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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Mystery of Flight 370; Bravery Amid Destruction After Landslide, Rescuers Search For Missing People; U.S. Navy Sending Second P-* Poseidon Plane To Hunt For MH-370 In Southern Indian Ocean
Aired March 27, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 8:00 p.m. here in New York, 8:00 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur and Perth, Australia. Early in the morning on the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia where the search for Flight 370 is getting started again after more weather delays.
Now we've just learned that new help is under way in the shape of a second American P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft. It's coming from Japan, from Okinawa, to join this one already flying out of Pearce Airbase near Perth.
We're going to have new potential clues to look for as well. Another two batches of debris, one spotted by Thailand, another smaller collection picked up by Japanese intelligence agency. Neither far from where a French satellite captured images of 122 floating objects which follow a number of other sightings, none of which so far, none of which so far have been confirmed as coming from the 777.
Now some could just be white caps, others may have sunk or been moved considerably by wind, waves and ocean currents. Some could just be junk. There's that to contend with tonight.
There's also the lingering question of what role if any the Flight 370's captain played in the crash. Tonight you're going to hear from a reporter whose source in Malaysian law enforcement is telling her the captain may have become deranged or flipped out, and is responsible for diverting the plane.
Now that based on a single Malaysian law enforcement source by "USA Today" stands in stark contrast to CNN's own reporting that there's no evidence the pilot is to blame.
You'll also hear some of the captain's staunchest defenders including his son. There is a lot to cover tonight starting with Kyung Lah in western Australia.
So what's the latest?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is that the search has begun. That's the word from the Australian authorities. But the planes have not taken to the air, Anderson. We're not exactly sure why there is this delay, but we are told that the search will take place. Now weather in this part of the world very unpredictable. Yesterday we were told that it was very unlikely that the planes are going to take off. Now we are told that they will take off at some point today.
We are scheduled to embed with that P-8 Poseidon that you were talking about departing from Perth. We're told that it will take place as scheduled -- Anderson.
COOPER: And this new report of possible debris spotted by Japanese satellite, plus the Thai images showing some 300 objects. All of those images -- it's important to point out, those were taken days ago, correct?
LAH: Days ago. But it's another bread crumb. It really helps the people who are taking to the planes, who are heading to this region. It gives them a little more hope that they're looking in the right area. A little more guidance about where to go. But just like you were saying, Anderson, these currents are constantly changing. This ocean is so deep. And they're not sure if it's under the water, if they've gone over the area and it's disappeared.
So they have to keep combing over that area again and again. Frustrating, but they say they want to bring this evidence back just for those families -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Kyung, thanks very much.
Now Commander William Marks, spokesman for the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet, joins us by phone aboard the USS Blue Ridge.
Commander Marks, I understand the U.S. is sending another asset to participate in the search. What can you tell us about it? And will you then keep two P-8s in the search as well?
CDR. WILLIAM MARKS, USS BLUE RIDGE SPOKESMAN: We are sending another P-8 Poseidon, our most advanced patrol aircraft. We're sending it from its forward deployed location in Okinawa, Japanese, down to Perth, Australia. So that will give us two of our P-8 Poseidons down there along with an international contingent of partners, China, South Korea, Japanese, Australia. Just a great effort by a lot of countries down there.
But yes, we are taking a second P-8 and moving it into Perth to give us essentially an everyday presence if needed by the Australians. So as you know, it's a long distance way down to the search area. It really stretches the legs of the P-8 and really the P-8 is the best plane available in the world for this kind of thing. And it pushes its limits. So we're talking a very challenging environment. But the key is -- and this is why we still need to fly over this area, we still do not have a really good point for this debris. And that's why we've got to keep flying out here.
COOPER: When you say you don't have a really good point for the debris, you just -- don't have -- I mean, because there have been satellite images of, you know, multiple pieces of debris, whether they're from the plane or not we simply don't know. But those points, what, are the intelligence on that is days old? Is that what it is? MARKS: Yes. So the satellite imagery, it's very helpful but it's not real-timer confirmation. And that's what we need. What we want to do is have either our plane or any plane for that matter fly over the area, get a visual confirmation hopefully of numerous pieces of debris, and then from there we have our oceanography team ready to reverse engineer the environmentals.
So they will do a reverse plot going back 18 days, taking into account the current, the wind, the sea state. And then they will from the last confirmation of debris they will work backwards to create this starting point of where the plane may have crash landed. Of course, that's when we'll get our towed pinger locater on scene.
