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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS
Update in the Search for Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
Aired April 24, 2014 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Flight 370 -- the Bluefin-21 has nearly completed the scanning of the entire search zone. Is in the last chance of hope for the families of flight 370? They are fighting for answers and information from the Malaysian prime minister. And our very own Richard Quest sits down with him in an exclusive interview. You don't want to miss that.
Plus, could this have been prevented? Is it time for a change in technology. Malaysian officials recommend live streaming information from the cockpit, but s that enough? What about cameras in the cockpit? It seems logical but you would be surprised how many are against that idea even in the aftermath of flight 370.
And you have been tweeting your questions and we have top aviation and security experts standing by to answer them for you. like this one which Richard Quest in the interview with the Malaysian prime minister. Why so much secrecy about this accident? What are they hiding?
I want to begin now with a live report from CNN's Michael Holmes in Perth.
Michael, hello to you. Bring us up to date on the search. Have they pretty much covered the entire search area at this point?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, good to see you. Pretty much. Ninety five percent now officially covered. That's after mission 12 by Bluefin-21 boils down. And like all the previous missions no sign of MH-370.
Mission 13 is underway as we speak. And it has to be presumed, Don, that once it completes its search of that focused area, then they have not found anything in what to them was the most promising area, ten kilometers, six-mile radius around that strongest acoustic signal.
And as we reported, this was the best guess area for the searchers. There was an air of confidence around it. Coming up with a blank will obviously be disappointing but everyone from the search leaders to the Australian and Malaysian prime ministry.
It is far from over. The search will continue. But clearly other areas now will have to come in to play -- Don.
LEMON: All right, Michael Homes, thank you very much.
Our own Richard Quest sat down for an exclusive interview with the prime minister of Malaysia to discuss everything from the government's handling of the investigation to the families of flight 370. And Richard Quest joins us now.
Richard, it is quite a fascinating interview. And we are going to break down your interview with the prime minister. Starting with the most critical question, really, why did they fail to track down the plane when it first disappeared?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Don, one of the most interesting parts of talking to the prime minister today was because of the program that you and I and the panel have been doing for the last six, seven weeks. Because unlike anywhere else in many ways we have really thrashed these issues out. So, when I sat down with the Malaysian prime minister, I'm remembering what you and I have talked about so many times. I really needed to know when the transponder was switched off, when the ACARS stopped, been disabled, when the left turn happened, what did Malaysia's military see?
NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Now, the military radar, the radar has some capability. It tracked an aircraft which did a turn back. But they were not sure whether it was MH-370. What they were sure of was that the aircraft was not deemed to be hostile.
QUEST: No planes were sent up on the night to investigate.
NAJIB: No. Because simply because it was deemed not to be hostile.
QUEST: Don't you find that troubling that a civil aircraft can turn back, fly across the country and nobody thinks to go up and have a look? Because one of two thing. I understand the threat level. And I understand the -- either the plane is in trouble and needs help or it is nefarious and you aren't want to know what somebody is going up there to do.
So, as prime minister, don't you find that troubling?
NAJIB: See, coming back to my earlier statement is that they were not sure whether it was MH-370.
QUEST: Even more reason to have a look.
NAJIB: They were not sure but it behaved like a commercial airline.
QUEST: Moving to the Inmarsat data is brought to your attention. Did you have any doubts when Inmarsat and your advisers said we believe now the plane flew for seven hours or so, six and a half hours or so, and this is where it went. Did you -- you must have had quite a shocked reaction.
NAJIB: To be honest I found it hard to believe to begin. Because how could a plane that was supposed to be heading towards Beijing, you know, they could decide that the plane ended half way towards Antarctica. It is a bizarre scenario which none of us could have contemplated. So that's why when I met the team, mind you these are experts in the aviation industry, they are the real expert s as you know, either they come from the United States, they come from U.K. And they were there.
I asked them, are you sure? I asked them again and again, are you sure? And their answer to me was, we are as sure as we can possibly be.
QUEST: Are you prepared now to say the plane and its passengers have been lost?
NAJIB: On the balance of the evidence, it would be hard to imagine otherwise, Richard.
QUEST: But the significance is until Malaysia says the plane has been lost, the compensation packages, the next stage of proceedings, and the Montreal convention can't say go ahead. So I ask you again, prime minister, are you prepared to say that the plane and its passengers are lost?
