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Latest Update in Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

Aired April 17, 2014 - 23:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is a CNN Special Report, the mystery of flight 370. I'm Don Lemon.

And we begin with breaking news. Just released tonight, analysis from the fourth mission of the Bluefin-21 is in, but it has yielded nothing. No evidence. The Bluefin has launched on a fifth search now. So, how could the Bluefin's finding nothing be good news?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The visuals that we managed to get from the Bluefin-21 were very clear. Not in finding what we were looking for, but the seabed looks like. And that gives us a bit of relief as the next few days we are going to intensify the beet deep water search.


LEMON: So, all of these leads and nothing more than dead ends and now via his twitter account, the acting transport minister says they are looking at the possibility of deploying more AUVs. What could this be costing? Experts estimate the cost of the search for flight 370 to be in the ballpark of $234 million. And that's with zero concrete results so far.

So, is it time for a new search strategy? You have been tweeting us your questions by the thousands and we have top aviation and security experts standing by to answer them like this one.

If they are searching in the wrong spot, then why did they hear pinging? Everyone said it could only be the black boxes.

I want to go straight to CNN's reporters in the search of Michael Holmes who is in Perth, Nic Robertson in Kuala Lumpur, and of course out Richard Quest right here with me in New York.

Good evening, Richard. Good to have you back. I want to start with you, though, Michael Holmes first.

Michael, you know, despite a lack of concrete evidence, searchers seem to be getting more and more positive they are looking in the right area. Why is that?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, because that's where the pings were. And they really focused down the search area, Don. And we are hearing from people involved in this search at high levels that they are confident. They feel they are on top of it. They are in the right area and they are hoping for good news. As you said, four days now completed. We have had the data back from all four of those dives by Bluefin-21. And not showing anything concrete in what they are looking for, that is the black boxes or any sign of wreckage, but they are happy with the resolution and the way that Bluefin-21 is working.

They are underway now on the fifth dive. So far, they have uncovered in the region of 110 or so square kilometers, about 145 square miles in the trip so far. And significantly too, they have gone below the 4500-meter mark.

So, the Bluefin is doing its job. And let's always keep this in context. This is still very early in the search by the Bluefin-21. They want to give it a little time and cover that area and they are working their way through it now. And as I said, we are just hearing word those in charge of the search are confident. They feel they are in the right place, Don.

LEMON: All right, Michael Holmes in Perth. Michael, thank you very much.

You know, Nic, despite the positive assessment the reality is the search is yet to turn up anything. I want you to first listen to what the Malaysian transport minister said today about the search if they continue to come up with nothing.


HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, ACTING MALAYSIAN TRANSPORT MINISTER: There will come a time that we need to regroup and reconsider, but in event, the search will always continue. It's just a matter of approach.


LEMON: Nic, does this mean the Malaysians are losing confidence?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It appears not. I mean, what he went on the say is that he recognizes the search can take a long time and he said all along Malaysia remains committed to this and they will find a way to do whatever it takes to keep searching. He has also said that in terms of money that's the least of his concerns. So, whatever adjustments he's making, it doesn't appear to be -- it's not going to be to sort of to scale this back in any way. Indeed the government here has formed three committees to work with the situation.

One of the heads of that committee, the transport minister, or acting transport minister tweeted this morning is even suggesting that they bring more of these submersible Bluefin-21-type underwater vehicles to aid and perhaps speed up the effort here at the moment. That the acting transport minister has said, look, when it comes to money, we have countries ling up that may not have the assets that can help us but are willing to put money to help make this continue an ongoing mission -- Don. LEMON: Nic, I want you to talk about this a little bit more, about more AUVs because the transport minister has been active on twitter. He has been tweeting about the possibility of deploying more AUVs and about a visit by Malaysian officials to families in Beijing, any further details on that?

ROBERTSON: Yes, at a press conference earlier on Thursday, he said that there would be upcoming in the next few days another high-level delegation going to Beijing to talk to the families there. Of course, on Wednesday, there was a disastrous press or not press conference, a video conference between technical expert s in Malaysia and families in Beijing.

