to be in the right seat of a 777 with that amount of time would be very unusual by U.S. standards, probably never done.

BURNETT: Right, that's what we said. That would not happen.

Now, Arthur, what do you think about this? Someone said to me the other day, the pilot was trying to commit suicide he would have nose dived the plane which to me is a highly subjective judgment. If you are going to commit suicide, there are who knows what way you would choose to do that if you are -- I don't know what the right word is, willing to kill 200 other people in doing so, right?

ROSENBERG: Before I go to that, let me back up for one second. First of all, I don't think you can say with certainty or even likelihood or probability at this point that it was a member of the flight crew that that commandeered this plane, if in fact that happened.

BURNETT: You think it was an intentional person but not sure who.

ROSENBERG: It was some nefarious act by someone. As far as it being a suicide or not, I think what we have to look at it with laser like focus is the background and history of the captain and the co- pilot.

Interestingly, very quick, I read today in -- I forget the media publication, but it said that this -- the captain was in no shape to fly. He had emotional problems.

BURNETT: It was a New Zealand paper.

ROSENBERG: His wife apparently had left, had taken his daughter. He was having problems with a woman that he was having affair with.

I mean, these are all disturbing things that have to be taken into account. It could account for the accident.

BURNETT: That was a friend saying -- Richard, you actually met the co-pilot a month ago.

QUEST: I did, I did. We flew with him and flipped with him for one flight from Hong Kong to KL.

Look, it is entirely appropriate that the investigation digs very deeply into the background of both men -- computers, family, friends, relationships, bank accounts, medical, the whole lot.

BURNETT: Yes.

QUEST: But I find it slightly bizarre that we can sit here and just about condemn them. I mean, without any further evidence.

And not only do I think that, I think it's unfair. We don't know. We are talking about allegations from a New Zealand newspaper.

BURNETT: That's right. No one knows at this point.

QUEST: Let's get the old bit of speculation and throw it onto the table.

ROSENBERG: I think you would have to agree it's worth looking into.

QUEST: Of course it is.

ROSENBERG: That's all we're saying. You cannot discount this information.

QUEST: I'm not.

ROSENBERG: Because this could explain what happened. I'm not saying it did by any stroke of the imagination but it could explain. It's worthy of investigation.

BURNETT: Arthur gets the last word tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: You ruined me, Erin.

BURNETT: Thanks to all. As I speak, search planes are leaded to the possible debris site. Site is so remote, it hasn't been mapped before. Locating the first debris on the surface of the tiniest of first steps to know what happened. Crews must find the bulk of the wreckage that could be miles below the sea. A crucial tool to finding is an autonomous underwater vehicle.

Our Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT in Golden Meadow, Louisiana.

And, Rosa, you're aboard the Ms. Ginger. Has the ability to the launch one of those AUVs.

What are we looking at behind you?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So this device dives into the ocean several miles and creates a map of the ocean floor. Like you mentioned, it's an AUV, autonomous underwater vehicle. It uses side scan technology to create that the map. It's also equipped with a GPS system.

Now, let's go ahead and start launching this. And this is owned by CNC Technologies. It's highly customized.

And hear this -- it has been used in the past to identify and recover, help recover airplane wreckage.

And, Erin, in the case of MH370, this would help narrow the search of that debris field.

BURNETT: What exactly is it going to be looking for when it goes under that incredibly those rough seas if this was actually used for MH370? What would it be looking for?

FLORES: So, what you're looking at right now, it's getting deployed into the water. In the case of MH370, of course, it would be in the Indian Ocean and it would go down several miles.

So what it's looking for is it's looking for oddities, anything on the ocean floor that looks strange, anything that looks like a debris field from an airplane wreckage, for example. And so, it's completely unmanned. So there ever people in the control room that would then be looking at all this preliminary information and then tagging it.

So that perhaps they could go back and take a look, Erin, at those oddities that stood out to them.

BURNETT: Rosa, how long could it search?

FLORES: You know, it depends. It depends on how long the mission is going to take. So for example, this particular probe can do a mission for about probably about 24 square miles in a day.

