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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

New Images Raise Questions About Flight Path; Search Planes Headed To Southern Indian Ocean; Sources: Zero Evidence Russia Withdrew Troops; Obamacare Comes Full Circle; Koreans Exchange Fire; Free Martin Savidge

Aired March 31, 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, criminal act, CNN obtains new images of the missing jet's radar track and Malaysian government sources say they are treating the jet's disappearance as a result of a, quote, "criminal act."

Plus we are just learning the final words from the cockpit "All right, good night," were inaccurate. What can we believe in this investigation?

And the race to find the black box before it runs out of batteries. Can searchers beat the clock? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good Monday evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news in the disappearance of Malaysia Air Flight 370. We have obtained new images of the missing jet's radar track, which raised very important questions about the Boeing 777's flight path. The reason I want to emphasize that picture there is that basically it used to show the line going up and then you saw the turn to the left.

Now when you look at your screen you realize it looped around. As a result of this picture that you are looking at here, Malaysian government sources are now telling CNN, they are treating this matter as a criminal act. As I want to emphasize, based in part on that new image that you saw, which was not just a direct turn, but a loop to loop.

Our Nic Robertson is breaking the story tonight. He is in Kuala Lumpur.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This map of Flight 370's radar track was much of the reason for upset by survivor families last week. The image captured by still photographers in the family briefing. It shows a very different route from the left turn depicted until now and it is raising even more questions about what exactly happened to Flight 370, questions the family members were unable to ask at the time.

HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: The family briefings were closed door. ROBERTSON: Chinese relatives of Flight 370 passengers say they created the map from publicly available data.

(on camera): A source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN that beyond doubt, the new map if accurate shows that someone with excellent flying skills was at the controls of the aircraft. That no one on board would have felt the turn.

(voice-over): It is a claim that is getting heavy pushback from Malaysian officials.

HUSSEIN: With regards to the issue of information revealed outside the press conference or speculation and diagrams in Google or anything else in the internet, I cannot confirm or discount. I can only base on what I have informed you.

ROBERTSON: Investigation officials insist privately this new map is not theirs, that it doesn't match Malaysian radar readings. Despite refusing to comment publicly Malaysian officials did say all the radar data is central to their investigation.

AZHARUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT: The manner of the control at the time of the aircraft turn is one of the very important for investigators.

ROBERTSON (on camera): In a background briefing given to CNN, Malaysian investigators say they believed MH-370 was, quote, "flown by someone with good flying skills." And now a government source says they consider the turn a criminal act committed by one of the pilots or someone else on board. These are the controls of the aircraft here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ROBERTSON: Wow.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Captain Zaharie's friends refuse to believe he could be the criminal controlling the plane.

JASON LEE, CAPTAIN ZAHARIE'S FRIEND: I think you come to a stage where people think he is a hero.

ROBERTSON: They are rallying to his defense showing me pictures of a young Captain Zaharie at flight school.

MOHD NASIR OTHMAN, CAPTAIN ZAHARIE'S FRIEND: He is not around to defend himself, that's why Mr. Lee and I feel that it's our duty to be at the front line to tell the whole world.

ROBERTSON: But for some the new map is casting a shadow over Captain Zaharie's memory.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Nic, tell me more about why your sources are treating this as a criminal act now. You know, what exactly has changed? ROBERTSON: Well, what they are saying is they are looking at the way the aircraft has turned, that they have access to radar data that is showing them the way the aircraft turned. They believe that this wasn't a turn as a result of a mechanical failure or something catastrophic going on, on board the aircraft. That they believe this was under control of someone who knew well what they were doing.

That is why they are saying it is a criminal act. The source with knowledge of the investigation is also a friend of Captain Zaharie tells us that he is force now to come to a very painful conclusion. He said emotionally I can't believe it, logically I have nowhere else to turn.

What he is saying to us is that he believes that the plane was flown out over the ocean towards the day break on a very remote part of the ocean with the intent whoever was at the controls with the intent of landing the plane on the water so that it would sink intact and make it harder for investigators to find. Now, when you apply that sort of logic to the turn of the aircraft it very much fits that narrative of a criminal act.

BURNETT: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you very much. We are going to talk more about that whether such landing on water would result in an intact aircraft.

