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NEW DAY

More Sonar Equipment; Families Want Flight Report; What's Next for Bluefin?; Pineda Suspended

Aired April 24, 2014 - 08:30   ET

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


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Such actions will have consequences. New this morning, General Motors has announced its latest recall cost the company $1.3 billion, virtually wiping out its quarterly profits. But despite the recall, GM's earnings were better than expected.

We're always updating those five things to know, so be sure to go to cnnnewday.com for the latest.

Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we have new developments this morning in the search for Flight 370. Australia's defense minister saying Wednesday that the next phase of the search may include more powerful side scan sonar. So, what kind of equipment could research - could searchers, rather, bring in. David Gallo is here, CNN analyst, director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and, of course, co-led the search for Air France Flight 447, which will come into play here because some of this other technology was used in the search for Air France.

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: That's right, Kate.

BOLDUAN: So let's start with - let's start with three options that we have that could be brought in.

GALLO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: We don't necessarily know, but these are some of the options that could be brought in if the Bluefin isn't enough. First off we have this animation. This is the Orion. What is different about the Orion than the Bluefin?

GALLO: Right. Well, the Orion is a towed system. So it's towed behind the ship on a long cable. It's a side scan sonar system, but you get real time information back from that. So it's a -- with the Bluefin and others like it, you have to send the vehicle to the bottom. It does its mission, comes back and then you see what the vehicle saw.

BOLDUAN: So is the biggest advantage the real time?

GALLO: That's an advantage. And everything's a trade-off. So you get maybe a bigger range. But the tradeoff is a little bit of resolution. So you don't see the same resolution as you would see back hugging the bottom.

BOLDUAN: Because it's towed, it needs to stay a little bit higher?

GALLO: You're up high. A little (INAUDIBLE). That's right.

BOLDUAN: OK. So this also goes pretty deep, though. All of this that we're going to show you go deeper than the Bluefin, right?

GALLO: Everything here will work down to about 6,000 meters.

BOLDUAN: Which might be one of the biggest challenges they're facing in this last part of the search?

GALLO: Yes, exactly.

BOLDUAN: So the next one, this is the REMUS 6000, do I have that right?

GALLO: REMUS 6000 is very similar to the Bluefin, the Bluefin-21.

BOLDUAN: IT looks like the Bluefin, yes.

GALLO: Yes. It's torpedo shaped. It's made to do these very precise long lines across the bottom. It useless side scan sonar. But just like the Bluefin, you sent it down to the bottom. It does it work and comes back up. We used three of those on the search for air France 447.

BOLDUAN: Is there an advantage - is there an advantage to the REMUS that the Bluefin doesn't have? Why you used it for Air France and not a Bluefin or is it just what's available?

GALLO: Well, Air France, we had to go - we knew we might have to go to 6,000 meters, so we -

BOLDUAN: Right.

GALLO: So we started out with the REMUS that we designed at Woods Hole Oceanographic.

BOLDUAN: Now, I'm sorry if this is a dumb question.

GALLO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Could you use these in conjunction?

GALLO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Could you use an Orion, could you use a REMUS and a Bluefin?

GALLO: No, no, I think -- I'm hoping that probably that's going to be the solution that comes out of this is that, because there's so many different kinds of terrains, shallow, deep, rugged, smooth, that it's going to be a combination of these vehicles, some from the same ship, but others from a single ship.

BOLDUAN: So would you say the biggest difference between the REMUS and the Bluefin is just depth ability? GALLO: Depth ability, a little bit about how we operate it.

BOLDUAN: OK.

GALLO: Operations of - so we operate it a bit differently than the Bluefin people operate it. So that - but this -- it's a same category of robot.

BOLDUAN: Kind of in the same family.

GALLO: Same family, yes.

BOLDUAN: So, the final one that we're going to talk about is the Remora. I remember you - you've talked about the Remora -

GALLO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: Because this was used in the search for Air France Flight -

GALLO: We used that to - to pick up the black boxes.