NAJIB: At some point in time I would be. But right now I think I need to take in to the accounts of the feelings of the next of kin. And you know, some of them have said publicly that they are not willing to accept until they find hard evidence.
LEMON: So Richard, the prime minister does not want to come out and say the plane is lost now out of respect for, he says the families. But you know, they do they still believe it's -- what they initially said it is in the southern Indian Ocean?
QUEST: Yes. There's no question the PM believes that. He has very high confidence in the Inmarsat data and the pings from the Ocean Shield. And he makes clear, Don, that if that evidence should prove to be inaccurate, well, not to put a finer point on it, it's all they have got.
LEMON: Yes, it is.
All right, Richard, standby. And fascinating interview. Because I want to bring in my team of experts to talk about this.
Jeff Wise, the author of "extreme fear: the science of your mind endanger," Mary Schiavo, the inspector -- former inspector general of the department of transportation, now an aviation attorney for victims of transportation accidents, lieutenant colonel Michael Kay, a retired military pilot with the British royal air force, Jim Tilmon, retired American airlines pilot, Les Abend, aviation analyst and 777 pilot and aviation attorney Arthur Rosenberg and of course, Geoffrey Thomas editor in-chief of airlineratings.com. Geoffrey of course is in Perth.
And let's go to Geoffrey first. What did you make Richard's exclusive interview? Did the prime minister have a good explanation for the way Malaysia acted in the immediate after math of the disappearance, Geoffrey?
GEOFFREY THOMAS, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Look, Don. First of all, great interview that Richard was able to get. The Malaysian prime minister has given us more clarity but it's not crystal clear. Some of the answers were still left question marks. As far as the way they reacted afterwards he did concede they didn't handle it as well as they could. But, of course, at the same time he does say, which is true, this disappearance is unprecedented and many many countries would have been challenged by it. But certainly we have more clarity from them about what is going to happen in the next week or so.
LEMON: One of the most important pieces of this interview, Michael. I thought, was the prime minister saying that military radar tracked an aircraft. They weren't sure that it was MH-370 but it wasn't deemed to be hostile. I mean, what do you make of the prime minister's explanation of why they didn't scramble jets, Mikey.
MICHAEL KAY, FORMER ADVISOR TO THE UK MILITARY OF DEFENSE: Well first, I think Richard's questions were spot on but I sensed that the prime minister was being very economical with the truth. What do I mean by that?
I mean, he had to two options. He could either declare to the world that he didn't actually see anything or military radar didn't see anything on the scopes or he could see he did say something or the military radar did see something but they didn't act upon it or they deemed it not hostile which is a very dangerous move in the post 9/11 order.
The aircraft wasn't squawking. It didn't have those fur numbers on because transponder wasn't working. It wasn't flight planned. It wasn't part of routine airways traffic. So this, there were a lot of reasons why his air defense fighters, (INAUDIBLE), his FA-18s, (INAUDIBLE), his F-5s should have gone airborne to look at that.
But the important thing is it is not just the case of here it is just not the case of an unidentified blip and launch some fighters. There are whole plethora of emergency procedures that area radar controllers can take before you get to that point. Things like trying to get in touch with the aircraft (INAUDIBLE) and so on the on and so forth. So yes, I mean, it's a dangerous move not to have interrogated this in some way.
LEMON: Mary, I want your reaction to this, you know, as an investigator and former inspector general for the department of transportation. We would call it hedging, the prime minister at least is reluctant to acknowledge the flight 370 that it his lost.
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: I call it Swiss cheese. There are so many holes in that story and here's why. He said it was behaving like a commercial aircraft. Really? Does a commercial aircraft make an abrupt turnaround as a commercial aircraft?
Now, this is what the Malaysians said. I mean, while most of us don't buy all of this, would it climb to 39,000 feet, descend to 5,000 feet, climbed back and go back to 4,000 feet and out and around the Indonesian islands and fail to communicate? Nothing about that statement makes any sense. The aircraft, according to the Malaysians, the aircraft certainly did not behave like a commercial jet liner. Anything but. So if it did behave like a commercial jet liner time to revise the story.
LEMON: Mary, very well put. Swiss cheese. Thank you for that, Mary.
Arthur, are there legal reasons he would avoid saying that directly.