The families in Beijing discussed it because it didn't work. They feel this, after an hour, they walked out of this video conference. The Malaysians couldn't get a good connection. And therefore the Chinese family s weren't getting their questions answered. So, it does seem now that they are sending this high-level delegation. What we have had this morning in the last hour or so here coming from the twitter account of the acting transport minister is underling something he said before the three government committees and he put out a note on each of them that the committee working with the families, they are going to send a high-level delegation to Beijing over the weekend, perhaps meeting with families as early as Monday.

The committee that's responsible for the search and the equipment involved in the search, they are going to, as you are suggesting there, put more AUVs down in the water. That's that suggestion and the other committee, he said that committee is looking at getting a panel up and running to investigate everything surrounding -- everything surrounding the search and what happened in the hours and days before that.

So it does seem that he is trying to energize this earlier commitment. Why he feels under pressure to do that, not clear. Certainly getting answers to the families in China is a very pressing issue and the government. He is still failing to do it adequately, don.

LEMON: Nic Robertson in Kuala Lumpur. Thank you very much, Nic. We appreciate it.

Now, I want to go back to Perth now with Geoffrey Thomas, the editor in-chief of Also, Robert Goyer, the editor of "Flying" magazine. Richard Quest is back, of course, he is with me here in New York.

Geoffrey, to you first, you see some parallels between what is happening right with MH-370 and the successful search for air France 447. Explain that to us.


I mean, with the search for 447, when they finally triangulated where they believed the wreckage was, they put down a Bluefin-21 to have a look. It took them actually eight days, even though they knew virtually precisely where the plane was, it still took them eight days to find it. The wreckage on the bottom was confined to a small area, as well. So, we're in day four, four and a half in to this search on the bottom.

We have a long ways to go yet before we sort of really completed a thorough search of the area where the pings have come from. And don't forget, we have had four very strong pings. We had two fade out pings. And according to one of the greatest wreck hunters of the world, David Burns, he says we've found it. So, he's very, very confident that they are looking in the right spot. And there's also a very high level of confidence, off record from officials who say, yes, we are looking in the right spot.

LEMON: All right, Richard Quest with me here in New York, the "Wall Street Journal" is reporting that the plane may have been an auto pilot headed to Perth. CNN checked with sources in the Australian government who said their official did not tell the journal that. So, how does this reconcile with other reports that may have taken deliberate action at this point?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: He has sot some interesting notes to this whole question, where was the plane headed and why was it going in that direction? The journals' report says the plane was on auto pilot and going toward Perth. But the reason why that might have been could be any one. It could have been -- I mean, it shouldn't have been, is the short answer, because it could have never gotten to Perth. It was always going to run out of fuel before it has gone anywhere near Perth coming down from KL with the amount of fuel it had on in Beijing. So, if that's right, it goes straight in to the nefarious bin because it means somebody programmed the auto pilot --

LEMON: Either pilot or co-pilot, whoever.

QUEST: Whoever.

LEMON: Whoever, right.

QUEST: Right. But if that journal, with them denying it, they have not confirmed that. So, we have to put about I think very firmly in the suspect let's not go too far with it.

LEMON: All right, let me give get to Robert now.

Robert, given the clues at hand, which we acknowledge, you know, it is limited right now, what do you believe happened to this aircraft?

ROBERT GOYER, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, FLYING MAGAZINE: Well, I think some of the comments that Richard just made are interesting. The whole idea that someone is saying they belief that the aircraft was on auto pilot and headed for Perth, it is patently absurd. Because they don't know what the auto pilot was doing. When they find the black box and there's data on the flight data recorder, then, we may know what the auto pilot was doing, what was programmed in to the FMS. We have no idea and no one has any idea any way of knowing that. I think what was happening is, I think all of the evidence is starting to mount. The cell phone call that apparently hit a tower from the copilot's cell phone is just another little piece of evidence that by itself doesn't really mean anything. But when you add them together the it really seems as though somebody took the airplane and intentionally flew it away from radar, disabled communications and attempted to fly it far away so that no one would ever be able to find it or track where it went. It seems as though it was some kind of very strange suicide mission, the intent of which never to be discovered.

LEMON: Which is interesting, now we are here and I'm hearing what you are saying and everybody else was saying. It is almost we are back at day one.