COOPER: The U.S. owned towed pinger locater that we're told eventually joined the search, where is it at this point?
MARKS: Well, it's in Perth right now. And the critical thing to know is, the search area right now is way too big still.
MARKS: It will not be effective to use that when you don't have a good datum. It needs to be towed very slowly, one to four knots, and it simply cannot search hundreds of mile area like it is right now. So we still need to keep flying. We still need to get a visual confirmation on the debris, let our oceanographers work backward and get that datum so we have a good central point.
The black box really only has a range of, you know, maybe a mile or so. So it's not like it's pinging out this very strong signal. You have to be pretty close to get a hit on it.
COOPER: Well, Commander Marks, again, we appreciate all you're doing and appreciate you talking to us. Thank you.
MARKS: You're welcome. Thank you.
COOPER: Let's bring our panel here who will be with us throughout the evening. CNN safety analyst David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash: An Accident Investigator's Fight to Safe Skies." CNN aviation analyst and veteran private pilot Miles O'Brien, David Gallo, co- leader for the search France Flight 477 and director of Special Projects in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
And former Transportation Department inspector general Mary Schiavo who currently represents the accident victims and their families.
Miles, you heard the commander there, they're sending in a second P-8 aircraft. Do you believe there are enough assets on the ground, I mean, on the water, in the air, given how large the search area is?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: No. No. Given the size of the search area, the current weather and the expected weather -- it is fall into winter -- I don't think there's nearly enough assets there. There's another 10 or 11 P-8s in the U.S. fleet. There's 120 P-3s. Why not send an aircraft carrier down there? The George Washington is sitting in Japan right now. You could put it close on station. They have a couple -- they don't have aircraft that are ideally suited for search and rescue.
COOPER: Right. The P-8 can't land on an aircraft carrier.
O'BRIEN: No. No. No. It's a land-based aircraft. But there's the E-2 and C-2. Both aircraft have long-range off of the aircraft carrier. They're not set up for this. But why not put -- and then of course helicopters. You could get a lot more eyeballs on scene just by doing that. You know, and I'm sure that this is one of those things that the U.S. Navy doesn't want to barge in on this.
But -- and they're waiting for an invitation perhaps from either the Malaysians or the Australians or some combination. But, you know, there is so little time to make a find before there'll be no searching there at all for quite some time. And we're going to go through a winter where we won't have an answer? I think it's time to send in the fleet. What else are they doing?
COOPER: Miles, you know, actually you've gotten a lot of tweets from viewers asking about why not send in some sort of drones. I actually talked to Commander Marks about that. He said the distance was prohibitive. But do you think another reason is potentially that the U.S. doesn't want that technology operating in an environment where you have China, you have other countries operating?
O'BRIEN: That's my hunch on it frankly, Anderson. I mean, the Global Hawk has endurance, I think on the order of 20 hours. So it clearly has more range than a P-8. Now again, it's what you outfit it with, what the camera's like. But the cameras certainly had the capability of seeing things and targeting things and killing things on the ground. Perhaps they can be modified in some fashion to be used in this manner. But certainly you didn't -- you would extend the time on station as it were.
The point is, there is so little time and the conditions are so adverse right now that it's precious time. In my view with five ships and about 11 airplanes, not enough assets there.
COOPER: David Soucie, what do you make of that? Do you think there are enough assets?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I think he has a good point. I've been wondering why they didn't have some kind of platform out there. Because from there the drones and the Eagle Eye is another one that they could be using, the drone, because it has far less range but it has a very good capability of taking photographs, and it complements the P-8's. The P-8s can serve as kind of a central processing area for the information from the drones. And it's been used before. Had the drones crossing and reporting back to the P-8.
COOPER: But it does seem -- but David Gallo, it does seem like, I mean, conditions even on the surface of the water have been so bad that the Australian ship, the Success, which I think is the largest ship the Australia has, that's had to leave the search area because of the -- the large swells.
DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Yes. You know, Anderson, just from the outside looking in, it began as frustrating but now it's turning nightmarish. This is -- you know, if they can't forecast a day or two about where that debris is going to be so they can find it, how are you going to back cast, hind cast it, and go back 18 days? You know, I just don't know how you begin to do that.
COOPER: So you're skeptical what -- of the -- just the technology we have or just because of the conditions, the roughness of the seas about actually finding this stuff?