ARTHUR ROSENBERG, AUTHOR, EXTREME FEAR: Well, I mean, ultimately, he has to say that the plane is lost in order to trigger the remedy provisions under the Montreal convention.
But I want to go very quickly. I think we should be upbeat about the prime minister's interview with Richard. Most notably on the Inmarsat data. The prime minister has access to more information than we do. And he expressed belief and confidence in the data he was given. I say he gets high marks. I think we have renewed confidence and in injection of that in the location of the airplane. I think we should take that away from the interview.
LEMON: All right, standby, everyone. When we come back, how does the Malaysian prime minister feel about his government's handling of the search of flight 370. His thoughts are next.
LEMON: Welcome back. I'm here with Richard Quest who sat down for an exclusive interview with the Malaysian prime minister, a man currently under scrutiny -- the scrutiny of the entire world.
So Richard, the Malaysian government has a preliminary report. They have been criticized for not releasing it. You spoke to the prime minister about that and their investigation. Tell us about it.
QUEST: Yes, the preliminary report, it was actually me that asked at that press conference yesterday whether the preliminary report had been sent to ICAO, the U.N. aviation body and yet it had been sent. And I was told they were deciding whether to release it to the media. And then I was -- a source told me that there was actually a safety recommendation within it. That ICAO should look at the benefits of realtime plane tracking.
So frankly, the fact that -- Don, the fact they had written a report, hadn't told anyone about it, weren't about to release it. To my eyes, it was a very good example of the source of lack of transparency that people on this panel have been talking about. So quite simply to the prime minister, are you going to release the report? How do you justify the allegations of lack of transparency?
QUEST: The country has had a real kicking over the perspective and perception of the way it handled the early days. I think the phrase used in many cases is Malaysia bungled it. NAJIB: I have to be quite frank with you. I think -- first of all, start from the premise that it was unprecedented. We all agree it was unprecedented. It was the most technically challenging, most complex issue that Malaysia or any country for that matter and I believe even an advanced country, you know, would have great difficulty handling such an issue. Some of the things we did well. We were very focused on searching for the plane. We didn't get our communications right, absolutely right to begin with. But I think towards the later part we have our act together.
So I'm prepared to say there are things we did well. There are things we didn't do too well, but we prepared to look in to it and this investigation team to do its objective assessment.
QUEST: In the last 24 hours we have had a good example of what the critics say, the preliminary report. Now not only did Malaysia not announce that it submitted the preliminary report, it's still deciding whether or not to tell us we had it and to release it. Even though it has a safety recommendation within it.
Now, I've covered enough air crashes to know that almost always this is the preliminary report published. So what we have here, Prime Minister, is an investigation or minister who speaks the language of transparency, but the practicalities are seeming to do the opposite.
NAJIB: I hear the voices out there, Richard. So I have directed an investigation, internal investigation team of experts to look at the report. And there's a likelihood that next week we could release the report.
QUEST: Why not release it now, Prime Minister? Is there something in it that is embarrassing to Malaysia?
NAJIB: No, I don't think so. But I just want to be, you know, this team to go through it. But in the name of transparency, we will release the report next week.
QUEST: You will?
NAJIB: We will release the report next week.
LEMON: OK. So Richard, he said they will release the report next week. So besides the safety recommendation that you mentioned before we play that part of your interview, do you know what more might be in it?
QUEST: No. Not in great detail. But preliminary reports are fairly basic stuff of material. I'm much more interested -- because other courses here in KL have told me, Don, that now that this process has begun, they will look at releasing things such as the cargo manifest, the updated passenger list, maps and things like that.
The prime minister said I hear the voices. And I think that's the most important part here. I actually don't think there's much there that has to be hidden. I actually don't think they have done much wrong with anything at all. I think we are talking about an operational appeal perspective where apparently they have not given confidence in what they are doing.
LEMON: Mr. Quest, thank you very much.
Let's get back to the panel now. Back to my experts.
Jeff Wise, do you expect this report to reveal much of anything given how little evidence we have.
WISE: Well, on the one hand, you know, preliminary reports are usually very short and brief documents that just lay out the basic facts of the case. However, it was stunning to hear this exchange between the prime minister and Richard where he was talking about, you know, creating a panel that was going to review this document, which itself, of course, had already been created by a panel of Malaysian experts. So that was baffling. And then to have this remarkable moment where Richard essentially seems to have strong armed the prime minister in to saying OK I will release it.