QUEST: We are, Don. I mean, not quite at day one but not far off. Because all we have to work on is Inmarsat pings, which we knew about from middle of March.

LEMON: You mean, the handshake.


LEMON: And mathematical probability.

QUEST: March 25th is when we knew about that and we have the pings that they have just found in the last couple of weeks, and that's it.

LEMON: Yes. All right, thank you. Stick around, everyone. I want to bring our audience up-to-date on the tragic sinking of a ferry in South Korea right now.

At a press conference that just wrapped up in Seoul, officials said the captain of the ferry was not at the helm of that vessel at the time of the accident. It was the third officer who was at the helm. Also CNN's affiliate in Seoul reports that eight divers have entered the cafeteria of the submerged ferry in search for survivors, 25 people are confirmed dead, 271 remain missing.

We will keep you up-to-date on this important story as we get more information here on CNN.

And when we come right back, how much would you guess the search for flight 370 is costing? I will have that mind-boggling number for you.

And then later, a report from inside a sub, David Mattingly with a unique looks at the challenges of an underwater search.


LEMON: I'm Don Lemon. Breaking news tonight, analysis is in for the fourth Bluefin-21 mission. It has yielded nothing. The fifth Bluefin mission underway right now.

Now, I want to bring my experts, Jeff Wise. He is the author of "Extreme Fear: the science of your mind and danger." Bill Walldock is a professor of safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It is an attorney Steven Marks, Jim Tilmon, a retired American Airlines pilot, and Robert Goyer, Geoffrey Thomas, Richard Quest, all back with me again.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Geoffrey, to you again, another promising lead, another dead end, was this oil slick found on top of the ocean, they announces that came back saying it was not connected to the flight, did that surprise you?

THOMAS: Well, I guess, it disappointed me a little bit. And I guess it's not a surprise when we consider all of the rubbish that's in the ocean, the oil that's cast aside off of fishing boats, off larger ships. One of the things we have discovered unfortunately in this search is how much rubbish there is in the Indian Ocean and other oceans, as well, obviously. So, there was a lot of hope attached to this that this would be an absolute definitive link to this airplane, but you know, the confidence still remains very high that we are looking in the right place for MH-370, despite the setback with the oil.

LEMON: OK. So Bill, the Malaysian transportation minister said the search going forward may need to quote "regroup and reconsider." What would that new search look like?

WILLIAM WALLDOCK, PROFESSOR OF SAFETY SCIENCE, EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY: Well, it might be something along the lines of what happened with air France. There were three previous searches before the fourth search using the underwater, automated underwater vehicles actually found it. And they essentially had to do the same thing. They stepped back and reconsidered. Let's think of this in a different way. And in their case, they actually went back to the last known position of the aircraft, put three separate autonomous underwater vehicles down and they literally found the debris within 6.5 nautical miles of last known position.

Sometimes it takes time to search these areas. The period of time where they actually found the debris field that was actually the 18th mission of the AUV that found it. So, we are just in the fourth and fifth missions right now. So, we are still early in the search process right now.

LEMON: Yes. Richard Quest, you know, I asked him I said what could a new search, a new mission look like. Maybe it should be what should this one look like because you have been looking at what the Malaysians are doing and should be doing so far. And are they doing everything correctly?

QUEST: They are doing everything, for a point, absolutely. But the thing that what normally by now, these are the two documents that regulate how you are doing. This is the famous annex 13 that we hear about, aircraft accident and incident investigation. It's the bible for who does what, where, when and why.

And this is the manual of aircraft accidents. This tells you what the report should look like, how they should be written, what is included. Now, in most situations, within 30 days, you should have had a preliminary --

LEMON: It says that.

QUEST: Yes. There should have ban preliminary report within 30 days with a basic statement of facts and circumstantial evidence. I think we can allow the Malaysians a certain amount of leeway given they haven't found the plane yet and they have been concerned with working out where the aircraft with is rather than writing preliminary reports.

But at some point they are going to have to write that that preliminary report that sets out the (INAUDIBLE) facts, from (INAUDIBLE). If the plane took off, this is what happened, this is what we know. That's what we really need and we need it probability sooner rather than later.