GALLO: Well, yes. I mean, I'm thinking they must have people that are forecasting where that debris is going to be. We saw it here one day, tomorrow, the next day it should be here and here, let's look there. We know it's not probably not going to be sitting in the same place. But you have to use that same technology, a knowledge of the winds, a knowledge of the current, and the knowledge of the debris field itself to back -- to hind cast it, to go back a day, two days, three days, a week, two weeks and more to find out where it first came from.
So, you know, it's getting more than tougher every day. We may be past the point of no return on being able to get a real accurate X marks the spot from that debris.
COOPER: Wow. Mary, I mean, do you agree with that? You've looked at the images of the debris. Does it look like debris fields that you've seen in past open ocean crashes?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It does. The more recent ones, you know, not the early ones where it looked like containers. But the more recent ones do look like a debris field. And it gets pretty widely dispersed, the parts and the pieces get broken up into smaller pieces. And sometimes they can stay together. There's lots of wiring on the planes.
There's lots of things that kind of act almost like a net. And so it can stay in groups. But the pieces do look more like what you see. Because when a plane hits the water, it's -- you know, it's a very hard impact. It breaks up on impact.
COOPER: It is, Miles, so frustrating that, I mean, so much of this satellite intelligence we're talking about is days old so that, you know, it's not in the same location, and you would think given, you know, every day it seems like another satellite has picked up a debris field, it is kind of amazing that nothing has actually been spotted yet.
O'BRIEN: Yes. It's -- the lag time is the problem. You know, the satellite comes on station, comes down, gets processed, you got a few days there. It gets to the people in place. And then, you know -- meanwhile this moving target has gone on its merry way in incredibly rolling and violent seas. So the combination of all that, you know, it's not just a needle in the haystack. The needle and haystack are moving.
COOPER: Yes. We've got to take a quick break. Our panel stays with us. Follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. Tweet us your questions, use #ac360.
Next, the focus on Flight 370's captain. Conflicting reporting on this by different sources. Malaysian authorities now believe the diverted plane -- that he diverted the plane possibly after somehow becoming unhinged in some way or deranged in some way. That's a "USA Today" report based on a single Malaysian law enforcement source.
We're going to talk to the reporter who has that source about what she is hearing from that source and how confidence she is in that source. We'll also talk to a report from "New York Times" and our own correspondent.
Later another remarkable and very welcome rescue from the Washington mudslide. Four legs, a wagging tail and a lot of people very happy to see this dog alive. We'll be right back.
COOPER: With the search for objects picking up again at sea, there is once again hope of finding hard physical evidence of what brought down Flight 370. Unfolding in parallel almost from day one the search for human factors that might have played a part from hijackers to saboteurs to mistakes on the flight deck or even bad intentions by one or more of the crew.
"USA Today" has been causing a stir with reporting out of Kuala Lumpur that there are deep suspicions about the captain, about the pilot. In a moment we'll ask a correspondent in question about that. The reporter who first broke that story.
First though here's Pamela Brown with a very different picture of the pilot.
BROWN (voice-over): The son of Captain Zaharie Shah is breaking his silence, defending his father against claims he might be responsible for sabotaging Flight 370. The captain's youngest son, 26-year-old Ahmed Seth spoke publicly, dismissing criticism of his father in an interview with the "News Straits Times."
"I've read everything online but I've ignored all the speculation. I know my father better. We may not be as close as he travels so much, but I understand him." And in an interview with CNN's Jim Clancy, the former CEO of Malaysia Airline said he knew Shah well.
AZIZ ABDUL RAHMAN, FORMER MALAYSIA AIRLINES, CEO: He's an excellent pilot. And I think also an excellent gentleman. I think they're going the wrong way. They're pointing finger at him.
BROWN: And the current CEO of Malaysia Airlines also defended him and his copilot, Fariq Hamid, following the plane's disappearance. AHMAD JAUMARI YAHYA, CEO, MALAYSIA AIRLINES: Based on their reports, they have been quite exemplary.
BROWN: Sources tell CNN that despite speculation of deliberate action to divert the plane, investigators haven't yet found any evidence to suggest a premeditated act by either pilot. A U.S. official tells CNN that a preliminary review of the captain's simulator and both pilots' computers have not yielded a so-called smoking gun so far.
The captain, seen here in a new tribute video posted online did not leave a suicide note, a source in Malaysia tells CNN, and no evidence was found in his home to suggest financial or marital problems.
Captain Shah, seen here going through airport security, was a respected pilot who had been with Malaysia Airlines since 1981, flying more than 18,000 hours. The 53-year-old was married with three grown children. CNN is not showing the faces of his entire family.