I want to bring in our aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien and aviation attorney, Arthur Rosenberg. Let me start with you though, Miles, on this issue of the new flight path. Now obviously we have to emphasize the families say, look, we went and reconstructed the radar data and came up with this loop as opposed to a slow turn.

But in part because of that pictures sources in Malaysia now telling Nic Robertson as he just reported is that because of this picture they are in part treating this as a criminal act. How significant is the new map to you?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: If proven true, if this really is the track of the Flight 370, it is almost impossible to come up with a scenario that would involve some sort of mechanical malfunction or decompression or any sort of high dive, that's the term the pilots use. You wouldn't take a lazy right-hand turn 270 degrees around to what would have been a 90-degree turn in the first place.

So if that were true, but you know, I think the lesson in all of this is that nature abhors a vacuum. The Malaysians have not released any data to us for consideration to the families or for that matter the media. So what these families have done is try to go through open source means and tried to come up with their own version of the flight path. So this is a function of an investigation that is opaque from the outside at least it doesn't seem very competent.

BURNETT: We are going to have an in-depth investigation into the investigation later on in the program. But Arthur, I mean, this issue of criminal intent. You heard Nic reporting that Malaysian authorities say someone with excellent flying skills, but then when confronted they say we want to push back. You say it is a criminal act and then say it wasn't a criminal act.

ARTHUR ROSENBERG, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Here is the bottom line. Whether you want to take this new flight path which apparently has been reconstructed by the families based on publicly available information, it clearly shows a deliberate intentional maneuvering of the aircraft. Could be done by auto pilot, changing the heading. It could be done manually.

If you compare that to the, what we all know now, the left turn and the dissent that also was intentional act. So I don't know, is one more intentional than the other? And perhaps that makes it more criminal? I don't know if there is mileage in that.

But here is what I think is very important. I agree with Miles on this. That if, in fact, there is some voracity to this new flight track, this impacts the location of the crash because it shows the airplane maneuvering and more fuel burn and shows the airplane at altitude. That could really be very significant in finding the wreckage.

BURNETT: And Miles, what do you make of that point? We have been looking at millions of square miles and could be looking at the wrong place. As Nic was reporting, a friend of the pilot said perhaps whoever was piloting, he carefully used that word, wanted to land at sea and have the plane land intact so that it would sink and there would be no parts. Is that possible?

O'BRIEN: Well, it is. You can ditch the aircraft pretty much intact and it could in that case totally sink. But we are pretty deep in the world of speculation on that front. Certainly if that were the intent to completely vanish, with no pieces on the surface, that could work. You know, as far as that maneuver -- the reason they are looking in this area the size of New Mexico is based on this Inmarsat satellite data, which was basically measuring the time it took to send signals back and forth to the plane.

BURNETT: Right.

O'BRIEN: One of the key assumptions in that was how much fuel it had and how quickly it was burning that fuel. This maneuver changes that equation somewhat and makes me wonder if they could be at the wrong place.

BURNETT: That I think is what shocked so many people. Our coverage continues. Week four of the investigation and we are just now learning the last words from the cockpit were not all right, good night. How botched is this investigation? We have a special report.

Plus a ship racing against time to get to the black box before it's too late and stop sending a signal. The technology on board that ship might be the only chance to ever find the downed plane and find out who or what happened.

North Korea fired more than 100 artillery rounds into South Korean waters. Why did it happen? That is coming up OUTFRONT tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news in the hunt for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. At this hour, search planes are just getting in the air heading to Southern Indian Ocean trying to hope that today will be the day. Ten planes and nine ships are going to be taking part in today's search, which as we indicated just underway.

We are also learning new details about the final communications between the missing jet and air traffic controller, if you can believe them. This time, Malaysian government officials now say the last words from the cockpit were, "Good night, Malaysian 370" and not "All right, good night," as we were told for weeks.

This misinformation is just the latest in the string of missteps by the Malaysian government throughout this investigation. Our Kyung Lah is live from Perth, Australia. We have a special report on the investigation a few moments.

But Kyung, I know you were at the press briefing when officials said the final communication with the missing airliner was all right, good night. Weeks later we find out that is not true. It seems like such a simple thing. Why would you put that out erroneously?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is a very good question. It certainly doesn't instill a lot of confidence in how the Malaysians are handling this particular investigation. We have heard this from the Chinese families and certainly there appears to be more and more evidence of this.