BOLDUAN: The black box, that's right.

GALLO: But also we used it on Titanic to do a very detailed - we put our best cameras on it.

BOLDUAN: How is this one different? This one looks quite different than the others.

GALLO: This is very different in that it's not towed, it's just operated by cable, again, from the surface ship. But it's - and it's controlled by a pilot sitting on this ship. It's the coolest video game on earth, but you're getting real time images. Now it's the first one where you're seeing live video images from the bottom of the ocean.

BOLDUAN: OK.

GALLO: So that's what this produces.

BOLDUAN: If this search area is expanded out, if it becomes -- let's just guess and say 2x -

GALLO: Sure.

BOLDUAN: What it is now.

GALLO: Right.

BOLDUAN: Is one of these better for that than another?

GALLO: You know, it's a combination. It's going to be the wide area search tools, like the Orion and the REMUS and maybe the Bluefin, as opposed to the more detailed survey. So it's going to be a combination of all those. The terrain to the north, where I hear we may be looking next, is pretty varied. So this place is where it gets extremely deep, places where it gets extremely rugged, but other places where it's absolutely flat.

BOLDUAN: You know I'm sure folks at home are thinking - because I'm thinking the same thing, is I'm looking at all of these different options, David. I'm wondering, why didn't they bring in the other options that can go deeper sooner?

GALLO: Well, that's -- this is one of the cases where more is not necessarily better.

BOLDUAN: OK.

GALLO: And they had a tactic which was, they had the pinger locations. That meant they were very close to the aircraft. The one vehicle would have been enough. That was the Bluefin. It may still pan out. We've got a little bit more to go. But that was the idea, throw the dart right into the bull's-eye right off the bat.

BOLDUAN: Would you suggest one of these over the other for what you know for the terrain, which is very little, but -

GALLO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: What we know of the search and how it's gone so far.

GALLO: Well, I mean, I'm going to being a fan because we've used it again, it's not just because it's my home institution, Woods Hole Oceanographic, but we used it on Titanic, we used it to find Air France 447. I'm going to go with the torpedo shaped autonomous vehicles. And then, because of the depth, I'm going to go with the REMUS 6000.

BOLDUAN: So the REMUS, maybe that will be part of the team going forward.

GALLO: Possibly so.

BOLDUAN: We'll see.

All right, David, thank you for walking us through it.

GALLO: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: It is fascinating that all of this is out there.

GALLO: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, the pleas of the Flight 370 families seem to be falling on deaf ears in Malaysia. The question, why won't the government release its preliminary report on the investigation. We'll talk to the husband of a 370 passengers and push the issue.

And, the father of that teen stowaway is speaking out for the first time. He's going to tell you what made his son put his life at risk. Just to leave home? Is that what it was about? We'll tell you what he says.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

The ongoing search for Flight 370 is undeniably hardest for the families of the passengers of course. And after weeks and weeks of false leads, there is still no sign of the missing jet. This as Malaysian authorities say they've completed a preliminary report about the disappearance of the flight, but they have not released it publicly despite the demands of families.

Joining us now to discuss from India is Pralhad Shirsath. His wife, Kranti Shirsath, was on board Flight 370.

Pralhad, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

So we're now nearing 50 days since the disappearance of the flight, since the last time you spoke with your wife. You have two young sons. What do you tell them? How are you and they coping at this point?

PRALHAD SHIRSATH, WIFE WAS ON BOARD FLIGHT 370: Basically my elder son (INAUDIBLE) 24-hours he himself search for news. He's following this on the news (ph). And my younger son, he just - he has gone quite. He's not asking anything. And when we start talking about this MH370 and my wife, he just goes silent. He doesn't know. Yet he hopes that mom will come back and he has many plans to do after mom comes back. That is what he says all the time.

