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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New Developments in Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

Aired March 28, 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: And good evening. It's 8:00 p.m. on the east coast of the United States, 8:00 a.m. in Australia's west coast. And a whole new day with search for Malaysia airlines flight 370. A new day with new hope.

Our breaking news tonight, at least one ship has arrived in the new search area mapped down just 24 hours ago, more are on the way. Those vessels will try to locate objects spotted by five aircrafts earlier today. That is one of the objects. We are also trying to cover them, do some quick analysis and perhaps radios some preliminary work at the shore. That is the possibility.

It is potentially the most promising one in the three weeks now since the Boeing 777 with 239 people on board vanished from that flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Now, tonight, we'll hear from a naval commander involved in the search, take you aboard America's highest tech surveillance aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon which spotted some of the debris today. And we'll demonstrate right here on the studio the technology of those so-called black boxes use to lead searchers to them.

First the latest from our Kyung Lah at search headquarters just outside Perth -- Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we can hear the turboprops of the military planes starting up here at the air base. We don't have the official schedule of what the search is going to look like, but we know that they are going to be heading to the new search area which has already revealed some intriguing clues.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAH (voice-over): Five planes, including this American P-8 Poseidon, CNN was aboard, spotted possible debris floating in a new search area today. Raising hopes, search crews are closer to what could be the final resting place of Malaysian airlines flight 370.

LT. CAPT. JOSH WILLIAMS, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE: The objects are very distinctive and definitely manmade objects.

LAH: Among the things spotted, white objects, orange rope and a blue bag. One of the other debris satellite images picked up earlier in the week, hundreds of miles away from the new search site? It depends on who you ask.

Australian authorities now say after further analysis, they can't be from the plane. But the Malaysians aren't as quick to discount the possibility.

HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN ACTING TRANSPORT MINISTER: Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.

LAH: The new search area was determined after information gathered from radar and satellite about the plane's speed and fuel usage led investigators to believe it traveled faster, and therefore not as far as originally thought.

There are some up sides to the new search zone compared to the old one. It's closer to land, which gives planes more time for surveillance on-site. The waters aren't as deep. And the weather, which suspended searches for two days over the past week, isn't as extreme.

But there are down sides, too. The ocean floor is more rugged in some places, which could hinder locating the flight data recorder, and therefore the actual wreckage. Still, officials remain upbeat.

JOHN YOUNG, AUSTRALIAN MARITIME SAFETY AUTHORITY: The search area has moved out of the roaring 40s. We will see what that does in terms of satellite when (INAUDIBLE).

LAH: Leaving plenty for ships to comb through once they reach the area.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So Kyung, you were aboard the P-8 Poseidon today over that new area. What's that like on board the aircraft?

LAH: Well, it was amazing. This moment when they thought that they might have discovered some debris, some possible debris. The finding that item that might give these families an answer. We felt the power of this amazing military vehicle. We were skimming, almost skimming the surface of the sea. But what really was remarkable was the sense of hope among all of the crew members. There were nine people aboard. And there was this feeling that maybe this was the answer. And you really felt it, Anderson, that the people who are going up in these search planes, they want to bring it back. They want to end this.

COOPER: No doubt about that. Kyung, thanks very much.

I want to bring in Commander William Marks of the U.S. Navy's seventh fleet which is just taking part in the search.

Commander, good to have you on the program tonight.

So the weather conditions do seem to be much better today. How's the search gone so far in this new area? CDR. WILLIAM J. MARKS, ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE (via phone): Thoroughly much better today. Today is our new day here. It's in the morning. So we're getting our assignments via the air tasking order from the Australians. What a great report I just heard. A tough act to follow there with the emotions and the feeling of hope with the air crew.

I have flown on the Poseidon. Such an amazing aircraft. In terms of the search capability and the technology on there. But I do want to mention this area is much better for the search effort. One, it's just so much closer. So instead of spending two-thirds of the flight time just in transit, now you can get to the search area much more quickly.

Yesterday we had over four hours of search time compared to three or three and a half previously. So more search time in the area. Better weather. Previously some of the flights had to be canceled because of the weather.

COOPER: Right.

MARKS: After that old search area. Now we saw ceilings even in bad weather a little bit yesterday, the ceilings were still 2 or 3,000 feet. So still much better weather there. Then the third thing -- go ahead.