Captain Shah's daughter was reportedly a student, studying in Melbourne, Australia. The family home was here in a gated community in Malaysia, but a source close to the family says his wife routinely stayed somewhere else when he was flying.
Shah was a public supporter of Malaysian opposition party leader, Anwar Ibrahim, and attended pro-democracy rallies. In his free time he posted videos like this one online. Showing him in front of his home flight simulator, talking not about his job but about his interest in home improvement projects.
Less is known about Shah's copilot, Fariq Hamid. He was engaged to his flight school sweetheart. After recently finishing his training on the 777 he was on his first flight in the cockpit unsupervised on the jumbo jet.
COOPER: Our Pamela Brown joins us now from Washington.
So you say that there's no concrete evidence that at least as of yet to support the notion that the pilots deliberately sabotaged the plane. But investigators are not ruling out that possibility, correct?
BROWN: Yes. Absolutely. You know, it's still early in the investigation, Anderson. Investigators are still pulling back the layers of the onion so to speak. So even though it appears that there's nothing at this point jumping out to investigators from the hard drive that would indicate culpability of the pilot in the plane's disappearance, clues from that hard drive could give Malaysian official leads that could end up being important in this investigation.
So, you know, bottom line here, Anderson, sources telling me that investigators haven't found anything that would support or rule out the idea that either pilot planned to take down that plane. They aren't accusing them of anything but they aren't letting them off the hook either. And, you know, similar to any investigation, you have to start at the point closest to the crime. In this case that's the cockpit.
But again, we're sort of reiterating here that it's too premature to jump to conclusions from talking to sources.
COOPER: Right. If in fact a crime was involved.
Pamela Brown, appreciate it. Thanks.
I want to bring in Mahi Ramakrishnan, who's reporting for "USA Today." She was the first one to report these suspicions of Captain Shah front and center. Also with us is aviation correspondent Richard Quest and Michael Schmidt of the "New York Times."
Mahi, let me start off with you. Can you tell me -- obviously you can't tell me who your source is but you said it's a Malaysian law enforcement source, somebody you've worked with a lot in the past who's given you good information in the past whose information you have trusted in the past, who doesn't really go beyond what he or she knows.
Beyond that, what exactly is your source telling you about what Malaysian authorities or at least the people that your source is working with now believe about the pilot?
MAHI RAMAKRISHNAN, USA TODAY: Well, beyond what I have said in "USA Today" there's nothing much that I'm getting out of him at this point in time. Except that he's a well-placed source. I have worked with him for many years now. And he's a senior ranking officer in the Special Branch and Elite Squad. And he knows exactly what he's doing. So his information clearly suggests that the pilot was responsible for deliberately diverting the plane. And that is what I went with when I reported for "USA Today."
COOPER: So now when you say deliberately diverting the plane, there's a logical explanation to that, a problem in the cockpit, and looking for a -- wanting to find a runway to land or there's a nefarious explanation for that. Do you -- did your source explain any motivation for why the pilot was believed to have been the one to divert the plane?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Well, from talk to him what I do understand is that the financial motivation has been ruled out, which means that he did not do anything for the money. But they did -- but he did tell me that it is quite clear that he flipped in his mind. And that could have been brought about by any factor. And my source believes that the key to figuring that out is going to be through investigations or interviews with the wife.
And for now, he told me that even though they did manage to speak to the wife a few times, she's not that forthcoming with information. And that means he will have to pursue the wife. And this as you know is a developing story. And I'm on it. And I hope to get more information as we go along. COOPER: OK. OK. So let me just clarify this, though, so that answers my previous question which is clearly your source believes there is a nefarious reason for this, that it was not an attempt to just there was a problem aboard the plane to land the plane. If your sources believing the pilot in some way flipped out, or I don't know -- I don't what term that your source actually used, but clearly they believe there was a nefarious reason for this, correct?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Exactly. That's what he told me. And that's based on whatever he has investigated. And I know that he has been on the investigation from day one.
RAMAKRISHNAN: So it's close to three weeks now or a little over three weeks. And that's what he's getting.
COOPER: OK. Michael, your sources -- Michael, you're from the "New York Times," your sources which are based here in the United States from what I understand are telling you a different story. What are you hearing and what do you think of this report?
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, what American officials believe is that sure, it makes a lot of sense that it could be the pilot. But they don't -- they haven't really seen a lot from the Malaysians that backs that up. They say yes, you know, it makes sense. The pilot was able to turn off the transponders, he's able to turn the plane.