When we're talking about the Indian Ocean, of course, it's a very big area. But it could be submersed for a really long time, like I said, it's unmanned. So, it's on itself, by itself in the deep ocean. And people in the control room would be telling it exactly what to do.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to you, Rosa.

And still to come, the latest from the deadly landslide in Washington state. Fourteen confirmed dead, 200 others are still missing. That number has been going up to the day. We're going to go live to the scene.

And my conversation with former President Jimmy Carter. Tough talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news, additional victims of the Washington state landslide have been found at this hour. Officials just announced, they don't have an exact number yet, but they do know that the number has gone up. We know that 14 people were already confirmed dead after a massive collapse ravaged two towns north of Seattle on Saturday. That number now above 14.

President Obama remarked on the tragedy today during a press conference in the Netherlands.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would just ask all Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state and the community of Oso and the families and friends of those who continue to be missing. We hope for the best, but we recognize this is a tough situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Our own Bill Weir is in that Washington state community tonight where he witnessed the horror.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 911 calls don't do it justice.

OPERATOR: 911, what's your emergency.

CALLER: There's like a mudslide. Everything's gone. The houses are gone.

WEIR: But how could they? Could people in that moment possibly fathom this? An entire small town violently devoured by a blender of sliding mud and massive boulders and shattered trees? After a few precious rescues on Saturday, volunteer searchers lined up today, filled with hope that someone, somehow survived all this, and just needs a hand.

(on camera): Just think of the emotional boost if they could find one person in there. Hear one voice.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Well, people are looking for that. A dog was found yesterday and that was a boost.

WEIR: Yes.

INSLEE: We're going to keep looking though. We're going to keep hope alive.

WEIR (voice-over): But for the first responders who spent three days pulling broken humanity out of impossibly sticky mud, that is easier said than done.

KEVIN LENON, DARRINGTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: This is what it is right there. Here's a sample.

WEIR (on camera): It is. It's like potter's clay.

LENON: It's like grease.

WEIR: It's like grease. My goodness.

LENON: It's the most stickiest, slimiest stuff. You can't -- it's hard to move in. It weighs you down.

WEIR: So when you hope that somebody's got an air pocket somewhere, is that realistic?

LENON: We're finding cars ripped in half. Survival chances going through something like that with all the trees and timber that came down, boulders, it's -- air pockets, I don't think so because the river, it hit the river and threw a wave of the river up with it to kind of possibly drown anybody.

WEIR: How are you coping? Psychologically, emotionally?

LENON: Handling it pretty good. I got diagnosed with a bleeding stomach ulcer yesterday, trying to keep it contained. It's coming out in other ways.

AARON BRIET, SEARCHED LANDSLIDE FOR MISSING COUSIN: It's like a war zone out there. You see hands, the way I found this is -- a hand was sticking up out of the ground.

WEIR (voice-over): Aaron Briet says he hiked into the disaster zone on Sunday, desperate to find a missing cousin who was driving Highway 530 when the mountain came down and her cell phone went dead.

(on camera): I can't imagine the emotional toll this is going to take on you going forward. But are you hopeful that your cousin somehow is in that car, somehow has enough air? How are you --

BRIET: I pray to God that she has the air to survive. But I don't think any vehicle holds enough air to survive for four or five days. And that's how long it's going to take before they can even get to some of the cars. There's a Jeep Liberty upside down up there. And there's a motor home, a 34-foot motor home was 34 feet and now I can touch the wheel base. It's crumbled like somebody crumpled a ball of paper.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEIR: The searchers, Erin, are just beginning to scratch the surface here. A lot of the people I talked, including some local clergy, say they are moving from hope to acceptance and grieving. If there is any glimpse of light and warmth here to seeing how this tight little community bonds together, there's a gathering tonight at a community center as they try to raise money to bury the ones they lost her and pull together.

I'll tell you, between this story and the flight, Erin, it's a reminder to find the ones you love, and hug them while you've got them.

BURNETT: Yes. All right. Bill, thank you very much.

