Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Update In The Search For Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; Race Against Time: Searching For Signals Before Batteries In Black Box Pingers Die; Prosecutor To Pistorius: "You Knew Reeva Was Behind The Door, And You Shot At Her"
Aired April 11, 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 is 8:00 p.m. here in New York, 8:00 a.m. in the search zone and in Malaysia where there is breaking news tonight,. New and series questions being ask by the race to find flight 370. They have to do with decisions made very early on inside Malaysia that could be coming back to haunt the effort today.
Australia's prime minister explains why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY ABBOTT, AUSTRALIA'S RIME MINISTER: We now are getting to the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black boxes starting to fade. And we are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It is only a matter of time, only so much time left to hear anything at all and that is why this latest development comes in. More suggestions that precious days were wasted at the beginning searching the wrong place, due in part of problems on the Malaysian end.
Our Randi Kaye talks about some of that on the program last night. Tonight, there is additional reporting from Reuters citing multiple senior official. They say the Malaysian military tracked flight 370 in real time on radar after it turned west all the way across the Malay peninsula but then delayed sharing the information with civilian authorities.
Government sources telling Reuters that the military didn't tell investigators everything they knew about the westward flight path until days later and it took an order from the prime minister to make it happen. As you will recall it took six days for authorities to call off the search in South China sea, which was in the wrong direction.
Now six days that are being deeply missed today and that today's narrowing the search area for this Australia's prime minister said those pinger batteries are either dead or dying.
As we have been reporting, complains about dysfunction confusion and contradictory statements in Malaysia run deep among the families. Those allegations have now apparently sparked an official investigation even as the government comes out with yet another statement.
More on that from justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The defense and acting transport minister making it clear once again this guys news Thursday that quote, "everyone on board remains under suspicion as it stands."
But just last week, the police chief suggested the investigation is much more narrow.
KHALID ABU BAKAR, INSPECTOR GENERAL, ROYAL MALAYSIAN POLICE FORCE: Only the passengers has been cleared. The rest, not.
BROWN: The mixed messages from different agencies out of Malaysia compounding the confusion about the missing plane and stumping both law enforcement and aviation expert in the U.S. As far as U.S. officials are concerned no one has been ruled out, including the passengers.
JOHN GADZENSKI, BOEING 737 CAPTAIN: I am a little bit surprised that they stopped, you know, at two or three weeks and said yes, we don't have a problem with anybody on board.
BROWN: The Malaysian defense minister acknowledges Sky News lessons have been learned, calling the plane's disappearance quote "an unprecedented situation."
HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, ACTING MALAYSIAN TRANSPORTATION MINISTER: There are cultural differences, at times lost in translation. I'm not saying we handled it perfectly.
BROWN: Malaysia's government says it is now investigating itself trying to figure out how different agencies completely dropped the ball on tracking the plane. According to Reuters, missed opportunities that may have wasted valuable time searching the ocean far from where the plane is thought to be. But at the same time, the Malaysian authorities are reputing CNN reporting that the air force failed to informed search and rescue operations for three days that the plane had made a westward turn.
COOPER: Pamela Brown joins us now.
So the FBI handed over their analysis of the hard drives from both the pilot and the copilot to the Malaysians last week. Any word on what the FBI's involvement with the investigations right now?
BROWN: Well, Anderson, the FBI is still involved in a limited capacity with the investigation because remember, the Malaysians are leading the investigation and they have to formally invite the FBI in. But agents are following up on leads, and both Malaysian and U.S. authorities are still digging into those five hard drives from the captain and the copilot and trying to connect random dots to put everything into context.
And Anderson, has been speaking to sources and we are told that the data pulled from the captain's home flight simulator showed that he appeared to have an interest flying outside of his normal routes from his simulator. Of course, that is not unusual for a pilot. And the source also said that the data pulled from his computer shows that he also searched how to handle different flight emergency scenarios. But again, this source says this is what any professional and seasoned pilot would do.
So far, Anderson, nothing too suspicious jumping out at analysts that would implicate the pilots. But of course, this suggestion into everyone on board is ongoing.
COOPER: All right, Pamela, thanks.