BOLDUAN: What is your biggest question that has yet to be answered by Malaysian authorities?

SHIRSATH: My biggest question is that - because now -- as you said, that we're approaching 50 days and we have no single clue about the disappearance of the plane and no data, no information, at least not shared with us. And, therefore, there is lot of big space for conspiracy theories and speculations. And what Malaysian government is doing is they're just - they're denying some conspiracy theories which have been (INAUDIBLE) or being circulated in media for last 46 days. They're just denying (ph).

So our question, why don't you prove or disprove those - these stories rather than just denying. Denying is not enough. They have to prove or disprove those theories. If they are not (INAUDIBLE). They cannot say that (INAUDIBLE) is wrong. And we think that they're lying. They're continuously lying from day one. So it's hard to trust them. Really hard to trust them.

BOLDUAN: Do you think they're searching in the right place?

SHIRSATH: No. As far as now, what we see, since they have not found anything, is despite of deploying so many - instead of spending so much time and money and so many person (ph) days in south Indian Ocean, they are not a single thing. So that just tells us that they are not looking in right place. BOLDUAN: Pralhad, your 18th wedding anniversary is next month. Do you -- you say you hold out hope, but do you hold out hope that you, in some way, will be able to see your wife or at least have some finality in what happened to her by that wedding anniversary?

SHIRSATH: Yes, as I said, yes, I cannot think otherwise because I really wish that she will - she comes back and we celebrate that day together again, as we have been doing every day. So - and that is - that is what I'm here because of her. I am here because of my children. I cannot think otherwise.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And you will remain strong, as you have, for your children and for your wife. Pralhad Shirsath, thank you so very much.

SHIRSATH: Yes, thank you.

BOLDUAN: We'll check in with you very, very soon.

Chris.

CUOMO: Kate, 239 families in that situation. One of the reasons we've got to continue to monitor that story and push for answers.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the father of the 15-year-old who hid in a plane's wheel well from California to Hawaii is speaking out. Does he have any insight into how his kid survived?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The father of that 15-year-old stowaway who hitched a ride in the wheel well of a 767 is speaking out for the first time. He says his son may have fled home because of problems at school. This morning the California boy is still under evaluation in a Hawaii hospital, but he seems to be fine.

Here is CNN's Akiko Fujita.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FUJITA (voice-over): Yahya Abdi's father says he was blindsided. He tells the voice (ph) of America Somalia Service he had no idea his teenage son had hitched a ride to Maui and survived a flight that could have killed him until he got a call from Hawaii police.

Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi identified to the VOA and described the moment he got the call.

"I was shocked. I wondered how my son went there," he says.

The teen's father says frustrations at school may have driven the 15- year-old to run away, crawling inside the cramped quarters of a 767's wheel well to make that 2300 mile escape. He had a lot of education problems bothering him he tells the VOA. He was not good at math and science. Airport officials in Maui tell a different story.

MARVIN MONIZ, AIRPORT MANAGER: He indicated that there was problems at home with his family and he left the home and headed to the airport.

FUJITA: Police say he told them he planned to fly to Somalia to see his biological mother. But authorities believe he climbed into the wheel well of the first plane he saw. Despite all that, his father tells the VOA his son was, quote, "a cool boy," adding he thanks Ala for saving him. Akiko Fujita, for CNN Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA: A little more insight into what led that young man to take such a risky, risky adventure.

All right, let's turn now to the search for Flight 370. We know the underwater search is really nearing a critical deadline. If the Bluefin doesn't find any sign of the aircraft soon, what's next? For an update on the search, let's bring in our meteorologist Chad Myers. Good morning, my friend.

CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: Let's get to it.

PEREIRA: Ocean Shield, right?

MYERE: Yeah, the Ocean Shield is searching up here. And I want to show you on Google earth, and I'll zoom right to it, how small this area truly is.