But there's nothing else that they've seen that leads them to believe that. So at this point they're sort of on the outside of this investigation looking in. And they have a theory but they don't have much more than that.
COOPER: OK. I should point out just as Pamela Brown was reporting, that is also CNN's reporting, hearing the same thing that Michael is hearing.
Richard, I mean, investigators should be looking at the pilot. They should be looking at all options.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: There is no question that the pilots need to come under the absolute utmost scrutiny. No question. Financial, family, psychological. But you're doing that not because you've got a suspicion they did it, you're doing it because they're the ones at the front of the plane who are flying it. They are the ones who are in control.
In this situation, we have an unsolved issue of what happened. So you're going to start with the men or women who are flying. But what we have now got are unnamed sources, whether it's in "USA Today" with respect, or in "The Daily Mail" or anywhere else ladling out accusations of financial worries, family worries.
I'm not even going to go there because if I go there, Anderson, I'm giving credence to them. And all I'm saying is by all means investigate, by all means look at this. But please let's have a little bit of decorum in the process by which we get to the facts.
COOPER: Michael, do you think -- we talked about this last night, do you think that this is just perhaps an attempt by some groups in Malaysia or individuals in Malaysia to kind of bookend this, to put this to an end?
SCHMIDT: Well, it kind of make sense. They came out on Monday and they said that the plane is lost and all hope is lost. And now they've come out. And this is what they really believe, then this is sort of the other end of it. Well, the plane is lost and we know who did it, so we can all sort of begin to go home and we can move on from this story.
And I really think -- and I understand why the Malaysians want to move on from this. This has been incredibly difficult and at times embarrassing. So it makes sense to try and put an end to it. And I think perhaps that's what we're seeing. And that's what American officials are a little afraid of. You know, they want them to follow the evidence but they're afraid that the Malaysians just want it to go away.
COOPER: Mahi, I want to give you the final word because you're the person who has talked to this source. Did they give you the sense -- I mean, you said that the wife has not really cooperated, that they would like to pursue more with the wife. They feel she would have access to information that they haven't seen any kind of financial motive.
So are they basing this on an investigative hunch or they -- to your knowledge are they basing this on any actual evidence?
RAMAKRISHNAN: Well, I know that he's basing it on some hard evidence but he's not forthcoming with the evidence. I know he knows more than what he's saying. But picking up on what Michael says, that, you know, even though there is an assumption that, you know, because the Malaysian government came out with an announcement all of a sudden which shocked everyone including the media, you know, the police officers are also coming up with a similar statement.
If my source wanted to put a stop to this and make it a real credible one, he would have told me that, you know, the hunch that Zaharie was actually connected or a supporter of the opposition leader, Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, is true and that is exactly what we are looking at. And he went -- he became -- he is a fanatical supporter and he couldn't -- he couldn't deal with what was happening to unwind the courts of Malaysia.
When I asked him that he said that is absolutely not true, he doesn't know where that assumption is coming from and it's utter rubbish. So what he told me is based on the investigation and based on what he had done and what the data that he had collected over three weeks of investigating into the missing plane.
COOPER: OK. But again, you did not see what that data is and he would not go down to that road. So again, more questions remain.
Mahi Ramakrishnan, appreciate you being with us. Michael Schmidt, Richard Quest as well.
For more on the story you can go to CNN.com.
Up next a bright moment amidst so much destruction in Washington state. We want to give you the latest on the search for any survivors. The community has been devastated by a deadly landslide. One four-legged survivor found. That story ahead.
COOPER: Tonight in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, the search goes on for any survivors who may still be trapped in the rubble from the landslide that struck on Saturday. The official death toll is 16 with at least eight additional people, their bodies waiting to be identified by the medical examiner. That number is expected to rise, and that rise could be significant. Ninety people are still unaccounted for, 90 people.
Now amid all this destruction, the families of those who are lost are doing their best to try to stay strong. Our Gary Tuchman is there.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Irene Kuntz reminisces about her little sister.
IRENE KUNTZ, LOST SISTER IN LANDSLIDE: I remember playing with her when she was a baby like a doll.
TUCHMAN: Her sister, Linda McPherson, was one of the victims of the Washington State landslide. Her body was found hours after the tragedy occurred. Linda lived next door to her niece and nephew who thankfully were out of their house when the landslide happened. This is wreckage from their house. Linda was next door with her husband, Mac, at the time. He was hurt but will survive.
(on camera): What kind of sister was Linda?