COOPER: No, no. Go ahead, commander.

MARKS: Well, the -- our oceanographers and the Navy as you could expect has some of the best oceanographers in the world. We're working very closely with some of the people at the base center. And the critical part, if we do find debris, is this reverse plot. The reverse engineering of the wind and sea state and current to get the starting point. And that's really what is critical. Finding the debris in and of itself is OK. But it's working backwards from that starting point in this area will be hopefully much better for that.

COOPER: You know, I asked you yesterday based on some questions that we'd received about bringing in an aircraft carrier that planes could take off from. And obviously, the P-8 Poseidon are based on land, they don't fly off ships. But what about bringing if debris is starting to be found in this new search area, has any thought been given to bringing in any platforms that helicopters could go off of, any U.S. naval vessels, helicopters or other planes could go off of to try to aid in the search once an area is found?

MARKS: Well, I should mention, this is a coordinated international effort. And everything we have done has been by request. So at first even when we sent our first ship in and the first helicopters, that was all by request of the Malaysian government. So the U.S. Navy, part of our role is to support all the nations in this region. If we're requested we'll certainly look at those options. But really at this time, yes. That's true.

COOPER: Commander Marks, I appreciate your time. I appreciate all your efforts. Thank you. I want to bring in our panel that's going to be with us throughout the evening. CNN's safety analysis, David Soucie, author of "Why plane crash: an acts of investigative spy for safe skies," CNN safety correspondent analyst, author of "why planes crash." CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, meteorologist Chad Myers, former department of transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo, formerly represents .acts in the victims and their families Also, CNN aviation analyst private pilot Miles O'Brien.

David Soucie, the fact that basically I think five or six out of the ten planes searching has spotted some items in the water in this new search area, what does that tell you?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, it makes me cautiously optimistic but we will have to see. And hopefully that ship -- the ship being out there is more encouraging. At that point they'll be able to see what it truly is.

COOPER: Richard, you think this debris area does seem more promising?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Because you're looking for not just one piece, you're looking for several pieces. And when you and I were talking la last night, even while the Australians were announcing the change in the zone, they said four planes were already overhead and five of them have found objects today.

Now, we thought that the Thai 300 and Japan ten pieces. So you're right to have optimism. Or you're justified in having optimism provided you're in the right place. I know that sounds somewhat obvious.

COOPER: But the fact that these were spotted biplanes as opposed to satellites which take days to reposition which take days to analyze, that certainly -- I mean, in that old search area there weren't any objects spotted biplanes.

QUEST: That we saw them by satellites. There were two I think spotted biplanes on one day, a green and orange item, but nothing more than that. The fact we've seen so much spotted, it's still a vast area. It's still got a long way to go. But they are quite confident. If you listen what the New Zealand force has said in that report, they are quite confident that at least they're getting closer.

COOPER: And Miles, it certainly it's an easier search area for as you heard from commander marks in terms of distance and time they're able to spend over that area.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Yes. The closer you are, the more time that the aircraft can spend on station actually flying grids and doing their work. So that's a good thing.

It's also apparently perhaps because of its proximity to land it appears that the sea state there is a little bit better. So all those things are good. And we should be reasonably optimistic. But we have been down several dark alleys before. COOPER: Chad, let's talk about that sea escape. You know, do we know much about the currents in this region? I know it's a very deep area just like the previous search area was. But, I mean, there was some question last night or were they looking for an entry point or were they looking for debris. Obviously, they're looking for debris. But any sense of how long debris would be floating around in this area for?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, this is the most opportune place that this search could happen if in fact they do find something. Because there is literally a black hole of very little motion in this area. We were talking about a half a mile to a mile per hour in the areas down south in the roaring 40s. These are now on up into the 35- degree latitude, 40-degree latitude here. And things don't go very fast. They don't go very far.

COOPER: Are those currents, those neon color things?

MYERS: Absolutely, live currents spinning in each direction. I can get it a little bit closer. Might be able to see it a little bit better what we're seeing here these streamlines. The streamlines can show us what little pieces of debris, what little plankton would be doing here in the ocean, going this way and this way and this way.

All part of that gyre that we talked about last week where if you think about the Indian Ocean, there is a vast area here where the water, the current, generally goes to the west, to the south, to the east and to the north. And right through the middle is kind of the garbage pile. And I think that's why we have found so much stuff, because this stuff just sits there and spins around for years and years and years.