LEMON: Because it has been more than 30 days, 40 days, right?

OK, Steven, you know, what's your reaction to that? Do they just not have enough, you think, definitive information to be even begin a report?

STEVEN MARKS, AVIATION ATTORNEY: I'm sure they don't. And I don't think the government is in a position to release much, if any, information. The information has been so in consistent and they have embarrassed themselves. I think if they put anything out that is official, I think it will only cause more embarrassment. So, I think they are going to be very careful before they publish anything official in writing.


Jeff, you know, you have been calling for Inmarsat to release their satellite data publicly for some time now. If the group continues to come up with nothing, will it be helpful for them to release this information?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Absolutely. I really think it will be -- there is a lot of pressure or them to release it. Because really, this is all we have to go on. It is really an extraordinary situation that the Australian authorities and Malaysian authorities have been really cheer leading these ping and other evidence, really saying, look, we are very confident that it is here. Really, promising us that we are going to find something. And yet, every day that goes by with the Bluefin not finding something, the chances that we are going to find something dramatically decreases.

I think it's really not fair to compare this to Air France 447. We are supposedly looking for pings. And these pings, the acoustic -- the towed pinger locater only has a range of one two miles tops. This should be a very compact area. It should have already have been searched. We should have already ruled out the pings were from the MH-370.

LEMON: All right, I want to get to Jim Tilmon now. Jim, because Australia -- this is a huge question and maybe the most important question especially when it comes to dollars. The air top adviser said the search could cost a quarter of a billion dollars. That's in U.S. money. I mean, who should ultimately foot the bill for this because depending on how much it costs and who foots the bill is how long the search will go on. That's what will determine that?

JIM TILMON, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: This situation is one that affects all aviation, particularly commercial aviation over this entire planet. It's important that we understand that this is not just a Malaysian situation. We have a lot of lessons that we are learning out of this. It is very expensive learning. But we have to pay the price in order to get what we need to know for future events. This is not just a one-time thing and, you know, went off and don't worry about it. It will never happen again. Don't count on that. That's not a good idea.

LEMON: Right. Very well put.

Geoffrey Thomas, let's say they do find something, how will this be released? Is there a protocol that needs to be followed?

THOMAS: Look, I think probably forget the protocol for a moment. I think probably good sense is probably a better word. If they find something positive, I believe that really has to be announced by the Malaysian prime minister. I mean, first of all, they are going to have to tell the relatives in a better way than they did last time, not through text messages on mobile phones.

So it may well be what they do on the fifth mission or the sixth mission find something, it may be a couple more days before we are told because they have to get it right this time. Because this will be absolute proof positive they have found the resting place of MH- 370. And there's a lot of ramifications to that. So my sense it will be the Malaysian prime minister who makes that announcement.

LEMON: All right, Geoffrey Thomas, thank you very much as always. And everyone else, please stay with me.

When we come right back, we are going to go below sea level to get a better understanding of the search for flight 370. Our David Mattingly reports from inside of a sub next.


LEMON: We have breaking news tonight as the data from the fourth Bluefin-21 mission has come in, but unfortunately it has yielded no evidence of flight 370. The fifth Bluefin mission is underway now. It is 42 days in to the search for flight 370. The focus has shifted from above the surface to the ocean below.

CNN's David Mattingly is inside of a submarine off of the coast of horseshoe bay British Colombia.

David, talk us through the challenges of an underwater search. DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, the challenge is, it's an incredibly long list, not the least of which being the tremendous depths you have to go to and the pressure you have to deal with going to the bottom of the Indian Ocean. We are talking a couple of miles down. There's only a half dozen manned submersibles that can actually go down and do that kind of work.

This vehicle we're in right now is not one of them. We're at the bottom of horseshoe bay in British Colombia. I'm with Phil Nuytten. He's a internationally known as a deep water dive expert.

You actually develop vehicles like this so people can go deep in the water, places they never have before. And something I have been learning from you as we have been down here is how difficult, even the simplest move seems to be.

PHIL NUYTTEN, DEEP WATER DIVE EXPERT: Yes. It tends to be quite a chore. No question about it. The biggest attribute you need for this kind of work is patience.