The allegations against Malaysia if true, and gain, they are being denied, strongly, officially, raising some questions about time and effort wasted, needless anguish for families just to name a few.
Let's bring in Mary Schiavo who represents accident victims and their families. She is former inspector general at federal department of transportation. Also CNN aviation analyst and private pilot Miles O'Brien and aviation correspondent Richard Quest.
So, let's talk about this. I mean, if this is true that the Malaysian military was aware the plane disappeared from civilian radar and that it flew back over the Malaysian peninsula, and yet did nothing, I mean they're denying it flatly?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and if you look at the statements that they put out at the time, on the Sunday there were already reports the plane had turned back. The head f the Malaysian air force says he doesn't deny it. If you look at by the time you get to the Saturday, the prime minister of Malaysia is already examining military radar.
So, I'm not saying there is not something wrong. And look, the biggest mistake that was made on the night was that when the Malaysian air force noticed the plane going back across the peninsula, they did nothing. But anything thereafter, they seemed to have been -- got it pretty much as it should have been.
COOPER: Miles, according to Reuters, air traffic controllers and the officials seem to just assumed the plane had mechanical trouble and it turned back for an airport in Malaysia or maybe crashed, despite the lack of any distress call or other communications from the aircraft.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: And what is amazing to me, if they really did think that wouldn't the air traffic controllers try to reach them on the frequency that they have been assigned to or for that matter, the frequency they have assigned to for Ho Chi Minh, 120.9.
There is a whole big gap in the air traffic control piece here. It took them 40 minutes to notice the plane was AWOL, as it were is to notify the military. So, you know, part of this is complicated by the fact that it was during the hand off when sort of each controller thinks the other is talking to the aircraft. It takes a little while to sort that out that he hasn't check in on the other side, if you will.
But even with that said, the fact that this primary target came back, the civilian controllers should have seen it and certainly the military controllers now admit they saw it and yet everybody sat on their hands. That is extraordinary.
COOPER: And Mary, I mean, if fighter jets had gone immediately to check out the plane, had they been scrambled when the military radar picked out this plane over the air space would that have made a big difference?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: It would have made all the difference in the world because then they would have had a much better fix on where the plane was headed. It is heading, its direction, its altitude, its air speed, so much time could have been saved. I think it was a big mistake and just precious time was lost. It would have changed probably the entire face of the investigation.
COOPER: Richard, there is also this reports that the Malaysian prime minister, and again, I'm not sure it is true, I mean, they said had to force the military to turn over its raw radar data. Does that ring to you?
QUEST: We don't know, is the short answer to that. We do know because the Malaysian military have said so. We do know that they did provide the data that showed the plane had moved back across the country. It says that quite clearly. We examined the military radar records. That is on the Saturday.
What we don't know is did they get a synopsis? Did they then handed it over to everybody else to look at. And it is not until a week or two, later that Malaysia basically says we handed it over. We don't know, the -- all this other stuff, Miles has put his finger on it. It is what happened after 1:19, 1:21 when the plane turned around. Between 1:19 and 2:40 as the plane went back across Malaysia that is the most critical moment. And that if anything is where the shortcomings lie.
COOPER: And Miles, after the police inspector general said last week that all 227 passengers are vetted and cleared. We now hear from Malaysian transportation minister that everybody is still under suspicion, still under investigation. Do you read that as them sort of one hand not knowing what one hand is doing or just kind of miscommunication?
O'BRIEN: Well, it could be maybe a little bit of both, maybe throw in a little bit of incompetence. And you know, for that -- for anybody to stand in front of a microphone and say, you know, we have cleared 237 people in, you know, how long did it take, a week or two? You know, anybody who has any experience trying to get a security clearance or as know somebody, if you get a security clearance, it takes months just to do that to find out your background. It didn't sound real the first time anyway.
So I think that was in the context frankly. Anderson, when there was a big push to impune the cockpit crew. And I think they are trying to walk that back a little bit. And you know, I think it is good. They should be looking everybody back. There was a flight engineer who is dead heading, was he on the job seat? Was he -- which side of the cockpit door was he on, the cabin crew who might have had a little bit of experience with aviation in general. There is all kinds of -- the false passport passengers? Who knows?