COOPER: Mary, last night when we talked there was a sense among everyone that was sort of going back to square one. Though that certainly seems to have changed just in the last 12, you know, hours as a lot of -- five different planes have spotted objects.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, that's right. And I don't look at it so much as going back to square one as being very open and receptive and accepting of new information. They said they had conferred with the NTSB, the FAA, Boeing and others. And they found better data, better coordinates. And that's really what a good investigation has to do. If your data is bad you have to be willing to throw it out along with all your preconceived notions, particularly if you've got any piece of data you were hanging on to that was your anchor, you have to be willing to throw that out. And so, I think that actually is signs of a healthy investigation. As they said hey, we have better data. It's time to change our coordinates.

COOPER: And again, Miles, we're getting pictures from aircraft. We saw that rectangular object that was spotted. Does that look like something to you?

O'BRIEN: Well, we've been talking about it all day of course. One thing I don't know the scale, is that the size of a lottery ticket or a refrigerator door? I'm not sure. Somebody tweeted at me and said is that a lavatory door from the airplane? I'm not sure it would float but potentially.

But generally speaking, rectangular objects we don't associate with the outer skin of an aircraft which will be curved and swept back and aerodynamic. This is something you want to go pick up and see what it is.

COOPER: David Soucie, I mean, do you see anything there?

SOUCIE: The only thing potentially -- again like Miles said, the scale, without scale it's virtually impossible to determine what it is. And it could be a landing gear door, square flat similar to that. But it would also have as he mentioned aerodynamics.

COOPER: It could not be associated to plane as well.

SOUCIE: Absolutely.

COOPER: The idea -- I mean, how much time has been lost here? You know, I don't want to sound critical because everybody's been trying to do their best obviously with very limited information. But have the last five days, six days, searching in that other been a waste?

SOUCIE: I don't think it's a waste. As Mary pointed out, it shows to me there's a healthy thing going none this investigation, the ability to look at what you've done, admit that hey, maybe we have some better information now. Let's accept that. Let's give up on what we were doing and move forward. And I think that is a healthy sign of this investigation.

In every investigation you have setbacks, you have advances. It's just a matter of trying to balance those out, stay calm about it and really evaluate each piece of data as it comes in.

COOPER: It does seems, Richard, fact it's planes spotting this they're going to have a much better opportunity to actually to get a ship there in time to actually find whatever that to stop floating around rather than a 4-day-old satellite image.

QUEST: No question.

COOPER: We are looking at probably even this weekend if they've already spotted objects at least getting some ships to those objects.

QUEST: The plane spots it, drops a buoy with a transmitter. Ship arrives. If it's still there, picks it up. I'm simplifying it greatly. But we were listening earlier to the commander talking about the process. What's going to be interesting now tonight, the Australians have made it clear -- this is a little bit of politics, a little bit of geopolitical strategy here -- the Australians have made it clear that any debris or any objects picked up must be returned to western Australia.

So any other ships, if the Chinese pick something up, any of the other ships, U.S. picks something up, they have been tasked by Malaysia, they have primacy. It must be returned to western Australia. And then the process of how that will be announced will be sorted through. COOPER: Well, a lot to watch for no doubt even tonight and throughout the weekend. We've got a lot more developments to get to in this hour.

Follow me on twit twitter @andersoncooper. Tweet us your question using #ac360.

Coming up next, I want to dig deeper on whether the old and new search areas could both contain some sort of wreckage of an aircraft.

Also those sonar pingers that will lead the investigators to the 777's data recorder assuming they are working still, we will show you what a sound like. We actually have a demonstration how they work, what they sound like when they hit the water. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back to breaking news tonight. Ships are zeroing in on the new search area after five out of ten aircrafts involving a recovery effort spotted what appear to be objects floating in the water there. This raises all the normal questions we've been asking about every sighting, first of all. Is it real, can it be covered and most of all, there can physically identified as coming from the missing 777.

There is another question as well we touched on at the top of the program this evening, do these new sightings totally invalidate all those other ones back in the old search area some 700 miles away? Australian authorities seem to say so last night. Malaysian authorities seem to have a different explanation.

Could the old sighting somehow connect up with these latest discoveries? Malaysians raise that idea. 360's Tom Foreman joins us tonight with a closer examination of a whole range possible for tracking objects from the ocean -- Tom.