PEREIRA: Cause when you look at it this way --

MYERS: It looks like Shaquille O'Neal's bathtub. Literally, that's how small this area is compared to the surface search. We know there are five ships in the surface search right now.

The weather in Perth isn't that good right now. But the weather out here is good. If the planes can get out of here, they will be --

PEREIRA: That's a challenge. They might not be able to deploy. Out here is good.

MYERS: That's correct. It's all part of the old system named Jack, you know?

PEREIRA: Ah, yes, the cyclone, right?

MYERS: You know that same system -- right. It was a cyclone there. And it's dead now. It's just cloud cover, but enough cloud cover to maybe keep them on the ground. We'll see. That's it. That's the little spot that we're going to zoom in. There's Shaquille O'Neal's bathtub right there.

Now, from top to bottom, we're talking about 18 miles. But the difference is down here it's about 13,000 feet deep. Up here it's 18,000 feet deep.

PEREIRA: Remarkable difference.

MYERS: Remarkable drop-off here from one side to the other. Now here is the Ocean Shield and what it's been doing for the past four days, a dot here, a dot here. It only gives us a ping about every four hours. So we don't know what it's doing in between. But this is the general kind of what it's been doing. Yesterday was very interesting.

PEREIRA: It circled around here for quite a while. Why did it --

MYERS: Fourteen hours this thing went one mile. Now we're thinking, wow, did they find something? But, no, probably not. Because they don't even know if they find something until they bring it back up, download the data, put new batteries in, and then send it back down. It's not like they're watching a video screen from up above and they say, wow, we see something.

PEREIRA: So the question is, if they had other data that made them think that this was a real credible spot.

MYERS: Well, let me show you what that other data may have been. I'm going to superimpose the pings that they heard, the listener, not the pinging looking for the -- this is the passive system that found the first ping, the second ping, the third ping and the fourth ping, and very close to where the pings are. This is why they were kind of hovering around here, maybe doing a little bit of a better search here, a good search here.

But again, we superimpose this, this is what it's done. Here is where the pings are. About 16 miles, though, from this ping to this ping, which is a little bit hard to understand. Because we've been told all along this thing is only going to ping about two or three miles. How do you go from 16 miles up here to 16 miles here? Even if the pinger is here, that's eight miles that way, eight miles that way.

PEREIRA: But again, we've talked to oceanographic people that are saying the acoustics get played with and toyed with under water with the currents, et cetera, et cetera. Talk to me about the Ocean Shield. At some point, it has to go back to port. How long can it stay at sea?

MYERS: We talked about this earlier, how exhausted these men and women must be out there.

PEREIRA: Fatigue in the search is a big issue.

MYERS: You know, get me some land. Find me some land. They have been out there 24 hours a day now for day after day after day for 14 days. They have enough fuel. At some point in time they're going to have to go and get some refreshed people.

PEREIRA: Yeah, they've got to get fresh eyes on the area. Because you do -- staring at the horizon, staring at the water, searching, looking at all that data, that's going to wear on you.

MYERS: And they're looking where -- remember, they found a little bit of that oil.

PEREIRA: Yeah. MYERS: Obviously, the oil wasn't the right oil. It wasn't the engine oil for the plane. But they're looking for debris, as well. This is where the search area is here. And in fact, this is where the non- thing was found yesterday, the object of interest.

PEREIRA: The object down here.

MYERS: Yeah, it was right there.

PEREIRA: While we're looking at this weather here, talk to me about that because we know what an issue weather can be early on in the search. We saw it with the remnants of Gillian. And then we saw Jack come through, a cyclone that was a concern. It kind of skirted Australia or at least the search area. But that doesn't mean they were out of the woods weather wise.

MYERS: You know, I think Gillian is probably the reason we haven't found anything.

PEREIRA: Interesting.

MYERS: Because if we didn't think about Gillian when we were searching over here, because Gillian was right here, 160-mile-per-hour cyclone. And we're thinking, oh, don't worry about it. It's a thousand miles from where it must be. But it wasn't 1,000 miles from those pings right there.