COOPER: Mary, as a former inspector general, I mean, you no doubt seen your share, you know, governmental investigation. What do you make of all of this?
SCHIAVO: Well, I think a lot of the response now is kind of a CYA, you know, for example, there is a public outcry. How could you possibly clear 237 people other than the pilot and the co-pilot, of course, you know in such a short span of time. And so now they're walking it back, particularly since the FBI has released their data, saying we didn't find anything particularly interesting on the pilot or the co-pilot. They're certainly do not mass murders. So now, they are walking it back and saying well, we never meant that.
And then the same thing on the spot between the civilian and the military radar. If they were so clear about what they told everybody, why didn't they speak up when they spent days searching in the south China sea? I just think there is a lot of backtracking now and CYA going on because so much time was lost when people should have been speaking up and been a lot more transparent. And that is the biggest problem at all. The Malaysian authorities have not been transparent. And that has hurt the investigation.
COOPER: We have a lot more to talk about coming up.
You can follow me at Twitter @andersoncooper. Tweet us using #AC360 with any questions you have.
Next, we are going to check in with the seventh fleet commander, Commander Marks on the search area which has got even smaller tonight in the progress being made in it.
And later, what happens if and when those black boxes is all recovered. You are going to be amazed on how much information they can hold.
That and more when we continue.
COOPER: Well, each night we have been reporting on efforts to pinpoint flight 370 black boxes. Based so far and four solid says the pinging, we told you about the complications that silt that may be covering the boxes on the ocean floor, the depth of the ocean and limitations on the pinger locater.
However, searchers also face one additional challenge that you may not have known about. It is fascinating cork of nature.
Tom Foreman explains.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson, we have been talking a lot about the devices that have been deployed to try to listen for any pings coming of the the ocean floor.
Four had been picked up by the towed pinger locaters operating out here in the water. Beyond that we've also seen the deployment of things like sonar buoys are here to see if they might find something else.
But any listening device in the deep oceans face a fundamental challenge. And it is a natural occurrence out there. Let me show you what I'm talking about.
It is called the sound fixing and ranging layer, it is about a half mile down in general. And it is an area of water that naturally occurs where sound travels less quickly than it does below it or above it. There are a lot of different reasons for it. The salinity, the temperature of the water pressure, but the results are a level of uncertainty that you don't want to see in an operation like this but you have to deal with.
For example, if a sound comes up off this and it hits that layer, because this is slower it can bend and it can bend at a very substantial level so that when it emerges it is not at all where you would expect it to be, over here, for example.
In other cases, the sound may come up and it may hit that layer and start ping ponging back and forth between the top and bottom of it. And this can go on for many, many miles so the sound can go off very far from where it is intended. That is possibly why a pinger that can only be heard for three miles and being recorded at around 17 miles of range and that is what makes it harder to figure out precisely where it is -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Tom, thanks very much.
Joining us is Commander William Marks with the U.S. Navy's seventh fleet.
Commander, good to have you on again tonight.
Saturday's search was the smallest, most refined that we have seen. Do you know what these refinements are based on, how they're narrowing this down?
COMDR. WILLIAM MARKS, 7TH FLEET U.S. NAVY (via phone): Well, yes, if you look at the four different detection areas, they are really only between maybe four and ten kilometers apart. So it is not that bad of an area, you know, certainly considering where we started from. But the critical point is, every even -- you know, couple feet that we can shrink this down is very critical for the Bluefin-21 sonar. As slow as the TPL goes, for the TPL, we have to tow it behind us about at the pace a person walks. Well, the Bluefin is much slower than even that. So imagine you're walking down the sidewalk and instead of just continuously walking, you have to walk and take a picture. And you do that every so often.
So even if you cover a couple of square miles it might take a day or two with the Bluefin. So that is why we have to stick with the TPL for just a little while longer to make sure we have exhausted every ounce of power coming from the battery through the black boxes, before we put the Bluefin in. Because once we put the Bluefin in, we're essentially here for the long haul searching for it.