KUNTZ: My gosh, she was such a great sister. She was always there if you need anything. She was so non-judgmental.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Irene and her husband, Ralph, lived 15 minutes away. They got the awful news in a phone call from their son. Irene tries not to think about what her sister experienced.
KUNTZ: I don't think about it. In my darkest moments, if that comes into my thoughts I don't go there because I can't imagine what she went through.
TUCHMAN: On the day after the landslide, family members went back to Linda's nieces and nephew's home to try to recover a safe. It was there they found something else extremely valuable. I watch with Irene the video a friend shot of the recovery of the family dog who was thought to have been killed.
(on camera): This is Buddy. (voice-over): A chocolate Labrador buried under mud and rubble for a day and a half whose survival is incredibly meaningful to family members who have suffered so much. Like so many here in this part of Washington State.
KUNTZ: He was saved because he's going to help us get through this. You know, seeing that dog, it's like life still is good.
COOPER: What an incredibly story. Gary is joining us now from Darrington, Washington. Is there any more information about all the other people, 90 people still on the unaccounted list?
TUCHMAN: The names of the 90 people who are missing, Anderson, their names are not being released. Emergency officials here want to be very sensitive. It's a very small community. They don't want to give more pain to the families of the missing. They do it by the book when it comes people here are very prepared for the death toll number to go much higher very quickly.
COOPER: Gary, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you. Every disaster of this magnitude, first responders do work that's both vital and almost unbearable in this case as in so many others, those first responders are often neighbors themselves doing their jobs for people they know and they love. In a word they're volunteers.
I want to bring in Jeff McClelland, a volunteer firefighter in Darrington, Washington who knows firsthand just how difficult finding the victims of this tragedy are. Jack, I appreciate you being with us. I know you arrived to the area -- Jeff, excuse me. I know you arrived to the area just minutes after the landslide hit. When you first got there, what was the scene you found?
JEFF MCCLELLAND, DARRINGTON, WASHINGTON VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER: When we first pulled up on scene, we were toned out originally for a single engine response, which usually means to us it's nothing really big. We're just going go down there and take care of a small problem. When I pulled up and saw the barn roof on the highway and all the mud and the big trees, my window was open and I heard people screaming for help. I knew it was something much bigger way bigger. Something that I've never seen.
COOPER: And you helped find some 13 people that first day.
MCCLELLAND: Yes, we did.
COOPER: And got them out alive.
MCCLELLAND: Thirteen saved.
COOPER: That's incredible.
MCCLELLAND: Yes, we did.
COOPER: You were out searching with two volunteers. I understand they actually found their own relatives in the debris. The fact that you have family members out there with you, I cannot imagine how hard this is.
MCCLELLAND: It is. It's stressful. And first rescuers with me were my wife, Jan McClelland, and a very good family friend, Sheila Dobbins. It was us three for approximately two hours trying to get to as many survivors and people calling for help as possible. Some of them it took us an hour and a half to get through just 600 feet through all the logs and mud and trees and all the debris from all the houses that were smashed.
COOPER: You're also walking through people's lives. You're seeing their personal possessions, the mementos, the things that bind us all together. It's a very intimate and personal search you're doing as well.
MCCLELLAND: Yes, it is. We see things that belong to people. I found records that were -- 45 records, some of us are old enough to remember those and they were Elvis and Nat King Cole, and stuff like that. But some of the hardest stuff is when we come across children toys and children books and children clothes. That's tough. That's hard on us.
COOPER: How do you keep going? You keep coming back there every day.
MCCLELLAND: How we keep going is that we have a belief. You'll find this in every responder across our nation is that we believe that there's a possibility that there's an air pocket one place, and we'll be able to maybe find somebody alive or even find a dog alive or a cat or something alive. And that keeps us driving every day. That hopefully -- I believe in the human spirit that it's incredibly strong and that maybe we can find somebody alive. That's why we keep going and we don't give up.
COOPER: I remember being in Haiti after the earthquake. And more than a week after the earthquake hit people were still being found. And obviously it's a very different situation there, but I wish you the best. And good luck. I'm sure there's a lot of people very grateful that you're out there. Jeff McClelland, thank you very much.
MCCLELLAND: Thank you.
COOPER: We're going to return to Flight 370 story. We're going to go inside the 777 flight simulator, take a closer look at some of the leading scenarios that investigators are now looking at.
Plus an up close look at the incredible piece of equipment that can extend the search deep beneath the ocean surface.