MATTINGLY: And show us. We have a mock up of a black box, of what a black box would look like down here. It is already in the claw n the device on the outside of the vehicle here. And it takes more than ten minutes under the best circumstances for that claw to grab the handle.

Now, watch what happens when we try to put it in to the basket that we'd need to take it back up to the surface. Go ahead. This isn't something you think would be difficult, but you have to move by inches here. This is just two feet in front of our noses right here. And you can see how tough it is to get that box in to the basket. I can feel the submersible moving while we are doing that. So you have to deal with currents. You have to deal with visibility. It would be pitch dark out there if it weren't for the bright lights on front of our submersible.

But the point we are making here, you have to move so slowly because if you drop that box, if you make a quick move or watch what happens when we turn the propellers really fast, the thrusters on the front, it just blows up the sediment on the bottom. It is like blowing in to a handful of flour. You would be momentarily blinded and then you have to stop and wait for everything to settle. Here it comes in from the side. But it's just so pain staking down here. And these are some of the best circumstances we could have. We are only at 50 feet. Now, imagine that difficulty multiplied by 200, two miles down. It would just be such painstaking work at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. That is if they ever find the black box and if a human being ever has the opportunity to go down and try to retrieve it -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, David Mattingly for that. I want to bring in Jules Jaffe. He is a researcher oceanographer with the Scripts institution of oceanography. He joins me. And of course, Richard Quest is with me as well.

Jules, good to talk to you. You know, we just saw David Mattingly demonstrate for us what it is like in a sub. Now granted, this is approximately, the approximation of searching underwater. But what did you think of that? It is fascinating television nonetheless but it really shows you the challenges.

JULES JAFFE, RESEARCHER OCEANOGRAPHER: Yes, I mean, I don't think the way to do this is actually in a sub. You know, as part of doing a little bit of research myself in preparations for the show, I actually went around and asked some of my colleagues. Anyway, we say big ocean, you know, small group of people working in this area.

And actually there was nobody that really believed that working in a sub is the right way to do this. I think there is, you know, imagine you are in a sub and you have two, three, four hours and you start working and then it doesn't go well. And so, all of a sudden you have to go back up to the surface. If you are using an ROV, that is a remote operation vehicle. And principle, you have, you know, 24/7 on the ship. Somebody can relieve that person. We know how to do that kind of stuff. So, I think the whole idea of using a sub can be really honest and the consensus of my colleagues was just really is it is not really a good idea.

LEMON: But Jules, the thing is not to show that using the sub. That's not the premise here is to show the conditions under the water how dark it is, the silt. How they will retrieve the black box potentially even if it was unmanned vessel or however they retrieve the box. It is not as if they would be using the sub to do it but showing the conditions there.

JAFFE: Yes. OK. Well, you know, thanks for clarifying that. You know, there is no doubt working in the ocean, working in the deep ocean is a very, very difficult thing. And one of the things about the story as a person who develops technology that is really like is giving the public an idea of what we do and how hard it is to do. I would have to agree, you know. But there are people that are specially trained to do those kinds of things and there are a number of successes that they have achieved, you know, in that scenario. Sure, it's tough. We need, you know, expert people that need to know how to work underwater with underwater vehicles and things like that. Of course, it's really tough but these guys can do it.

LEMON: Yes. So, let's talk about the Bluefin now because that's what they are using now. That's the submersible they are using now to go under. It's had some problems and some successful missions, as well. I don't know if you can even call the first day a problem because it did what it was supposed to do. It went too deep and did what it was supposed to do and came back up. So I don't know if that is a problem. It is called working right there. But the prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott said, you know, they will exhaust everything there, exhaust everything they need to do as long as they need to take for the Bluefin to cover this area. How long do you think that will take?

JAFFE: Well, you first have to know how big the area is. I mean, if you look at the specification as the manufacturer of the side scan it can see about a thousand feet to either side and if it is moving four, five miles an hour, you are going to be mapping something on the order of 25 to 35 square miles per day.