So what is in this report that makes them so hesitant to release it? It is pretty baffling.
LEMON: Geoffrey Thomas, between announcing though release of preliminary report publicly and setting up an international team, are the Malaysians finally attempting to be more transparent? I just wonder if they are not used to media challenging authority and maybe that's behind some of the lack of transparency.
THOMAS: Look, indeed, Don. I think the media interest which reflects the global interest, of course, in this extraordinary case has overwhelmed the Malaysians. But with relationship to this report, this is being put together with the help of the NTSB, the ATSB from Australia, the AIB from United Kingdom. I think the French were involve. The Chinese were involved.
There's a lot of parties to this preliminary report. So you know, it's already being put together by a team of experts. Obviously, the prime minister has another team to just to overlook what has been done.
I think this report is going to be a really good thing because it's going to clear the air on a lot of fiction which has become fact. And we can go back to square one and say OK, now we know exactly what happened with this airplane to these various points. And that will be a really welcome thing for the coverage of this disappearance.
LEMON: You know, Jim Tilmon, I wonder though, when we get this report if it will be like some court documents that are released that there are so many black ink marks toward redactions that you can't even read the report. I mean, why wait to release it next week?
JIM TILMON, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, for the same reason they have done a lot of other things that don't make any sense. I mean, the fact is there isn't anything in that report, can't be anything that is that startling. I mean, let's face it. We have been startled enough already. So there is not going to be, you know, going to wake anybody up or lose sleep.
It is silly if you ask me that they haven't done it and harmful to them, their story, their image and to those families.
LEMON: OK. So, Richard also asked the prime minister about their deteriorating relationship with the families. Let's listen and then we will talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Prime Minister, the next of kin continue to ask questions and they believe they are not getting the answers. They believe that various technical facts are not being given to them. Can you tonight reassure them that they are given the information and if they believe they are not that you personally will make sure that they will?
NAJIB: I know this is a very, very excruciatingly painful time for them. I understand that. We have done our best. We did many, many briefings. And we gave them as much information as we could in terms of information that were corroborated. And as I promise next week we will release the preliminary report that we sent to ICAO, but the most important information that they want and sadly the one that we cannot provide is where is the plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Arthur Rosenberg is an attorney. And I want to ask you this. What we have heard from Ivan Watson is many of these critics -- these are one of our reporters in the region there. Many of these briefings at least with the Chinese family that they have been practically disastrous. Do you think that the Malaysian government will eventually give in to the demands of the families and get them the answers to their 26 questions?
ROSENBERG: I personally think they do. And I think a large reason why they haven't been as candid as they should be, I think for two reasons. They are not used to being challenged. The officials are not used to being challenged. And I think they are basically unsophisticated with this.
I mean, you heard the language from the prime minister. This was unprecedented. I think this was from a technical standpoint overwhelming for the officials to deal. I think the fact they are not used to being challenged carried over in to creating an opaque relationship in terms of transferring information to the families. Ultimately, I think their questions will be answered as the Malaysians become more confident in the information they have. I think the communication channels will ease up and be greased.
LEMON: Captain Abend, aside from the obvious answer of finding the plane, what should the number one priority of the international team that will investigate the plane's disappearance, what should be their number one priority do you think? LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I mean, I think we all agree is finding the airplane and making, you know, the search more definitive for the families. And you know, I agree with Arthur. You know, it is an overwhelming experience. The preliminary report doesn't upset me it that wasn't released. I think that it is just a simple matter of the government wanting to dot the Is and cross the Ts. And this is overwhelming.
LEMON: Yes, it is. It is.
Geoffrey Thomas, appreciate you. Also, great job, Richard Quest. We appreciate it. Everyone else, please stay with us.
Malaysian officials have recommended live streaming data from the cockpit, but is that enough? What about cameras in the cockpit? That always sparks a lively debate here. It may seem like a no brainer. I'm going to talk to a pilot who doesn't quite see it that way. That's next.
LEMON: Malaysian officials announced that a preliminary report on the investigation of the flight 370 will be made public in one week. CNN has learned that the report proposes live streaming information from the cockpit in future flights. And this will help lessen reliance on the black box. But does that go far enough? Should we consider cameras in the cockpit?