Tom, this new debris found in the new search area, I know you've done some analysis. Is it possible it's part of the same debris from the old search area?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's take a look at the possibilities here because the numbers don't look very good. If you take a look at the overall picture here, and you think about where the satellite debris was that we were talk about yesterday, that's down here, this very turbulent area if you look at all the currents going here.

The new debris is up there about 700 miles away. Now, a normal drift rate might be about a half mile per hour. That doesn't get you there in six days. A hydra freight might be two, three, maybe even four miles per hour, maybe, very unlikely that is going to be consistent all the way up there. So that doesn't get you there. And really, you need some sustained four to 5-mile-an-hour drift.

Bottom line is no. In all likelihood, what they're finding up there has nothing to do with what they found down here in terms of it being the same thing. Could they be from the same source? Yes, they could. But that's a whole different question, Anderson.

COOPER: And clearly. they don't put much import into the debris that they were looking at before, the objects, whatever it was they were looking at before. They've now devoted all resources to this new search area. They are not looking at -- I mean, they are not even calling it debris anymore what they saw before.

Even if they determined that these new things that they picked up in the new search area that they picked up in some photographs is part of the plane that, doesn't really tell them where the rest of plane is, correct?

FOREMAN: No. It actually doesn't help them at all, in part because of time and space. There has been a lot of time since this thing disappeared, and we're talking about a lot of space. Let me bring it in here and talk about this.

If you were to grid off this area as they do for searches like this, you're talking about narrowing this down. They've been trying to tighten it down as much as they can. We're talking about narrowing this down really to a single point out there in a quite immense area. And once you've narrowed it down to that single point and you think about all the possibilities of where this could have come from, then you have a real problem because you have 20 or more days of drifting. And we have no idea how all those competing currents would push this thing around in that period of time, Anderson.

Frankly, I have doubts as to whether or not you can come up with an algorithm that explains exactly where this thing would have originated, even if you get it here and determine that it is part of the plane -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Tom Foreman, appreciate it.

Thanks, Tom.

FOREMAN: You are welcome, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, if these latest sightings in the new area do pan out and can help narrow the search for the 777's black boxes and if the sonar pingers in the boxes still work, That's two ifs, what precisely would search vessels be listening for in they're going to be listening for. They are going to be listening for this. Let's listen in.

(AUDIO CLIP PLAYING)

COOPER: That sound is the sound of a sonar pinger. And you're looking at the distinctive shape the pinging makes on sonar screens, a spike that stands out from other ocean noises.

Now, we've been talk about the black boxes and pingers and how they're activated almost from day one. Tonight, we have a demonstration with CNN safety analyst David Soucie and also David Gallo, co-leader of the search for air France flight 447 and director special projects at Wood Hole Oceanographic Institutional. Also, Richard Quest, a CNN aviation correspondent. So David Soucie, how does this work? Explain what you have here.

SOUCIE: Well, what we have here is that Duquesne tester. And inside, we have -- that's the pinger. $750 unit. Doesn't look very dramatic, does it?

COOPER: And that would be in the so-called black box?

SOUCIE: Yes. Both in the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. So there's two of them in here. Every sea check on the aircraft, which is every 1,000 hours, this is removed and r-re-bolted back in and replaced.

So what we have is the pinger includes the battery and signal transducer. So inside of it if you look at this end, I don't know if you can get close enough to see that, but there's a plastic lip or plastic ring that separates the case which is the grounded area from this little electrode in the mid gel what happens when you actually put anytime the water?

COOPER: OK. So what happens when you actually put in the water.

SOUCIE: Well, here, what we have here is a tester. Because it's 37 kilohertz which is too high for the ear to hear, so we have this little device here which I'll turn on and get it tuned in here. There's a bunch of different frequencies we can pick. And then what we'll do is put it in some water. Notice no pinging. And as soon as it's in the water --

COOPER: It starts making the sound.

SOUCIE: That's it. That's all it is.

COOPER: So, it does it have to be completely submerged in water?

SOUCIE: No. It just has to connect that little plastic area between the two pieces of metal. The case and that little dot on the end.

COOPER: You're saying the sensor on the pinger is essentially a microphone.