One of the disappointing parts of the story that I would have to agree is that we haven't found it yet, but it is sort of surprising. It means it is sort of means to me that the pinger and the fuselage or any of the debris are actually not very close together. And hopefully they are not far apart.

So, I wouldn't say, you know, we're on the gauge, not in the red zone yet. We're still green, yellow and I think we just need to be patient to be honest with you. And hearing the Australians talk about that, it actually gives me some, you know, hope, because what I am hearing in techno world is the side scan images are looking good, you know. We're not seeing a lot of clutter. If the stuff was there, we'd probably be able to see it.

And so, I think it is hard to know. I'm not a soothsayer but I think there's some confidence that we are just going to have to keep looking in a world where you can flip an iphone or anything, and an app and call out information. We just have to be patient and hold on. This is not the deep ocean, right? I mean that's not the deep ocean. So, I'm not really in a panic state. I think we are heading toward yellow but still in the green on the gauge.

LEMON: You are not a soothsaying? Why do we have you here?

JAFFE: Johnny Carson used to do that.

LEMON: It was amazing Kressley or something like that, so, Kreskin.

JAFFE: You got it right.

LEMON: Is there a chance of a false positive result in these images?

JAFFE: You mean the side-scan images and sonar.


JAFFE: Sure. I mean, that's what we worry about. This is sort of the non-intuitive part of it. I mean, we know that there is a layer of silt. But what is under that silt is probably not known. And we're looking for, as I said a few days ago on your show, the sort of foreground and background. And yes, if there's a boulder there that is sort of the same size as the black box and covered with silt, I don't think we will have an easy time telling the difference. So the answer is yes.

LEMON: Thank you, oh, soothsayer, Jules Jaffe. We appreciate you. Thank you very much. And you have a happy holiday and happy weekend. We are not here tomorrow, but thank you sir.

You know temperance continue to arise with the families of flight 370. They are demanding answers in the face of more dead ends. Next, what officials are doing in response.


LEMON: Moments ago in Beijing, a candle light vigil for the anguished families of the passengers of flight 370. It's been 42 days, zero results. Malaysian officials will travel to Beijing to meet with the families of the passengers of night flight. After facing the families they will head to Perth and meet with Angus Houston.

CNN's Jean Casarez has more now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are all bloody liars and you are lying again now.

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION (voice-over): Their frustration bubbling over. The relatives of those on board Malaysian flight MH-370 want information and they want it now.

That may be why a Malaysian delegation is traveling to Beijing to meet with the families on the ongoing search.

The families have a list of 26 questions that they want answered including what is in the flight logbook, maintenance records and the recording of air traffic control that very night.

MAARTEN VAN SLUYS, LOST SISTER ON THE FLIGHT 370: It's very personal, very personal, from each person's idea of what happened in the very beginning.

CASAREZ: Maarten Van Sluys knows what those families are going through. He lost his sister, Adriana Francisca, on Air France 447 in 2009. Van Sluys flew from Brazil to Malaysia to help survivors. He says they have become like family.

VAN SLUYS: Embrace people that you don't even know where they live what they do for a job or anything. And you start to hug these people, people who are crying, very loud and very bad shape and suddenly you feel like I know this man.

CASAREZ: And with no evidence so far on the fate of the plane, some loved ones say the investigation is being mishandled.

SARAH BAJC, PARTNER LOST IN FLIGHT 370: Whether it was catastrophic failure or whether the plane was taken intentionally, we still believe that there are options should be explored and many of those options are actually over land, they are not over the sea.

CASAREZ: And even if and when the answers do come, if the families finally do learn what happened to their loved ones, the outrage may linger.

VAN SLUYS: Yes, this is something that I understand is very bad for them and they are, completely, in my opinion very emotionally destroyed.

CASAREZ: Those who have been through it say take that emotion and advocate for your family member. So that flight 370 never forgotten.


LEMON: Thank you very much, Jean Casarez. I want to get my experts' reaction on the clash between the families of flight 370 and Malaysian officials. Also joining the panel now is Karlene Petitt, an international pilot and author of "flight for safety."

Good to have you aboard. OK. Thank you for joining us.