And all of this, this area -- they had 20 to 30-foot swells. They had 160-mile-per-hour winds going the opposite direction because we're taking about the southern hemisphere. That's the way the cyclone (inaudible). But that's just scattered the stuff everywhere.

And we know that if you get something that's floating, and all of a sudden you move it around at 160 miles per hour, it could fill up with water if it was an empty compartment, it's going to sink to the bottom. It's a blender.

PEREIRA: That's a good point. And then you've got the currents to deal with underwater as well.

MYERS: It's like -- it's a blender.

PEREIRA: It is a blender. It really is. Chad Myers, always great to have you. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, thanks, Mick.

Coming up on NEW DAY, proof that it is never too late to try something new. A 102-year-old finally goes 103 stories. How she got there? Well, that's the good stuff, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

All right, so here is the Yankee's pitcher. His name is Pineda. They're playing the Sox. And the ump comes out because he gets alerted by a rat that the guy had pine tar on. PEREIRA: Look at his finger stuck to it.

CUOMO: And he's got pine tar on his neck.

BOLDUAN: Do you think he's surprised he got thrown out? I mean, it's pretty obvious.

CUOMO: He's playing dumb there, which is the only thing you can do. And the ump reaches out and touches him and sees the pine tar. You can't have pine tar on. Why do you use pine tar? Because it gives you better feel on the ball, and the mass on the ball makes the ball move differently. It's cheating. It's always been cheating.

BOLDUAN: Isn't there a way to make it a little more discreet? Didn't someone used to put it behind their ears?

CUOMO: Guys do it all the time. By the way, we don't know that the Red Sox pitcher didn't have pine tar on.

BOLDUAN: No.

PEREIRA: Second time this guy is alleged to have done it.

CUOMO: And he admitted it. And they're suspended him.

BOLDUAN: Drop the "alleged". Definitely not even "alleged". It is -- it happened.

CUOMO: It sucks. But you know, the funny thing is that, you know, pine tar they throw you out of the game. The fact that performance- enhancing drugs are running rampant through the sport, though, seems to get different treatment.

PEREIRA: A whole other segment.

BOLDUAN: You know it hurts when Chris has to --

CUOMO: Well, that was bad stuff.

So let us end on the good stuff Chicago style. In honor of our CNN series "CHICAGOLAND". Ever since the Sears Tower was built in 1973, Willie Tillman wanted to go to the top. But back then it was the tallest building in the world and Willie Tillman was 61. Well, now it's called the Willis Tower, but Willie is 102, hasn't stopped her from crossing it off her bucket list, though.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to walk up or take the elevator?

WILLIE TILMAN, WENT TO TOP OF WILLIS TOWER: You know, I think I'll take the elevator.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Not walk up. It's so high, Willie needed oxygen. Thanks to a special program at her senior center that grants the wishes of its residence, Willie finally going up to the top, 103 stories, just about one floor for every year she's been alive.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TILLMAN: I've never been up this high. I didn't know you could see this much in the daytime. Oh, Chicago. From up here it's just overcrowded. Looks like what I first (inaudible).

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Willie, not scared of heights, says she would sky dive if they let her. And by the way, she ain't done yet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TILLMAN: Lots of fun. Great. I love it. I'll be back next year.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: That's the key to living long, is loving life. Willie's proven that every day. God bless. You are the good stuff, young lady.

BOLDUAN: God bless. Anyone who reaches 100, like my grandmother, is the good stuff.

CUOMO: Right? It's great to have in the family, I'll tell you that. Good genes you've got there little one.

Tonight be sure to watch the series finale of CNN's original series, "CHICAGOLAND". It airs at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 Central.

BOLDUAN: The news continues now with "NEWSROOM" And Carol Costello.

Hey Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN HOST: Hi. Have a great day!

NEWSROOM starts now.