SOUCIE: The sensor, yes, is basically a microphone. It's listening for a super high frequency and a pulse of that frequency in the bottom of the ocean, which is very distinct tiff in the ocean. I know this isn't very loud right now. But it's hearing it and has controls and things like that. It's hearing it.

COOPER: David Gallo, the depth and terrain in this new search area, what's it like? What have you been able to figure out about it?

DAVID GALLO, CO-LEADER OF THE SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Anderson, when you first asked me that last night I thought it was very similar to the terrain that we had been looking at in the first search area. I went back and looked at it later on, and you know, it straddles a topographic feature called broken ridge. And it is a fairly imposing terrain. The north side of the ridge is rugged. The south side of the ridge is amazing. The topography goes from 600 meters depth all the way down to over 5,600 meters depth. Almost three miles of relief on that one underwater cliff.

COOPER: Wow. And so, that could have an impact not only on finding the actual plane if it's there but even on the pinger from the black boxes, is that correct?

GALLO: Absolutely. Any hill or mountain or valley or thermal layer is going to do things with sound that make it tricky to hear that pinger.

COOPER: And Richard, there's obviously questions about were the batteries stored properly for the pingers, all this sort of thing.

QUEST: Yes. I've got the box here which says -- it says replace beacon by so there's a date circled. In this case it was replaced beacon by August 2017. There's some quite time there. Caution store in cold dry place.

Now, as we were talking about the other night on this program -- and there have been allegations they may not have stored the pinger batteries in a particularly ideal circumstances, let's put it like that.

COOPER: David Soucie, you talked to an auditor who found they weren't.

SOUCIE: I did. I talked to a mechanic who was working in this area. He did an audit on the Malaysian air facility. What he found was these pingers had been stored in 120, maybe 125-degree room, a little room with high humidity and high temperatures.

So it's very detrimental to the battery life. The battery life as he estimated would have put it about half. Half as long as it normally would be had one of these -- if one of these was put onto the aircraft.

COOPER: David Gallo, are you optimistic they'll find the black box?

GALLO: Given the right time, the will to find them, the support of the governments involved and the families and what not, sure. Yes, they're there someplace. It's just a matter of systematically mapping that bottom with an incredible degree of precision and they will find the black boxes, but it's going to take time.

COOPER: It is going to take a lot of time. I mean, Air France as we talked about took two years.

GALLO: Absolutely. Well, it took two years calendar time. It only took about ten weeks all together of two different phases of being out at sea.

COOPER: Due to weather conditions. You can't be out at sea constantly. GALLO: Well, weather conditions. There was the politics and the business of getting permission to go back out there and having the support of the BEA and French government, Brazilian government to get back out there. So it took some doing.

COOPER: All right, David Gallo, appreciate you being on. David Soucie as well, Richard Quest.

Up next, we are going to go inside the flight simulator. Take a closer look at this new analysis of the data which suggests the plane was going much faster than previously thought before it dropped off radar and what that might mean for the search.

Also ahead, for three weeks now, families of the people on board have been asking what happened to their loved ones. They still don't have definitive answers. I'll speak with a grief counselor who's been working with some of the families.

And we will have the latest on the landslide in Washington.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: At least one ship has arrived in the new search zone in the Indian Ocean looking for any wreckage of Flight 370. Australian authorities say the latest analysis of the data suggests that the plane was flying faster than previously thought and therefore burned more fuel than was initially estimated. That's why they brought it to this new search area.

Martin Savidge has been running through scenarios from the flight simulator. He joins me live along with pilot and flight instructor, Mitchell Casado. Also with us is aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien and aviation correspondent, Richard Quest.

So Martin, the map that the Australians released last night says that the plane would have been traveling 400 knots an hour to get to the new search area. What does that tell us if anything about the altitude the plane was flying?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're still not clear on that particular one. For instance, 400 knots sounds like a lot of speed. But it's actually not as fast as what this aircraft would typically fly when it was cruising at 35,000 feet. For instance, right now we're doing 478 knots. So it was going slower than it actually would normally do. And the question is, where was it in altitude? We know that after it turned it dropped off of radar and the transponder disappeared that it went down we believe to around 12,000 feet.

So Mitchell, I put it to you. If you're doing 400 knots at 1200 feet, naturally that isgoing to be a lot different and a lot more fuel burned than if you're up at altitude.