But first, I want to go to Bill. Bill, a committee of the families released a list of 26 questions that they want Malaysian authorities to answer. And the first 12 of them are on the ELT, emergency locater transmitter, including this one. And they are a little long so bear with us here. And they are there on the screen for you.

Is it possible to break the ELT at high impact? Where is the 406 megahertz ELT exactly located on MH 370, the tail of the flight or the ceiling of business class? And when a plane is trying to land on the sea, can ELT be activated.

Bill, are you surprised the families have so many questions about the ELT specifically?

WALDOCK: Well, I think that's just a product of the fact that we have so many unknowns. The ELT could be in a couple of different places on the airplane. But one thing it is going to do as soon as the plane goes in the water and sinks it is going to stop transmitting because it can't transmit through the water itself.

LEMON: OK. Richard, this is for you. The next seven of the family's questions are on the black box, and this is an interesting one. It says, what is the sample that Boeing has sent to Australia to compare with the detected pinger? Was it from a normal black box signal of the specific black box on Boeing 777 or even the exact black box mount on MH-370? Do we know that Boeing sent a signal to compare with the pinger?

QUEST: No, we didn't know who sent what when, where or how. But what they are trying to gauge from that is why do the authorities, why are they so confident? Because if you read back again, when they did find these or heard these pings, they said it was consistent with the black box or flight data recorder. So they want to know upon what basis can they be confident that it is a pinger from a 777 black box.

LEMON: All right, the next one is to our new member of our panel and this is Karlene Petitt. Karlene has the final seven questions on protocol, like this one, we want MH-370's logbook. We need Malaysia's civil aviation control, MH 370 voice recorder and we require the ATC audio.

I mean, Karlene, you know, like all of us they want to know what happened in that cockpit?

KARLENE PETITT, INTERNATIONAL PILOT: Yes, they do. Here's the thing with the logbook. It is irrelevant because we know now the plane was intact. It flew for seven hours. There wasn't a fire and it didn't fall out of the sky. It actually flew. So any maintenance on that is irrelevant because the airplane was working fine. And we did know there was human intervention. A pilot did -- whether the auto pilot was on or not, an auto-pilot wasn't programmed to fly around Australia. Somebody did it. So, they were probably using the heading select if it was on. So a person did this. The only thing about the ATC, if they have it and somebody did get in to the cockpit and could be something horrific on that communication, there could be a reason why they don't want to let it out and let us hear it.

LEMON: Robert Goyer you are not in agreement. What's up?

GOYER: No. I think Karlene is right on the money with that. As far as the tape is concerned I don't think there is any chance there is a smoking gun on the ATC tapes or else, we would have heard about that. That would be guiding the investigation right now.

And as far as the -- she's right on the money as far as what happened with the plane. Somebody flew the plane whether it was hitting heading select or programming it through the FMS. But we know now, as far as the logbooks are concerned that would make it irrelevant. We don't think the plane broke. We think it flew a long way. Not as a result of mechanical malfunction, but human intervention.

LEMON: I see you -- you seem so uncomfortable in your seat.

QUEST: Well, just the comment we know now because we don't know now. We have a variety of statements from the authorities that basically say it was deliberate, but we don't know why or how. So vent you to respectfully disagree (INAUDIBLE). But to say we know now, we don't, sir.

LEMON: Yes. You care to respond to that?

GOYER: Yes, we do know. We know so much about it. We know where the plane flew. We know that it went through a series of way points that would have been --

QUEST: No, we do not. No, we do not. That way point has never been confirmed. We merely know a route that it took that corresponded to a variety of way points.

GOYER: Something that couldn't be done by accident.

QUEST: But there's enough way points in that part of the world you have only to fly in a particular direction. We do not know, sir, that it was manually or auto pilot flown.

LEMON: OK, calm down.

There's a lot we don't know. And I think when he says that we know it is just from the information given out there, so you know.

QUEST: I'm not budging on this.

LEMON: Cut the man some slack. We want him to come back.

But seriously though, Steven, the Malaysian delegation traveling to Beijing in a few days, to speak to the families about the ongoing search with no debris. the Bluefin not finding anything yet, what additional information can they provide?