Just amazing what he was able to show you. Our breaking news continues, because now we can tell you that Russia has built up its troops on on the border with Ukraine in a big, big way.

Today, Russian forces, now 30,000 up from 20,000 yesterday. That is a huge move. This is a very big story.

On his trip overseas, President Obama warned President Putin he would quote face additional costs if Russia moves into the Ukraine.

Earlier tonight, I spoke with former President Jimmy Carter and I asked him whether there is a way to stop Russia at this point short of war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: I had the same problem in 1979, Christmas week, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. And I laid down a marker that they couldn't cross. I withdrew my ambassador. We declared a grain embargo on the Soviet Union then. We gave support to the Olympic Committee to withdraw from the Olympics, which is very dear to them. I also began to arm the freedom fighters in Afghanistan.

And then I gave a warning to Brezhnev on public television and so forth that if they went from Afghanistan any further, that we would respond militarily without any restraint or limit on what weapons were used. And he never did.

And then slowly but surely over the years, the freedom firefighters got more and more support, all Russian weapons, by the way, so they couldn't identify their origin. And also, Gorbachev finally decided it was a horrible thing and they couldn't overcome the Afghans so they withdrew.

So, I think we have to be very bold and strong in preventing Putin from having a temptation to move military into eastern Ukraine.

BURNETT: Of course, though, one of the big challenges you must have faced at the time, freedom fighters in one era is the Taliban in another.

CARTER: That's true. You can't say. But at that time it was the right thing to do. Because we had to make sure that the Soviets didn't console date their hold on Afghanistan and move into Pakistan or some adjacent countries.

BURNETT: So, you think a military option has to be on the table, that involves NATO troops, U.S. troops.

CARTER: I hope it doesn't, of course. But I think Putin needs to know that's as far as we can go.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: We're going to bring you much more of our wide-ranging interview with Jimmy Carter throughout this week.

The disappearance of Flight 370 has taken such an emotional toll on so many of those families, of those on board. What they have had to endure. Jeanne Moos has one of their stories next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Much of the coverage of Flight 370 is focused on the passengers and the crew. But we are learning so much more about them.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Maybe you think of Twitter as a superficial, silly way of communicating. But not when it's a teenage girl using it to talk to her dad, missing aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Her twitter handle is @gorgxous and she's the daughter of the plane's chief steward, Andrew Nari.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Air traffic controllers in Southeast Asia have lost contact with a jumbo jet.

MOOS: She began tweeting her heart out that first day. "God, the only thing I want is my father. Nothing but my father. I want my father back," punctuated with a crying emoticon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No wreckage has turned up.

MOOS: By day two, she was pleading with him directly. "Daddy, you're all over the news and papers. Come home fast so you could read them. Don't you feel excited?"

Immediately, her tweets were met with supportive replies from strangers.

By day six.

BURNETT: Breaking news, the Chinese government has released new satellite images of what could be missing Flight 370.

MOOS: She wasn't imaging him in a plane's wreckage. "My dad must be busy serving the passengers food and drink."

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: The airliner disappeared ten days ago now.

MOOS: That Sunday, she was watching her favorite soccer team. "Daddy, Liverpool is winning the game. Come home so you can watch the game. You never miss watching the game. It's your very first time."

The club itself tweeted back, "This has touched our hearts."

Gorgxous, her real name is Myra, remained amazingly upbeat, even signed a card "Pray for MH307."

On day 18 --

BURNETT: The Malaysian government says the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean killing everyone onboard.

MOOS: She tweeted, "I don't know what to say, what to think. I feel so lost, so blank."

Liverpool's football club tweeted back again, "You won't walk alone."

Myra's tweets have echoed the plane's final transmission.

SCIUTTO: The last word ever heard from the cockpit "all right, good night".

MOOS: On Tuesday, she wrote, "I am still hoping for a miracle. But hmm, good night, daddy."

For the world, it's a mystery. But for @gorgxous, it's a dad who's not there to tweet her back.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Thanks so much for watching.

Anderson starts now.