MITCHELL CASADO, FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR: Yes. You're going to increase your fuel burn by anywhere between 40 and 50 percent at that altitude. So your weight is going to be decreased with the higher speed. SAVIDGE: So we know that this search area has been pushed back by about 700 miles to the northeast. Does this seem to fit with an aircraft doing 400 knots at what altitude?

CASADO: Well, even with all the stuff we don't know, it does make sense. But to get a definite answer we would have to know the conditions that were existing at that time.

SAVIDGE: I guess, the short answer is we've run it through a lot of scenarios. Yes, it makes sense and it could be done if the conditions were right. We still don't know things like headwinds, altitude, and how much fuel they had to begin with.

COOPER: I think you said 1200 feet. Obviously we're talking about 12,000 feet altitude.

SAVIDGE: Right.

COOPER: Richard, do we still know -- we don't know whether or not the plane was under human control or on auto pilot there was a change in altitude it would seem to indicate human control.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. That is crucial to this whole understanding. We don't know whether first of all there was that altitude change at the beginning of the flight after the turn. We've never known it. There have been reports it went from 45 to 20, but we have never had it confirmed what it is.

And the interesting thing looking at what Mitchell and Marty are doing there is, this question of the -- guys, this question of them now saying they believe it was going faster in the first part of the flight from the South China Sea to the Strait of Malacca, because that would -- we really do need to know would you agree, Marty, what the altitude would be because at 12,000 the maximum of a faster speed would be lower because it's a lower speed.

SAVIDGE: Right, exactly. It would be dramatically different. Altitude is essential for this part of the equation and we just don't seem to have that.

COOPER: Miles, you seem to be reacting. What do you want to say?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I've got a couple of thoughts I'd like to put in the mix here. First of all that idea it was going faster initially. That could dovetail with this notion of a high dive. If they were going down quickly they might have over speeded the aircraft, gone beyond red line, who knows what the speeds would have been. Again, we have very sketchy information on altitude. I tend to throw out all the numbers.

But just for the sake of this discussion, let's say they did a high dive because of rapid decompression. They selected for altitude and speed, the speed being the red line speed for 12,000 feet, red line being the maximum you want to go. Which is what you would do in an emergency, OK? That all jibes with an emergency. That would be about 400 knots true air speed, OK? So assume for a moment that that stayed in place. They became incapacitated and off they went until there was fuel starvation. I've run the winds at 12,000 feet. I've looked at it for that night. Basically it was an east to west cross wind. It would have blown the plane a little bit to the west, but would have no appreciable difference on the range.

So basically 400 knots is as fast as the aerodynamic frame is designed to go at 12,000 feet. Why they are just now realizing this, we talked about this a week ago. I'm a little mystified. They have the radar data now. They've gotten their act together. They're sharing this information. A lot of this is sensitive stuff, but that's why we have a search now that is falling shorter than it was before.

COOPER: Question for both Miles and/or Mitchell. At 12,000 feet, at 400 knots, flying for six hours, or to the last ping, do you get the range that puts it where it is now, Miles?

O'BRIEN: Just back of the envelope stuff that we have, and this is making some assumptions about how much fuel they loaded on. But coincidentally, the distance between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and Kuala Lumpur and Perth is almost the same. So if you factor in the fuel load would have been to Beijing plus an alternate plus 45 minutes. That's the law. So that whole bit where they went out and turned around, let's say that wipes out your reserves. So basically, Perth or north, a line from Perth or north is where it would end up because of the similarities in range.

COOPER: It's interesting again these are all the scenarios investigators are looking at. We've got to leave it there. Miles O'Brien, thank you very much. Richard quest as well. Mitchell Casado and Martin Savidge.

Up next, frustrated family members walking out of a briefing in Beijing. I'll speak with a grief counselor who has been working with the families to find out how they are doing now.

Also ahead, a live update from Washington State where rain and wind are complicating the search and rescue efforts after a devastating deadly landslide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: For the family members of the people on board Flight 370 it's obviously been another week of anger and frustration and grief. At a briefing with Malaysian authorities in Beijing, hundreds of family members staged a walk out. One family member said the Chinese relatives are united and again accused officials of concealing information. The families want answers and tangible proof of what happened to their loved ones.