I was in that news conference. We heard it very clearly. We also heard them also say that it was the co-pilot they believed who was saying those words. Now, even that is under question. So it is not necessarily the words or the taking back of the information. It's what it signals is whether or not the Malaysians are actually conducting a thorough and accurate investigation.

BURNETT: And as you said, Kyung, out David Mattingly is going to be reporting on that in just a few moments.

Where you are, though Kyung, the weather, I mean, obviously, it is going to be a factor in the search. How rough of a day will it be? Will they be able to get all of the ships that we are just supporting and planes out to hunt?

LAH: Well, that's the hope. They have ten planes. They are expected to stagger throughout the day and head to the search area. Remember, we are talking still even though this area has shifted it is still a very remote place in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Weather is the key factor. And we are just learning that weather is not expected to be great. It is expected to be poor out there. Visibility is the biggest problem. And those airplanes are really how the debris will be spotted first. It is expected to be a problem today.

BURNETT: All right, Kyung Lah. Thank you very much, reporting live from Perth on this Tuesday morning. Wing commander Andy Scott is with the New Zealand defense forces and has a key operational role in the search for flight 370. He joins me now through Skype.

Commander Scott, obviously, you heard our Kyung Lah reporting on conditions today may not be great. Is that also your belief? Are you worried that it will be difficult to find anything today?

ANDY SCOTT, WING COMMANDER, NEW ZEALAND DEFENSE FORCE: Good evening, Erin. Yes, that is the same information I am hearing from the crews that have been briefed this morning on the cloud conditions. And what we have is slightly higher sea state, always happen in the last few days and with a weather pattern which is starting to come through yesterday and is likely to remain there today which will make matters slightly more difficult for visual search.

BURNETT: And Commander, I mean, there have been so many search zones since the flight disappeared 25 days ago now, which is incredible when I eve say that. That that been not many days. Are you confident you're searching in the right place at this point?

SCOTT: So what we have had each day as was reported through media there is more and more evidence to suggest that where we are searching at is the right area. Of course, the longer things go without actually finding proof of Malaysia 370, it makes people ask questions. But the widen evidence is still pointing towards the fact that we are in the right place.

BURNETT: And Commander, the black box, and so the flight data recorders is obviously, the technically correct term, they have less than a week left of estimated battery power. Could be out of power now. It might last a little bit longer. How long will the search go on if those black boxes are not retrieved in the next week?

SCOTT: That's not actually a question that I can answer. But fundamentally from our point of view from having (INAUDIBLE) in the search, it still --

BURNETT: And obviously, looks like we lost our connection there with Commander Scott. But you heard him saying, obviously couldn't answer that question. But from the perspective of their plane, they could keep going out there and searching. He was joining us live from Wilmington, D.C. Lynd tomorrow morning.

OUTFRONT next, the ship called the Ocean Seal -- Ocean Shield is now speeding towards the potential crash site. One technology on board could be really frankly the only hope for ever finding out what happened to flight 370. We will have a special report on exactly that technology and look for those boxes.

But the mistake, you heard Kyung talking about it. One after another. Can we believe what the Malaysian government is saying?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now the race against time. The hunt for the flight data recorders, the so-called black boxes for Malaysia air flight 370. So at this hour there is an Australian ship. It is called the Ocean Shield. It is sailing towards the search zone. It is equipped with a piece of American technology and that is called a towed pinger locator. So basically, it tows behind and it looks for the ping. It listens to the beacon from the flight data recorders. Frankly, it might be the best hope for ever knowing what happened to this plane.

There is a major problem. The black box batteries could lose power anytime from now until a week from now, but technically a week from now.

CNN's Brian Todd is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Malaysian transportation chief expresses everyone's sense of urgency.

HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN TRANSPORTATION MANAGER: A lot of these could be answered if we find the black box.

TODD: Less than a week until the batteries on the pinger of the plane's black box likely run out.

PAUL NELSON, PROJECT MANAGER: The chances of finding the pinger are very slim. Even when you know roughly where the target is it can be very tricky to find the pinger. They have a very limited range.

TODD: That is why this Australian vessel, the Ocean Shield, is heading to the search area with this on board, the towed pinger locator. American made, U.S. navy operated, can probe the ocean's depth down to 20,000 feet listening for that beacon signal.

NELSON: Here is a black box. You can see a pinger or beacon attached to the black box. When this gets wet it triggers a signal in here.