COOPER: Well, the search planes are airborne again heading back to areas in the Southern Indian Ocean off Australia. It is 8:42 a.m. in Perth, Australia, Friday morning. They are of course hunting for any signs of wreckage from Flight 370. The search also continues on the ground for answers. Right now we're going to take a closer look at some of the theories that investigators are looking at, including what it would look like if one engine gave out before the other.
Joining me from inside a flight simulator, Martin Savidge along with flight instructor, Mitchell Casado. And also back with us, aviation, analyst, Miles O'Brien and aviation correspondent, Richard Quest. Martin, there's a question that Miles actually brought up two nights ago if one engine conked out before the other. Can you show us how that would impact the plane's heading?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Yes, Miles and I actually spoke on the telephone and sort of worked this through. So Mitchell Casado will shut down one engine. Let's do it.
MITCHELL CASADO, COMMERCIAL PILOT/INSTRUCTOR: This is the fuel control for the engines. Left engine, right engine. Pull the fuel control lever cut off. You can see that we have the engine rolling back the EDT, which the temperature of the air coming out the back of the engine is cooling off, decreasing, the speed of the engine is decreasing. Engine left shutdown here and our maximum flight level is 280. And we can go between 270 and 330 knots with just one engine.
SAVIDGE: This left engine shut down, this engine still operating as it should, right?
SAVIDGE: What we note is the attitude of the aircraft itself and we're maintaining an altitude set it at 10,000 feet. We're still at 10,000 feet. I'm looking at a cruising speed of 285 knots. So the aircraft is stable. The aircraft is not losing altitude. It is flying with just one engine because it's compensated.
CASADO: The thrust asymmetric compensator that's his job.
COOPER: Miles, you brought this up because we were talking about if the plane was a ghost plane where the pilots were somehow incapacitated and the plane gradually run out of fuel, one engine shut off, you were wondering whether the plane would balance itself out and would continue flying gradually lowering?
O'BRIEN: The question was, did the auto pilot have enough authority, enough strength if you will, to overcome what we call asymmetrical thrust. In other words, one side is going full blazes, the other one is dead. Could that auto pilot compensate for that? They've answered that question. That means it would maintain the heading it was on even if one engine flamed out first, which is highly likely.
So that's a really important clue to help searchers because we know that last we call it the last half handshake, it's one of the scenarios is that just that happened. One of the engines flamed out, caused an electrical surge, and it tried to recheck in with the satellite. The question is, it would fly on for a little bit of time. We don't know how much fuel it would have had on the other side. Would it have flown on in that same heading or would it have started turning? This answers that question.
COOPER: And Martin, if both engines go out, the plane doesn't just drop out of the sky. It glides for -- it can go for a great distance, correct?
SAVIDGE: Yes. We can show you that, too. Let's shut down the remaining engine.
CASADO: I'm going to shut down the last engine here. What's going to happen on auto pilot, it's going to try to maintain 10,000 feet. And by pitching the nose up and up and up even those speed is decreasing --
SAVIDGE: We'll take it off auto pilot. Assuming that auto pilot was not going to run without electricity, and we'll see that.
SAVIDGE: So here's the engine shutdown. There's the nullification. Now we've lost the other engine. It's slowly spooling down. Take it off auto pilot. OK. And now of course what's going to happen, there is nothing propelling the aircraft forward. We're a glider and we're going to begin to see a degrade in both what, speed and in altitude.
CASADO: You're going have that residual thrust. Depending on the altitude up to a couple of hundred miles.
SAVIDGE: Show the external view. This is something only you can do in a simulator of course. This is our aircraft. Exactly as it would look if you were outside of the airplane. That's the attitude. You can see one engine stopped completely, the other is still winding down. This is that plane. This is that slow degrade.
COOPER: Richard, this is very important to help searchers try to figure out where to look.
QUEST: Yes. Because you're looking at where that last ping, that last half ping, the half handshake was. So clearly it would have been on the same heading according to this experiment. One thing I do need to put down to any viewer now marginally concerned about anything we are showing here, these planes are designed to fly for very seriously long distances on one engine. So at any point it's known as extended operations over water, etops, a certain number.
I'm just thinking about anybody who's getting on a plane in the next few hours and thinks what if the engine stops. If the engine stops, as we've seen quite conclusively by Mitchell and Martin, the plane keeps going.
COOPER: And compensates for that engine.
QUEST: No, not very much so. It's challenging but it compensates and the plane will keep going all the way.
COOPER: Martin, thank you. Mitchell Casado as well as Miles O'Brien and Richard Quest.