STEVEN MARKS, AVIATION ATTORNEY: I don't think they will get much information. But I find it interesting -- I'm actually going to agree with Richard Quest. And I think he is right. I don't think we know anything. I think all we only have filtered information from the Malaysian government and the information from Boeing and Inmarsat, who has a relationship with Boeing. All of which have conflicts of interest.

The only way we will know any facts and there's no reason why we can't have them is to get the raw data. And there's no excuse for not giving that to the families. That is what the families want and deserve.

Now, all those questions would be answered if the families had the ATC tapes which has information to had the downloads on the radar and satellite imagery and then independent people could evaluate and I think Richard made a good point.

We don't know if this was intentional intervention. We don't know what caused f it is true it made these turns, what is the reason the aircraft did that. So, I think it is speculation at this point.

LEMON: Robert, it is your night tonight. The other night it was Jeff Wise's night. Everyone gets a night where they get beat up here.

So Jeff Wise, you can tell him.

WISE: Can I jump in?

LEMON: Yes. Go ahead.

WISE: I want to come to the aid of the afflicted here. I strongly disagree with Richard Quest. And I mean, I love disagreeing with Richard Quest in general, as his stated in principle. Like here, I really think Richard, you are off base. This plane clearly did not turn itself on a westerly heading. It did not skirt the Thai border the way it did. I mean, this is clearly under human control. I don't think that that is ambiguous. There's no accident -- look, the triple seven is an incredibly robust plane with a fantastic safety record. Have to side on those.

LEMON: OK. As the ring master here, that's it for now.

When we come back, a team of experts will answer your questions. More on this coming up.


LEMON: Back now with my experts for a lightning round answering your tweet questions.

I'm going to start with Jim, a question from John. He says has any pilot from MH or the search countries flown the route the plane took. It couldn't hurt and may help to spot it.

TILMON: Yes, that's correct. If we knew the exact route the plane flew. But then again, you know, this situation, I agree with rich that we don't know. There are a lot of things we really don't know. We have a good reason to believe, however, that somebody was flying that airplane.

LEMON: All right, this is for Karlene.

Karlene, our question is from Phillip. Was there any kind of air marshal on the jet?

PETEITT: I have no idea if there was an air marshal. I highly doubt it with Malaysia.

LEMON: OK. Bill, a question from Ashley. Ashley says if and when MH-370 is located what are the chances of recovering the victims and how?

WALDOCK: Well, for 15,000 feet of water that's going to be very difficult. Probably the number one priority still has to be the flight recorders. Until we find those we have nothing.

LEMON: Robert, here's a question from James. James says why not get a U.S. nuclear sub involved that can stay on station for months not affected by weather, great sonar equipment?

GOYER: That's a really good question. And I don't know the answer other than that it probably would help and might be a question of resource allegation.

LEMON: Jeff. Question from slots here it says, is the sole reason it is believed that MH-370 traveled the southern arc because it didn't appear on the northern countries' radar?

No. That's the main reason that has been cited. But the main reason is that Inmarsat release an analysis in which it claimed mathematically that it found it was more probably that it travelled in the northern route that the southern.

LEMON: Let's take this question now. Steven, this one is Matt. It says ask panelists do they believe there are geo political reasons why data exchange bad and what can be done by law.

MARKS: I'm sure there are geo political reasons we are not getting information from the Vietnamese controllers. We heard stories of how jets were scrambled. If that occurred there would be reports from other radio systems and chatter around the world, presumably in the U.S. and we're not going to release that kind of military information. So I don't know any law that can be passed to do anything about it.

QUEST: In short on this issue, no one has come to the table with clean hands. Everybody has withheld something but they believe they have given enough to make the case they have to make the case that they would have to make.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: Short time let, I will pick one person. What do you want answered, Jim Tilmon?

TILMON: What's our plan B. We need one.

LEMON: Do we know?

QUEST: Plan B extend the search up to (INAUDIBLE), hundreds of miles long.

LEMON: Bill Walldock, what do you say?

WALDOCK: You got to have patience. What the AUV is do their work. It takes time to search the bottom and we got do t let them work.

LEMON: That's it. Thank you very much, everyone for joining us tonight. Make sure you stay with CNN for the latest. I'm Don Lemon.