TODD: The pinger locator can detect the black box signal from as far as two nautical miles away. But the design team tells it has limitations.

NELSON: Whether s a big factor. If the boat is doing this on the ocean waves now you are attached to this thing so this thing goes up and down and is much less stable in the water.

TODD: Obstructions like hills and mountains on the ocean floor can also impede the pinger locater. The maker of the actually pinger offers hope that maybe signal can extend beyond the 30-day battery life.

ANISH PATEL, PRESIDENT, RADIANT POWER CORPORATION: We think that we can get an additional three to five days We are hoping to get an additional three to five days of life before the battery starts to diminish to the point where the output signal below mini minimums.

TODD: But it is also possible, the signal could run out before the 30-days. CNN safety analyst David Soucie cites his sources saying Malaysia airline stored batteries for pingers in a place much hotter than recommended. And that that could have already sap this battery's power.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: But in an e-mail today to CNN, Malaysia airlines said quote "we are unaware of issue with the underwater locator beacon or batteries" -- Erin.

BURNETT: And Brian, I know they are trying everything they possibly can. You are reporting on the towed pinger locater. But that is not the only high tech device that they are using even on that ship, right?

TODD: That's right. The vessel, the Ocean Shield is also equipped with another piece of equipment from the U.S. navy. If a piece of wreckage is found, they are going to deploy that pinger locator. But also, something called the autonomous underwater vehicle, an AUV, they call it, this once name the blue fin 21, looks like a torpedo. It will scan the ocean floor and take still pictures, transmit them to ships on the surface. That is looking for debris and looking for the black box once the pinger locator locates the audio for the box.

So they have got some very high tech, very expensive equipment onboard the Ocean Shield, if only they can find the piece of wreckage.

BURNETT: Right. They are just looking in the right place.

Brian, thank you.

TODD: Thank you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, another major mistake by Malaysian officials. Has the government botched this investigation.

Plus, General Motors recalled millions more vehicles. New details showing government and GM both ignored warnings about the faulty part that has been linked some multiple deaths.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Developing news in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the confusion building as 10 planes, nine ships are resuming search off Australia's coast for debris, although the weather, as we just heard on this program from one of the commanders in the New Zealand air force, no very good.

CNN has obtained an image I want to show you. This raises questions about the jet's path. So this is a -- just show you this red line. OK, they are looking at the Malaysia peninsula. So as the plane would have taken off, it would have went up. The original flight path would have been to continue to go straight up to Beijing. The earlier reported turn was just basically a straight turn left, so just taking a direct turn left. But this, as you can see, is a loop where they went right, and then down, and then up. And then, as you can see, if this is indeed is correct it would be purposeful. There would be no question about that.

Family members drew this. They say this is a new map of the radar track based on publicly available information. Malaysian officials saw this map and said to CNN, well, now we are going to treat this as a criminal investigation. At the same time, they're disputing the actual map itself. That is confusing.

Well, as we've seen over the past three weeks, there have been a lot of things like this. Time and time again we've been told one thing only to be told days later the information was wrong from debris, to search areas, to what someone said on airplane.

David Mattingly is out front.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three weeks searching, over two dozen nations, aircraft, ships, hundreds of thousands of miles and nothing to offer but condolences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question that the families especially want answered is the question we simply do not have the answer to, namely where loved ones are and where is MH-370.

MATTINGLY: Hopes are dashed almost daily, always the same story: objects spotted from the air and space, when they are found, are not part of the missing plane.

TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: This is the best conclusion that we can come up with. Now, until we locate some actual wreckage from the aircraft and then do the regression analysis that might tell us where the aircraft went into the ocean, we'll be operating on guesstimates.

MATTINGLY: And the guesses have been epic, incomplete and slow to reveal information, misdirected search teams thousands of miles north from where the plane was last electronically observed. Constant sightings of what turns out to be unrelated debris demonstrates no one is even clear what to look for.

Air crash investigator and safety expert Anthony Brickhouse says decisions have to be made on information that is available, however scarce and uncertain that may be.

ANTHONY BRICKHOUSE, SAFETY EXPERT: This entire situation is unprecedented. But some of what seems to be misinformation, that typically happens in an investigation just because the situation is so dynamic.

MATTINGLY: And in this case, what seems like the simplest facts prove to be unreliable.

AZHARUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN: (inaudible) We got the last transmission from the cockpit that says, all right good night.

MATTINGLY: Three weeks ago the last words reported from the cockpit of MH-370 set off waves of speculation of sinister intent. But today we learn that too was wrong.

The suspicious phrase "all right, good night" was actually the more conventional "good night" Malaysian 370.

What is clear is that battery life will soon expire, silencing beacons from the flight's so-called black boxes, raising the possibility that a fruitless task of finding 239 missing people will become even more difficult. David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

BURNETT: Out front tonight, CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien, Pilot Arthur Rosenberg, and former CIA analyst and satellite imagery expert Stephen Wood.

Miles, you know as David is going through all of these, we were told this, then that. The thing that we learned today, the last words from the actual cockpit were not "all right, good night" but "good night, Malaysian 370." At this point, it's unclear which it really was.

The point is, the difference is not that significant. Neither are perfectly perfect in terms of how you communicate with ground control. So why not make this public weeks ago?

O'BRIEN: Great question. You know, I mean, think about the Asiana crash at San Francisco International Airport, 777 there. Within two days the FAA and the NTSB had released a full transcript and the recordings of air traffic control communications to the crew.

That is a very simple thing. How that would undermine the investigation to release that, all I can say is there is a competency question here and there's a cultural question here, as well. It is not as open a society as we have here. There's also not a lot of experience handling a crash of this magnitude. Of course, this is unprecedented.

BURNETT: Right, I mean, there -- there is that, Arthur. Because, you know, they also originally indicated it was the co-pilot who spoke, "all right, good night." Now, not only are they changing the words, but also saying it might not have been him. They are doing a forensic investigation. But again, why would that have happened? I mean, do you think this is really just because this is a society not used to a free press?

ROSENBERG: Well, in Malaysia, the dissemination of information is controlled by the ruling authority. The authorities are just not used to having their words questioned. And I think that carried over into how the investigation was handled. But more importantly, bottom line is, from the get go, this was abject incompetence -- incompetence at every level. Getting a transcript correct on the last words that was spoken is not rocket science. BURNETT: Especially when the transcript that was obtained by a newspaper and what they are saying now, there's nothing sinister in it. It is not as if, oh, there's there is a smoking gun in there, at least as far as we've seen.

ROSENBERG: Well, it is a little less sinister to me now the way it comes out with, "good night, Malaysia 370," than "all right, good night." But I mean, that is subjective. But, I mean, either way, produce the transcript. I mean, let us see it. What is the big dark secret?

BURNETT: It would seem that you would rather them be secretive than truly not know or be than changing everything.

Here is the thing on the debris. And I want to ask you this because the weather, as we have been reporting and we've just learned from the New Zealand commander, not good today. So this is another day that may be hard for them. We have had a search site that has shifted from 700 miles. I mean, this has been -- it could have been thousands shifted. Obviously, it's difficult. They are trying to triangulate in a way they've never done before. But do they even know what they are looking at when they see these images?

STEPHEN WOOD, SATELLITE IMAGERY EXPERT: Well, I think this has been part of the whole struggle from the very beginning. We've talked about the weather. We've talked about how difficult it is to actually look and see these small objects.

I think, you know, there's this mountain of debris -- excuse me. There's this mountain imagery that people have to pour through. Frankly, I think one of the things that has to happen is we have to go backwards in time. How do we go back and look? And shouldn't we be going back to look at the Air France incident? We've actually got imagery now where we can go back and see what -- and hindsight, of course, being perfect -- what does objects like that look like on satellite imagery? And then how do we look for it in the future?

BURNETT: And this is -- we are looking at Air France right here. So to most people this looks like -- actually to me, this looks like I'm looking out at the sky, and I see some kind of nebula. I mean, I'm just saying. I mean, nebulas is the operative word. This is nebulous, OK? But you look at this and you can say, I'm looking at debris. So you are basically saying the satellite images we have should be enough to determine what we're looking at.

WOOD: Well, I'm saying this. We need to take the lessons that we learned from Air France and now apply it so we have a better way, a more educated way that we train people, we train computer systems. We have to go through this mountain of data that the satellites are collecting right now to help hone in on the search area.

BURNETT: Right.

WOOD: We know, again, through documented records where Air France crashed. We're able to look at satellite images that were collected 10 days in the case of the images we were just showing -- 10 days after the debris was actually starting to get picked up.