COOPER: And we heard today that the supposed fifth ping didn't come from flight 370. A, have there been any other pings? I know it is early there, it is 8:20 in the morning, so the search is just getting under way. And do you have any idea where the ping did come from, that fifth ping?
MARKS: Yes, I have to give a lot of credit to the Australians. They kind of pulled a trick out of their sleeve and rigged the sonobuoy, and normally they don't rig it for the search for the black boxes but they did a little trick with them and tuned them to sort of fit. I give them a lot of credit. It turned out it was not consistent with the black box. But it was in that same general vicinity.
So, you know, that is the kind of innovation that we need. This is something unprecedented. We have a lot of aircraft out here. But you know, anything like that helps. So I encourage that. I think they did a great job in getting those sonobuoys out there.
QUEST: Commander, it is Richard Quest. Now, I think we spoke earlier in the week. We've all been sort of saying at what point do you think when you have heard no further pings it is appropriate to move to the next stage? Well, since it is about three or four days since the last pings are we getting to that state where you think now may be the time to think about it?
MARKS: Yes, you know, good question. That is certainly the next decision point. The way I would characterize it as once we pull the TPL out and we start to searching with our Bluefin it is essentially, you know, that is essentially it. You know, the TPL is done. And then we only have the Bluefin to search. And like I said that is very, very slow and deliberate and methodical.
So, from my perspective, you know, leave TPL in as long as it can, because it is only effective when the batteries are powered. So you know, once you pull that out you're kind of done with that. So any use we can get out of that we may as well get to further narrow down the search area. Because like I said, you know, even though you know, by another mile or so if we can narrow down the search back there that makes a world of difference when we're doing this very slow search with our Bluefin-21. COOPER: Commander Marks, I also want to bring in David Gallo who is co-leader of the search for Air France flight 447 and director special project with Woods Hole oceanographic institute.
David, I think you had a question?
DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Yes. Hi, commander Marks. This is David Gallo.
I'm the last person that is going to question a team at sea, sitting here on land. Just wondering about the operating depth of the Bluefin and how comfortable you are in the water depth that appears to be underneath the ship right now in the survey area?
MARKS: Yes, so as you know, the pings we think are at about 4500, to 5,000 meters down. So pretty deep. Also it is a silt bottom. So environmental are OK right now. The side scan sonar does have enough power to penetrate through the silt a little bit of a layer there. So this is a pretty powerful sonar and camera system we have.
You know, I -- it is tough to say with the environmental sound certainly at that depth. And moving up through the layers it does react differently. So you know you get the TPL down at about 3,000 meters and it should catch anything when the battery is fully powered.
But remember, you know, as the battery fades it does not just stop. It fades kind of like a flash light and gets dimmer and dimmer. So that range is going to be shorter and shorter as we go on. But, you know, for the environmental at the bottom, it is pretty deep. It is something that I think the side scan sonar, once that gets down there, you know, it is still be effective.
COOPER: And Commander Marks, how long -- once that decision is made, OK, we are going to transition from the TPL to towed pinger locater to the side scan sonar, the Bluefin, how long does it take to actually get that, the Bluefin, in the water?
MARKS: Well, just to get it in the water is not that long of a process. But once it is in the water it is very slow moving. So a couple of knots, and you're kind of piloting this like a remote control car. So, just to get it in the water not that difficult. They will get it in, in a day or so. But then, like I said, it is like walking slowly down the sidewalk and then taking a picture. And then you have to process all the information.
And remember. just to turn the ship around takes hours and hours. So you know you could be towing the thing for a couple of miles behind you. You have to reel it in, try to sip around and get it on another reciprocal course. So this is by no means a fast process, a very slow process.
COOPER: Commander Marks, it is always good to have you on. I appreciate you and the work you and everybody else is doing. Thank you very much.
And here with our panel joining us, David Soucie and David Gallo, and Richard Quest.
David Soucie, I mean, as you look at where it stands now from today as opposed to yesterday, what do you see?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, to me, like Richard has pointed out, I think they move out to the point now where it sent to put the Bluefin in there. They haven't seen anything for two going on three days. I would think that end of this, and as he said, it might take another day or two, but I think they're pretty much done with looking for that battery if they haven't heard anything right now.