Just ahead, if the search for Flight 370 extends to the floor of the Indian Ocean, or once they find the debris if they find the debris they're going to go underwater. An advanced undersea robot designed to scour the deep sea may be a big tool they're going to use. We'll get an up close look at that robot.
COOPER: Weather conditions have improved off the coast of Australia. The search for Flight 370 is back on, the planes are back in the air right now. The U.S. Navy sending a second aircraft known as the P8 Poseidon to help out. Now debris spotted by satellites is located and confirmed to the part of the missing jet the vast floor of the Indian Ocean will need to be searched, scoured for the actual plane.
A team from Woods Hole Institution in Massachusetts that offered to help out with that part of the search, Randi Kaye shows us their unique equipment.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This robot submarine may hold the key to finding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It's called the Remus 6,000 and was developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on Cape Cod. It's 13 feet long, weighs almost a ton, and costs about $2.5 million. Mike Purcell is the principal engineer here.
MIKE PURCELL, WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INTSTITUTION: They can go up and down mountains that are up to 40 degrees in slope. They are very stable so you get really good data almost all the time.
KAYE: Why would this underwater robot find something even the U.S. Navy and search teams from more than two dozen different countries haven't been able to find? First of all, the torpedo-shaped vehicle can reach depths up to 6,000 meters, or more than 3-1/2 miles below the surface. And it can survey wide swaths of the ocean floor, using what's called side scan sonar.
PURCELL: They send a sound pulse that's sort of a fan beam out to the side. It will travel out almost half a mile from the vehicle and it bounces off the sea floor and we get a reflection back to the vehicle.
KAYE: They call the process mowing the lawn because it works its assigned grid back and forth before returning to the surface with images, captured on a high resolution camera. It's all done at the touch of a laptop on dry land.
(on camera): How do you tell the difference? I mean, how would you know if it's a fish or rock or plane engine?
PURCELL: You can tell from the return. Manmade objects, metal down there on the sea floor responds very strongly.
KAYE (voice-over): The team here hasn't been asked to help search for the plane in the ocean, but if they are it won't be the first time. The Remus 6,000 was called on to help find Air France Flight 447 after it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June 2009. Two years later, a search team from Woods Whole located the wreckage of the jet about 2- 1/2 miles beneath the surface after months of searching. Something only possible because of this underwater robot. This is the initial shot of the Air France debris field captured by the Remus 6,000.
PURCELL: There were obvious signs that this was from the plane.
KAYE: One team member first noticed a backpack on the ocean floor belonging to a passenger. Closer images revealed the plane's engine, one of the wings, even the landing gear.
(on camera): Before you put one of these vehicles in the water, you have to narrow down the search area. The team from here searched 5,000 square miles for the Air France flight, and it still took them more than 100 attempts to find the debris. And that is just a fraction of the area that they're looking at for Flight 370.
(voice-over): But the team here with their underwater robot is ready for that call whenever it may come. Randi Kaye, CNN, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
COOPER: It's amazing technology.
Up next, new video of the nine-alarm fire in Boston that left two firefighters dead. And newly released emergency radio transmissions that show how it turned deadly so fast.
COOPER: Let's take a look at some of the other stories we're following with the 360 bulletin with Susan Hendricks.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we have new video of the fast-moving fire at a Brownstone in Boston that left two firefighters dead and injured 13 others yesterday. The deputy fire chief said in 30 years he has never seen a fire escalate that fast. There are newly released emergency radio transmissions between firefighters and dispatchers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FIREFIGHTER: Everybody get out of the first floor.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Stay off the first floor. Everybody get out of the first floor. Engine 33 has mayday on Channel 2 in the basement. Engine 33 is mayday on Channel two in the basement OK car four.
UNIDENTIFIED FIREFIGHTER: I want all members out of the building.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: All companies get out of the building. All companies get out of the building.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENDRICKS: You really get a sense of how fast that fire escalated.
Also tonight, nine air force commanders are being fired as part of a scandal involving cheating on test related to the U.S. nuclear missile program. Now the nine commanders weren't directly involved in the cheating, but didn't adequately oversee their crews at a Montana Air Force base.
President Obama met with Pope Francis for the first time today. They spoke privately for about an hour at the Vatican after exchanging gifts. President Obama gave the pope seeds in a box made from timber from the United States first cathedral. The pope gave the president two medallions and also a copy of his book.
COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks very much. That does it for this hour. We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another live edition of "AC360." As always if you can't stay up be sure to set your DVR every night so you can watch 360 whenever you want. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.