So we have a very high probable assurance that those objects we are seeing on the imagery were in fact aircraft debris.

BURNETT: And -- and, Miles, I mean, when it comes to the search, obviously we have now looked at the South China Sea, the Southern Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea, the Strait of Malacca. We looked at a lot of places, and every time you go back to square one because it shifts. All the different places that they have looked for the plane.

You just heard the commander from the New Zealand saying, look, I think we are looking in the right place now. But do you think it is possible that we could just wake up one morning and all of a sudden it's, you know what? We are looking over here, or we're looking in a jungle, or we're looking on land?

O'BRIEN: Or Lake Michigan. I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

It's -- here is the thing. The Inmarsat satellite, which provided these big circles on the planet where the plane might have been at any moment, it was actually extraordinary that the engineers could figure that out. And I give them a lot of credit for doing that.

But there is one other supposition. You know, where on that circle did it hit and where did it end has a lot to do with how much fuel is on board, how far it flew, how fast it flew, how high it flew. And there is a lot of supposition that has gone into that determination. And that has put us in the spot we're at. And, you know, there is a lot of guesswork involved in all that. So we might look back at this and this is not close.

BURNETT: Well, also, Stephen, because there is no sense of motive. Now, if motive is the right word, if there was a human who did this, and now the Malaysians saying, look, we are looking at this as a criminal act that somebody did it. If you could get a sense of motive all of a sudden, the where and the why would become so much more clear.

WOOD: I think it would.

BURNETT: But with no motive, I mean, what the heck are you supposed to do? Nothing like this has ever happened before.

WOOD: We were just talking about it, as well. The supposition that perhaps the plane came in on this nice gentle landing and it's sitting on top of the water, you know, or slightly below it (inaudible)

BURNETT: As a friend of the pilot was -- was -- was surmising.

WOOD: Right. We've covered so much of the area with satellite imagery, again, people are pouring over this. We've had nearly 8 million people volunteer their time to go search through this imagery with that hope to see what they can do to find this. BURNETT: Now, but Stephen, you -- having looked at Air France -- I have a little map here of the Air France debris field. I mean, there's little pieces of stuff everywhere within 150, 200 miles of the crash site. And this is a crash where we knew very quickly where it was. Do you think -- I mean, I guess the question is, will we be seeing this much here?

WOOD: Again, part of the problem is, you know, that image and those debris that were actually found were found within a couple of weeks. So, as you've been saying, we are going into the fourth week and things will drift.

BURNETT: But wouldn't we have seen -- if there was that much debris, wouldn't it have been seen somewhere by someone? And if you landed the plane in tact, could it really have sunk to the bottom of the ocean with nothing floating up?

WOOD: So first and foremost, would we have seen it? If we're looking in the right spot. If it had sunk to the bottom, not -- you are not going to be able to see it from a satellite.

ROSENBERG: You know, and just to bring this back a little bit, to the route that these families had shown Malaysian authorities, if that is correct, then --

BURNETT: This is the loopty-loop we're talking about.

ROSENBERG: -- if you translate this out, we are probably looking in the wrong place because fuel burn is longer, time at altitude is longer, speeds are off. It's one thing to analyze the radar data; it's another thing to analyze the Inmarsat data. But at the end of the day, they're still guesstimating what the speed, what the winds aloft, fuel burn was to come up with the site for the wreckage.

BURNETT: Do you -- do agree with that, Miles? I mean, because obviously when you look at that turn, that can be a tight turn. I mean, I could see that being like zhoop, or like, you know, I mean, right?

O'BRIEN: I totally agree. I totally agree. And here is another thing. You know, as long as we're -- we're pretty deep in speculation, but let's go there for just a moment. If, in fact, this theory holds that he basically did a sully, he ditched it intact in the water, you wouldn't wait until you are out of gas to do that. You would have gas in the tanks. You would probably fly as far as you could and he'd be watching gauges, perhaps, but maybe he would do it with some fuel and that would bring him far short of the search area. So anyway, there is another piece of speculation.

BURNETT: Right. We have to leave it there. But I mean, because the question is, did he want there to be survivors? Did he not want there to be survivors, right? I mean, that -- if you don't know that, how do you know?

All right, still to come, more than a million General Motors vehicles recalled today. Did GM ignore warnings about a faulty part and the government, too?