People talk about closure. There is no such thing when it comes to the death of someone you love. But in this situation, where this story has changed so often and there is still no concrete evidence, no wreckage pulled from the water, the concept of closure seems even more elusive. Without that evidence and with the most basic of questions still unanswered it's hard to wrap your brain around just how difficult this has been for the families.

Dr. Paul Yin is a grief counselor has been working with some of the family members of people on board the flight. He joins me now live from Beijing. A very strong statement from the families in Beijing today. You've been working with a number of them, counseling them. How are they taking this latest news, this shift in the search area? Are they paying attention to every changing detail in this ever- changing investigation?

DR. PAUL YIN, GRIEF COUNSELOR: Well, I think we have to consider the families as different groups. First of all, the people that we have been working with, those families, for the most part they have been blocking out information. Basically they are starting their healing process, and the only information that they want is when they find the wreckage. Other than that they try to slowly return to a normal life if you will.

But for the other families, psychologically, when a person is in a psychological state for a prolonged period of time, usually when new information comes in they try to fit the information with the emotion that they rather than the other way around. So if they've been angry, just about any piece of information would likely to be processed in some way to confirm or reinforce their existing emotional state. And that's the case with some of the families that you talk about who walked out of the press conference.

COOPER: I know some of the families wrote a letter to Beijing special envoy and some of the language they used obviously very strong. They describe Malaysian authorities behavior as irresponsible. They said it was inhumane. Does it seem like the majority of families feel this way about the Malaysians' responses?

YIN: Well, I have not seen the majority of the families. So I can only speak about three groups. One is the families that we started work with before the announcement from the Malaysian government. Those people for the most part are starting their healing process, and they are being minimally influenced by the new information. And then there are the people that we started working on after the announcement.

These people are slightly more volatile, but for the most part with the new information coming in when there's some disturbance we will talk to them and they're able to process it better. Then it's the third group that we haven't been able to reach out to. We're working very hard trying to reach as many families as possible with limited success.

And they are the group that seem to be getting on the television, that we are seeing right now. As far as what's a percentage of the people that they represent, no, I do not have a calculation. But I'm hoping that more and more people will be able to start their healing process as soon as possible, and certainly finding the wreckage as soon as we can would certainly help.

COOPER: Yes. Well, Paul, appreciate all your efforts. Thank you very much for talking with us tonight. Appreciate that. Up next, we'll take you to Washington State where search teams -- it's so hard to imagine what it's like for these search teams. They are digging a handful of dirt at a time sometimes in hopes of finding landslide survivors as the death toll is still expected to rise. This beautiful little girl was a victim of the landslide along with her grandmother. Her mother, Natasha, remembers them both and explains how she is able to go on next.

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COOPER: The confirmed death toll from a devastating landslide north of Seattle remains at 17, but the fire chief says that will likely change very much. Tomorrow it will be a full week since the landslide happened. Rescue efforts continue. Gary Tuchman joins me now live with the latest -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very likely that death toll will be raised tonight, this evening. They will announce a higher number. There are still 90 people who are considered officially missing. This is a very small community, but there are so many sad stories.

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TUCHMAN (voice-over): Natasha Huestes is now staying at a friend's home after she lost her 4-month-old daughter and her mother in the Washington State landslide.

(on camera): Your first child?

NATASHA HUESTES, LOST DAUGHTER AND MOTHER IN LANDSLIDE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: And your mom?

HUESTES: First grand baby.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is Natasha's baby, Sinoa and Natasha's mother, Christina. And this is video of the two of them with Natasha's stepfather. This past Saturday, Natasha went to yoga. Her mother was babysitting Sinoa in her home when the landslide hit.

(on camera): When did you find out that your mother and your daughter were missing?

HUESTES: When they started to talk about that there were houses in the road and there was nothing left where our houses were.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Natasha's mother's body was found almost right away. Baby Sinoa's body was found five days later. Sinoa was put in Natasha's arms.

HUESTES: When I went up there, and I got to hold her. And I may be dropped but a couple of tears because I was so excited that we found her. All I could do was grin because we found my baby. And it might not be the best time to smile, and it might not be the best time to laugh. But sharing memories about my mom and holding baby Sinoa out there. It was just perfect.

I'm coping because my mom, the way that she told me to stand up and be strong for myself and told me to -- showed me, not told me, showed me after spending 26 years of showing me how to walk tall and proud and search and try hard and love and be loving and be kind.

TUCHMAN: I think you're an amazing woman.