Because remember they're searching in the area that they had the signal before, and they haven't received anything. So I would estimate the battery is probably gone by now.
COOPER: And Richard, too, I mean, to the point of Commander Marks and other who we talked to, once they take the TPL out that is it. So, I mean, they are going to err on the side of caution in terms of maximizing the base.
QUEST: Yes, and I think that might be where I would divert slightly from yourself, David, with respect to that. Because Angus Houston said there is no second chances. So I don't see the urgency, I'm not an expert in this, but from what I have heard from the experts, I don't see the urgency to get the Bluefin into the water searching other than obviously the resolution of the issue when you can just, another day or two, to make absolutely certain. So I can see both side of this.
COOPER: And David Gallo, I mean, as slow as the Bluefin moves as Commander Marks was saying, for an area this big, how long would it take before they have an accurate picture of what is on the ocean in the ocean depths, in that entire search area?
GALLO: Yes, I was a bit surprised, Anderson, that is a little bit slower than I expected. But that is good. There is a good side to that. It means they're not going to sacrifice resolution for covering more area per unit time.
But it sounds like a, you know, a month, two, three months. If they keep this size, if it is thousands of square miles it will be a long time. So every little bit they can narrow down in that area is going to pay off and being able to get that Bluefin in the water and make a map.
SOUCIE: David Gallo, I had a question for you, as well. This is Dave. They mentioned that it was 4500 kilometers. Was that right? 4500?
O'BRIEN: How deep was the water?
COOPER: 40 meters.
SOUCIE: Yes, 4500 meters that the Bluefin would go to 3,000 is what he said. So that gives 1500 feet. That sounds like a really wide swath for that sonar to go 1500 feet down. Does that sound like it is going to get a good resolution. It doesn't sound like that to me, that far off the bottom.
GALLO: Well, they could. You know, it depends on how the operation is planned. They can find higher above the bottom and sacrifice a little bit of resolution. I just don't know what frequency they will be using and maybe Commander Marks will share that with us about the frequencies they will be using on that. I think they have a couple of different ones they can use to make a map. But it all seems reasonable if they're going low and slow. Once you get up higher then we're going to have to see what they gain by that.
COOPER: We'll talk to Commander Marks next time he is on the program.
We got take another quick break. As always you can find out much more on CNN.com.
Next, the amazing right the black boxes have change the face of the investigation. We are going to look back at what we've learned from them in past investigations like this.
We'll also try to pierce the veil surrounding the top secret military technology, the night of the roll to plan locating flight 370. We'll look at what has been used in past cases.
Gary Tuchman takes us up close.
COOPER: Well, investigators obviously focusing the efforts on finding those black boxes. But let's look at what happens if they succeed. The question, what can be learned from those voice and data recorders as 360's Randi Kaye reports. They played a decisive role in several recent investigations.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In July 2000, the Air France Flight 4590, the Concord jet takes off from Paris. This terrifying video shows the plane on fire as it leaves the runway. The control tower radios the pilots, 4590, you have strong flames behind you, and moments later they crash into a hotel killing all 109 on board. The plane's black boxes are recovered. The plane's black boxes are recovered.
FRANCOIS BROUSSE, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, AIR FRANCE (through translator): The black boxes are in good state to be decrypted. We have to understand what the data means.
KAYE: The cockpit voice recorder unveils the pilot's last words, the co-pilot tells the captain to land at the nearby airport, his response, too late. The black boxes reveal a catastrophic fire in one engine and a loss of power in another. Air France Flight 447 caught in a powerful storm and rolling to the right. It is June 2009, a flight from Rio to Paris, 228 people on board. The plane begins to fall 10,000 feet per minute and crashes into the Atlantic, belly first, killing everyone. PAUL-LOUIS ARSLANIAN, FORMER HEAD OF FRANCE'S ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION AGENCY: This is what we're looking for in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
KAYE: Two years later, they find the black boxes deep in the ocean. Before the recovery it was thought the plane's speed sensors were to blame. But the black boxes reveal the pilots were at fault. A transcript from the cockpit voice recorder shows confusion in the cockpit. We still have engines, what the hell is happening one co- pilot asks? Another co-pilot says climb, climb, climb, then the captain, no, no, no, don't climb. In February 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407 also stalls and disappears off radar.