And North and South Korea exchanging fire. The video here pretty stupendous. We're gonna show it to you, talk about what this is precursor to something much more serious.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now let's check in with Anderson with a look of what is coming up on AC360.

Hey, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "AC360": Hey, Erin.

Yeah, the final words heard from the cockpit of flight 370, "All right, good night" turn out not to be the final words at all. We'll talk about that tonight in the program. It is another in a growing list of missteps and misinformation in the investigation.

Kim Lang (ph) joins me live from Perth, Australia, and Nick Robinson is in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Also, we will go to the simulator and test one of the scenarios that aviation expert Miles O'Brien thinks could have happened and investigators are looking at, which means flight 370 could look much like Air France flight 447 with large chunks of debris floating on the surface. With the autopilot on, plane out of gas, engines full-stall scenario that investigators are checking out. We will go over that with our panel of experts and talk about the progress of the search, with Navy commander William Marks on board the USS Blue Ridge in the Southern Indian Ocean. All that, a look at earthquakes possibility in L.A. A lot more at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Anderson. Looking forward to all of that in just a few minutes.

And now, breaking news on General Motors, recalling another 1.3 million cars, this time for experiencing a sudden failure of power steering. Some of the vehicles are the same ones with a faulty ignition switches, something GM has been under scrutiny for. At least 13 have people died in crashes linked to the ignition switches. There could be hundreds more.

And GM now admits it knew of problems with the ignitions, but didn't fix them. And now there's new details that the government agency in charge of vehicle safety actually failed to investigate, even after dozens of complaints.

Drew Griffin is out front tonight with the story of one family who paid a terrible price.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ken Melton will never forget the night four years ago when he got that call. His daughter, Brooke, just 29, had crashed her 2005 Chevy Cobalt into another car on rain-slicked Georgia highway. Police said at the time it was her fault. She had lost control.

KEN MELTON, LOST DAUGHTER IN CAR ACCIDENT: Even though I knew she was gone, I reached over. I kissed her forehead and whispered in her ear. And I know she heard me. I whispered into her ear, "Brooke, I will vindicate your death."

GRIFFIN: Today, that father's promise to his daughter has been fulfilled. GM has now recalled 2.4 million cars because of problems with the ignitions, including the 2005 Chevy Cobalt that Brooke was driving.

The cars have a faulty ignition switch. The switch can slip into accessory which cuts power to the engine, cuts off air bags, and causes vehicles to lose power steering and anti-lock brakes. That is what investigators say happened in Brooke's accident.

MARY BARRA, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: Beyond the review the federal --

GRIFFIN: In a statement that has only reopened Ken Melton's pain, the new CEO of General Motors now admits the company knew about the problem years before his daughter died.

BARRA: Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened.

GRIFFIN: CNN has learned General Motors is now facing a criminal investigation into the handling of the deadly defect. The company admits 13 people have been killed, but GM president Mary Barra has said that GM has not identified who those people are, even to their own families. And there could be even more than 13.

According to the Center for Auto Safety, the government's own files show as many as 303 accident related deaths where General Motors airbags did not deploy. We don't know why they didn't inflate or what caused the accidents.

GRIFFIN: (on-camera): It turns out the executives at GM weren't the only ones who knew and did virtually nothing about a known deadly defect. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, the actual government agency tasked with keeping us safe on the roads knew all about the deaths, but says it didn't detect a trend, so failed to act.

CLARENCE DITLOW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR AUTO SAFETY: It was sitting there in front of the government, and they didn't do anything about it.

GRIFFIN (voice-over) NHTSA has released a statement trying to explain how it missed the deadly defect, saying that the data available to NHTSA at the time did not contain sufficient evidence of a possible safety defect trend that would warrant the agency opening a formal investigation.

MELTON: I'm bubbling over with anger. I am overwhelmed by anger.

GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEO TAPE)

BURNETT: Covering this story tomorrow.

Now some other stories we're following tonight. First, the stand-off along the Russian/Ukrainian border. U.S. officials tell CNN there's, quote, "zero evidence Russia has withdrawn a substantial number of troops from there." The U.S. says there's 40,000 plus troops along the border. In a call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was moving some troops away from the border to ease tensions.