HUESTES: Thank you.

TUCHMAN: And we give you our condolences. We're so sorry for you.

HUESTES: Thank you. Part of the reason that I'm able to stand up here so tall and proud is because there's people supporting me. There's people on my side. There's people that I don't even know right now searching for other people that helped find my baby.

TUCHMAN: What do you do next?

HUESTES: Go and help them. Go and help the people that helped me because I don't know how else to return that favor because it means so much. I'd spend the rest of my life up there shoveling mud fit was to help someone else because they helped me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Gary, I mean, that's just beyond words. To say her strength is extraordinary just sounds so small, given the strength that she's showing. It seems like she wants to talk -- it helps her to share memories of her mom, of her child.

TUCHMAN: Yes, it definitely does. It also helps that she does have a father and a stepfather and grandparents. And she also is very spiritual and that helps her out a lot. She told me, Anderson, that her daughter's name in Hawaiian means mist of the mountain. And she said it meant a lot to her in a spiritual way that when the body of her daughter was given to her yesterday, after her body was found, she was standing by the mountain and she was standing in the mist with her daughter.

COOPER: It's unbelievable. Gary, thank you for that report. Appreciate it.

Up next, we'll have more on the weather conditions in the search for Flight 370. We'll be right back.

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COOPER: Let's get the latest of the conditions in the new search zone in the Indian Ocean where crews are looking for any sign of Flight 370. Meteorologist Chad Myers joins me now live. So how are things out there?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Not as good as yesterday. We're still 10 to 15 miles per hour, but yesterday it was absolutely like glass. Couldn't get a better day. Clear skies, sunshine, great visibility for the satellites, too. We haven't mentioned that. I know we've mentioned all about how the planes did great. But the satellites had all good passes in this clear sky that they had right over the new search site.

So yes, it will be windy, but mainly south of the site now. We have a significant weather event going on to the south through here for today and then through tomorrow. But still only about 10 to 20 miles per hour for winds. That will whip up the seas a little bit. But we're not talking about a sea state where you can't search. There will be some clouds, some lower clouds. Those lower clouds won't allow the planes to fly as high.

But as we heard today from Kyung Lah, they were right down at the surface of the water any way trying to find what this stuff looked like, what it was. When they find something they have to get down low. That's how they do it. Some big storms still in the mix. These are the roaring 40s. We talk about them. But these are the screaming 60s.

Good thing we're not looking down there base winds are 60 to 70 miles per hour day after day because now we're getting into the fall season. Even those water's warm big storms are developing. Just like big storms develop in our spring or winter or fall, they're getting them down here as well -- Anderson.

COOPER: Chad, appreciate that update. Thanks. A lot more we are following, Brianna Keilar has a 360 Bulletin -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Anderson. Well, according to the White House Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama today and the two agreed their diplomats should meet soon to discuss a possible solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The White House says that's only possible if Russia pulls back troops gathered on the border with Ukraine. U.S. officials estimate 40,000 Russian troops are on the border with another 45,000 either already in Crimea or poised to go in if needed.

And an alleged MS13 gang member was napped by the FBI just one day after he was put on its most wanted list. Juan Elias Garcia is accused of killing a New York mother and her toddler four years ago. He surrendered at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua.

Attorney General Eric holder says the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages performed in Michigan last Saturday before an appeals court put the unions on hold. Holder's action allowed those couples to be eligible for federal benefits.

Anderson, I'm wondering if you know that this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Jeopardy.

COOPER: I didn't know that.

KEILAR: I actually think you do because you've competed on it several times.

COOPER: I love Jeopardy. KEILAR: You were I think a Jeopardy champion, right?

COOPER: Twice. And then I got crushed by Cheech Marin.

KEILAR: That's right. Well, the quiz show debuted in 1964 with host Art Fleming. Alex Trebek who I think you were very excited to meet at the helm, has been for 30 years. I do have to say, you may have lost to Cheech that one time, but I loved how you won that question of what is a bong. Do you remember that?

COOPER: I don't remember that.

KEILAR: You beat him on that. He missed it. How did he do that? I think it says more about him.

COOPER: OK, Brianna, thanks very much. Well, we wish Jeopardy and Alex Trebek, the best. They are doing great. That does it for us. Thanks very much. We'll be back at 11 p.m. Eastern. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" is next.