UNIDENTIFIED CONTROLLER: Approaching. Delta 1998, look off your right side about 5 miles, should be 2300, do you see anything there?
KAYE: The plane drops dangerously low. It begins to fly in heavy snow, the pilot overcorrects, a fatal mistake.
WALLY WARNER, CHIEF TEST PILOT, BOMBERDLER: Obviously the initial reaction to the stall warning was incorrect.
KAYE: The jet crashes into a home in Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 people on board.
MARIE BRANDQUIST, AIRLINE CRASH VICTIM'S SISTER: We put our lives in the hands of people that we assume that the FAA is -- and the airlines are properly training.
KAYE: Both black boxes, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder divulge panic in the cockpit as the plane falls to the ground. Pilot Marvin Renslow blurts out, Jesus Christ and we're down! The first officer starts to say something, but is cut short by her own scream.
KAYE: The black boxes also reveal the airplane pitched and rolled. And this horrifying fact, the pilots were joking around as the plane slowed in the final minutes before tragedy struck. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Back now with David Souci, David Gallo, Richard Quest and Mary Schiavo. David Soucie, I mean, these black boxes as important as they are they still may not show intent or may not show exactly --
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN ANALYST: It is still going to involve speculation to find out why these things happen. What the black box will tell you is what happened. It will also tell you what responded. If the flight control has moved and if it is moved by hand. And then the flight control does not respond as expected that will tell you that or if something happened and they flip a switch and the switch doesn't do what it is intended to do.
Those are the kind of really important clues you can find in there to determine if it was a mechanical failure or something was not functioning as it was supposed to.
COOPER: And it would be able to determine if a human was at the controls?
SOUCIE: Absolutely, we would be able to know that.
COOPER: Mary, is there one black box, data recorder that was more useful than the other?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Yes, if I had my choice I would want the flight data recorder because with 88 parameters it is almost going to look like an EKG for the airplane and you can follow exactly what's going on, and David Souci was exactly right. Either somebody turns it on or off, or the plane doesn't respond and it just gives you a print out like the health of that plane. I would want the flight data recorder first and foremost.
COOPER: And the voice recorder would not have the first crucial, moments when the plane turned?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It has a two-hour recording. The voice recorder is a very good indication of what was happening at the moment. And very often they will end up -- the investigators, as you all know that better than me, the investigators have to listen and they will hear sounds. They will hear flaps being employed. They will hear the wheels going down, they will hear changes in the engine. But Mary puts her finger on it when she says it's the flight data recorder that shows you what happened.
COOPER: And in a lot of different ways.
SOUCIE: Well, the flight data recorder is important for that. The last two hours will be important because you will be able to identify the proximate cause, which is the last thing that could identify what happened. The very last moments which is very good to know.
Even if there was no one flying the plane, you will be able to tell which engine flamed out. There is very important information that will tell you what was going on not only in the cockpit, but what the airplane was doing. Even a stall can be detected from that voice recorder.
COOPER: It has distinctive sounds.
SOUCIE: It absolutely does.
COOPER: David Gallo, given what you know about the under seeing terrain in the area now that these pings that they've been searching for assuming that's where the plane is. Will retrieving the black boxes be comparatively easy next to this month-long search for wreckage?
DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: It is hard to say, Anderson, again without having a real good map of the sea floor we don't have one. I'm assuming that the "Echo" is out there. It is a very capable hydrographic sensor, it has all the elements to make the map. The shape of the sea floor as well as things that can penetrate the sea floor to tell you how much sediment is there.
And we'll have the idea what the texture is like if the boxes may have sunk into silt or if they're sitting in rubble or canyons or crevices, so again, we'll have to wait until we have more information.
COOPER: Richard, if you take a step back and look at where the pings are, where it is believed the plane has ended up, it is still so mind boggling why it took that route. Why it ended up in that isolated area so far from where it was supposed to be.