Obamacare enrollment comes full circle. It started and ended on a rather rocky note today during the final day of open enrollment. Those who tried signing up on healthcare.gov ran into technical problems. The senior administration official called it a software bug. Those who had a problem today will have a grace period to complete the process.

Here's the bottom line, though. It worked. More than 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare so far, just shy of the 7 million initially projected.

And North Korea exchanged fire with the South. During military drills, North Korea fired 500 artillery shells, some of them reaching South Korea, according to a semi-official South Korean news agency. The South retaliated, firing about 300 shells and dispatching fighter jets near the maritime border known as the limit line.

The United States, which has been conducting joint military drills with South Korea, denounced North Korea's actions, calling them dangerous and provocative.

And a fascinating case of government waste? I guess we have to put a question mark on this. Because Buzzfeed reports U.S. taxpayers are footing the $400,000 bill for this absolutely gorgeous life sized sculpture of a camel that most Americans sadly will never get to see. The State Department wants the piece by John Baldessari and called "Camel Contemplating Needle," to be included as public art at the new American embassy being built in Islamabad, Pakistan; $400,000 would go a long way in Pakistan, people. But supposedly, this is a reduced rate for this camel. Our call to the art dealer has not been returned.

Up front next, one CNN reporter has gone above and beyond this month. Oh yes, he has, living in a flight simulator. Jeanne Moos is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: One of the most dedicated members of CNN's team during the search for flight 370 has been Martin Savage. He has spent almost a month sitting in a flight simulator in Canada. It hasn't always been the easiest assignment, so Jeanne Moos went for the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's been glued to this flight simulator, ordering sharp turns --

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Taking off.

MOOS: -- and steep descents.

SAVIDGE: Set us down, kind of a dive.

MOOS: For so many days, someone star #freemartinsavage. The phrase was transformed into the shape of an airplane. Someone tweeted, "blink three times if you're being held against your will."

SAVIDGE: Don't worry.

MOOS: Martin and the actual pilot sitting beside him have demonstrated alarming situations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plane would be breaking apart at this point.

MOOS: But even the serious subject matter hasn't stopped a public fascination with the plaid shirts Mitchell Casado always seemed to be wearing. Mitch's plaid shirt even started its own twitter account.

MITCHELL CASADO, PILOT TRAINER, 777 COCKPIT SIMULATOR: The plaid shirt thing, that's not me, man. Only by force, I was wearing them.

MOOS: Encouraged to cover up the white T-shirts he prefers. A pilot trainer with two bunnies for pets. A guy who's gun-shy about being on TV. Normally, the Canadian simulator is rented out by novices for fun.

ANNOUNCER: Bask in the sensation of being in the cockpit of a Boeing 777.

MOOS: And buy pilots for practice at a rate of $150 bucks an hour until CNN rented it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our world.

MOOS: But there's one scenario CNN wouldn't show: a simulation of a plane actually hitting the water.

SAVIDGE: It was so disturbing, that we agreed we would never show that on the air.

MOOS: There were repeated demonstrations of a plane running out of fuel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it will fall tail first into the ocean. The aircraft begins now to just plummet. the ocean is here, and I think we'll stop it right there, because the rest of it you get.

MOOS (on-camera): So what do they do between live shots? Some days they have hours of time on their hands.

SAVIDGE: Well, I always wanted to learn to fly. MOOS: Mitchell has been teaching Martin. The machine can simulate landings at 24,000 airports. So far, Martin has landed at airports ranging from Paris to Akron, Ohio.

SAVIDGE: Climbing. Is that right?

MOOS (voice-over): Mitchell, talking him through it. Martin took off from a simulated Toronto airport and minutes later managed to return and land there without incidents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the thrusters.

MOOS: After 14 to 18 hour days simulating disaster, it's a nice break to simulate a happy landing.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Thank you for flying Martin and Mitchell airlines.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

BURNETT: Pretty cute, although I want to know how forced Mitchell to wear those plaid shirts.

All right, finally tonight, "OUTFRONT" launches our clipboard magazine. And this is really neat. I was looking through it today. You'll have a chance -- when you look at it, you'll see -- to dig deeper into the stories we are covering, or that we care about.

All you need to do is download the flipboard app on your smartphone or tablet and search from "OUTFRONT". You can also find it online by going to flip.ip/outfront. And, of course, you can always find us online on CNN.com/outfront.

Anyway, check it out. Thanks for watching. Anderson's now.