QUEST: Five weeks ago tonight, while we're talking it was doing it. I mean, that is the long and short of it and the incident had happened by now. And we have got to get to those flight data recorders to know what happened.
COOPER: And six, five, six, seven hours that the plane was in the air after the turnaround, I mean, if -- if the passengers were alive what was going on, on board that airplane for that length of time?
QUEST: I don't think any of us want to contemplate that.
COOPER: It is just extraordinary. Good to have you on, Richard Quest, David Souci, David Gallo, Mary Schiavo as well.
Just ahead, we'll show you everything that is being used in the search for the flight underwater and above.
Plus some tools that the U.S. military may be providing, assets that we don't hear much about.
Also ahead, an already intense week with the trial of Oscar Pistorius, ends with a dramatic element as the prosecutor takes another attack on Pistorius.
COOPER: Right now, I want to show you what is happening in the search zone that is being used to try to locate Flight 370. This is the area of the Indian Ocean where the search teams are zeroing in, which is now down to about 18,000 square miles. This is where the search vessel, Ocean Shield, have picked up the pings that could have been from black boxes.
So how did they find those pings? Well, that vessel, Ocean Shield, was equipped with a U.S. Navy towed pinger locator. It was about 4,600 feet when it detected a signal for more than two hours on Sunday, but it can drop down to about 10,000 feet if necessary.
Meanwhile, Australian Air Force planes are dropping sonobuoys into the ocean, which release microphones that descend to about a thousand feet. Now, they're microphones that can pick up signals thousands of feet below the surface. The investigators plan to keep searching, narrowing the site as much as possible while the locater beacons are perhaps still working.
Once searchers targeted the area on the floor they will deploy the unmanned Bluefin-21 under water vehicle that has more accurate sonar capabilities and possibly maps to look on the ocean floor. They will need ROVs to bring them up, remotely operated under water vehicles.
Now they are used to location the black boxes. But there are other assets used by the military, things we may never know about. Gary Tuchman has more.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. military is involved in the search for the Malaysia Airlines 777. Millions of dollars have been spent by the Pentagon for ships, helicopters, planes, and underwater surveillance video equipment. But has the Pentagon approved the use of one of the most secretive pieces of naval hardware, a manned submarine?
GALLO: I don't think there is any way in the world that the United States Navy would come out and say, guess what? We have submarines in the area and here is what we heard or here is what we found or here is what we are going to do. It is called the silent service for a reason, they're very secretive about where those assets are and what they are doing.
TUCHMAN: David Gallo was the co-leader on the successful effort to find Air France Flight 447 in 2011 and is the director of special projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is the home of the deep water naval research submarine called the Alvin.
Research subs can go very deep but are very slow. It is known that military subs are faster. Information is classified, but it is believed they can't go deeper than about a thousand meters. The bottom of the search area is estimated to be about 4500 meters.
GALLO: I do believe they have some recovery vehicles that may go deeper in the ocean than about a thousand meters, but they would be something that would carry only a few people and for a short time down to that depth.
TUCHMAN: But the British Royal Navy has sent a manned sub to join in the Indian Ocean search. The U.K. Ministry of Defence announcing the arrival last week of the HMS Tireless, a submarine which holds a crew of 130 plus 18 officers and has advanced under water search capabilities.
GALLO: I was very surprised to hear The British announce they were bringing a sub into that region and in the case of Air France 447, they brought a sub in there, as well.
TUCHMAN: The U.S. military does have a proud history of its equipment being used for non-military causes. For example, Robert Ballard, the man who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985 used a navy research vessel for the search.
Regarding this search, we asked the Pentagon if they would confirm what's been sent to the search site. A Navy official responding in part, the Navy currently has two P-8 Poseidon craft searching the area west of Perth, Australia.
In addition, the Navy is providing a Bluefin side scan locater, but besides that, they were very tight-lipped. No confirmation, no denials. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Fascinating technology.
Up next, the prosecution tearing into Oscar Pistorius for the third straight day, grilling him about the shots he fired at the woman he says he loved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PISTORIUS: Many times, I am haunted by what she probably thought in the last moments she lived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also ahead, Pope Francis making his strongest apology yet by the sex abuse done by Catholic priests.
COOPER: In our crime and punishment report tonight, it is day five for Oscar Pistorius on the witness stand. It has been a very difficult week for him. Those of us outside the courtroom have only heard him, but have not seen him because Pistorius have chosen not to testify on camera. We only see him coming and going.
Today though someone gave him flowers and a hug as he left court. Inside the courtroom, one of South Africa's toughest prosecutor has tried to pick apart the Olympic sprinter's testimony about the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He didn't let up today and at times, Pistorius stumbled. Here is Robyn Curnow.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oscar Pistorius clenching his jaw, visibly tense as he tried to defend himself explain his actions in those moments before he shot Reeva Steenkamp.
PROSECUTOR: So you're getting emotional?
PISTORIUS: Yes. I'm very emotional, my lady.
PISTORIUS: Because it is a difficult time for me to remember.
CURNOW (voice-over): The end of a gruelling week on the stand for Oscar Pistorius.
JUDGE THOKOZILE MATILDA MASIPA, HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA: It is important that you should be all here when you are in that witness box, you understand that?
PISTORIUS: I do milady.
CURNOW: He admitted mistakes about answering questions about whether or not his alarm system was off.
KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is a key moment by acknowledging he did not make a mistake because he was tired. He opened the door for the judge to infer an inconsistency in his testimony.
CURNOW: The prosecution asking the athlete a crucial question, if he thought a burglar was climbing through the bathroom window, why didn't he discuss the noise with Steenkamp when he knew she was awake.
PROSECUTOR: Did you not say, Reeva, did you hear that?
PISTORIUS: There was no doubt in my mind about what I heard what I heard, my lady, I didn't need confirmation.
GERRIE NEL, PROSECUTOR: She was standing in front of the door talking to you when you shot her.
PISTORIUS: That is not true, my lady.
NEL: That is the only reasonable explanation for her standing upright. That is the only reasonable explanation why you shot her in the head, the way you did.
PISTORIUS: That is not true, my lady.
CURNOW: On Thursday, the prosecution laid out its case the night that Oscar Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp.
NEL: I would say you got up, had an argument that is why she ran away screaming.
CURNOW: The state's theory, the Olympian and his girlfriend had a heated argument in the bedroom and she fled to the bathroom trying to escape an angry Pistorius. But the Olympian says he feared there was a burglar in his home.
PISTORIUS: I didn't intend to shoot. I was pointing it at the door because that is where I believed that somebody was when I heard a noise, I didn't have time to think and I fired my weapon. It was an accident.
CURNOW: The prosecutor unwilling to believe the shooting was anything less than murder.
NEL: Your version is so improbable that nobody would ever think it is reasonably, possibly true. It is so improbable.
CURNOW: The court adjourned early on Friday, perhaps a welcome relief for Oscar Pistorius and his defense team after a difficult five days on the stand. He will continue to be grilled by the state prosecutor on Monday. Robyn Curnow, CNN, Pretoria.
COOPER: And coming up, an update on the SeaWorld case involving a trainer's death by Telikum, the killer whale. SeaWorld appealed citations received in the case.
COOPER: All right, let's get caught up on some other story, Randi Kaye has the 360 bulletin -- Randi.
KAYE: Anderson, Pope Francis has personally asked forgiveness for the damaged caused by Catholic priests sexually abusing children. In remarks quoted by Vatican radio, the pope said the church is aware of the, quote, "moral damage" and promised to impose penalties on men of the church who hurt children.
Ten people were killed in a fiery crash between a bus and a FedEx truck about 100 miles north of Sacramento, California. The truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into the bus carrying prospective college students. Both drivers, five students and three chaperons all died.
And SeaWorld has lost its appeal of safety citations in the case of a trainer killed by the orca, after Dawn Brancheau's death, OSCIA restricted how trainers interact with killer whales during performances -- Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much. That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. Remember you can set your DVR and watch 360 whenever it works for you. Primetime edition of "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper is next.