Joining me now is Captain Sean Cassidy, national safety coordinator of the airline pilot association. This always sparks a very lively debate on the show when we talk about this, Captain Cassidy.
As a result of this case, there's been renewed talk about beefing up airline security and safety. One idea, streaming cockpit data live from the flight. The NTSB is also called for video cameras in airline cockpits. You oppose this. Why is that?
CAPT. SEAN CASSIDY, FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT, AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION: Well, I think the first thing we have to do is take a step back and acknowledge one thing. And the fact of the matter is that we have the safest form of transportation in the history of the world. We continue to have that right now, even with the presence of this issue with the Malaysia flight. And the reason for that is because we have very safety-minded professionals up front flying those airplanes and we also have a great system in which we currently manage available data.
LEMON: Captain, I understand that. With all due respect. We have very limited time here. We can always improve safety. Safety is good but we can make it better. Why do you oppose cameras in the cockpit?
CASSIDY: Because we already have access to a tremendous amount of data that the cameras are actually not going to do much to enhance. Now, if we were able to bridge the technical challenges of having realtime data streamed by thousands upon thousands of aircraft there's the issue of managing the data, protecting the data and also somebody has to monitoring that full time and actually understand the context in which the data is being provided. And I don't think we are ready to go there yet.
LEMON: You don't think there are enough people or we can find a way to improve safety and find people to monitor the streaming data if it helps improve the safety of flying?
CASSIDY: Well, if they were able to figure out the technological challenges, I think there's other unforeseen issues with having video recordings especially streamed back to ground stations and I will give you one great example. What if somebody was able to get, somehow tap in to a streamed video from a flight crew going beyond the privacy concerns which of course we have great concerns over that. What if there was a conversation that was taken out of context and then suddenly ended up being put up on the net and then ended up promoting a lot of hysteria, even with the passengers on board a plane that might be getting e-mails.
LEMON: But Captain, there are other modes of transportations. There are trains, there are buses, there a number of different modes of transportation that have streaming video and have cameras. You have cameras in a number of different places. These cameras do not have to be available to the public. That seems like you are escapegoating the issue here?
CASSIDY: No. Actually the issue has been studied before. The FAA has commissioned federal advisory commission to look at the data provisions and the data handling. And the last time they looked it, they said that there is currently not the safeguards in the system to handle video data appropriately and safely. And the other thing is that airplane, a modern jet has probably an excess of about a thousand different data points from the flight data recorder, not to mention the cockpit voice recorder already recorded. You don't see that kind of data stream that is coming from buses and ships and other vehicle. We have a state of the art data management program right now that ensures the safety of the system. The video issue going beyond privacy concerns. I mean, there is great expectation of privacy in the flight deck as well.
LEMON: So -- let's talk about privacy concern. Because everyone from 7-eleven to even here in the building in the Time Warner center, in the CNN center in Atlanta, in department store that you go into, when you are riding in a taxi, there are cameras in every single profession just about in the country and the world. Why should pilots be any different? They don't own the plane. They work for the airlines.
CASSIDY: They don't own the plane obviously. But imagine this, if you have two pilots that are basically locked in a flight deck the size of a closet with a video camera monitoring every single thing they say. It's not the same as perhaps a clerk in a store stepping away from the counter or doing something else.
And the other thing who's going to be monitoring the conversation? Who is going to be deciding whether or not something they say is appropriate or not? And if they miss part of a conversation and take it out of context, is that going to resolve in some kind of an action or direction being given to the crew?
LEMON: Well, Captain, that's the whole purpose of it. That's the whole purpose of it. You have a board. You have people to review. You have whoever's in the cockpit give their side of the story. It happens in every single profession. To most people, outside of the pilot profession, they don't understand the logic behind what you are saying. That's what happens around the world every single day. And pilots seem to be the only ones who are against it.
CASSIDY: I think there's probably other professions that may take exception in having full-time video surveillance of all of the stuff that they do every day. I'm positive of that. But if we are talking about realtime monitoring, I don't think that you would have the ability to get that information, analyze and review it and let's remember there's thousands upon thousands upon thousands of flights that are operating over air space right now. It's a much bigger challenge than I think people are panning it as.
Now, if there was a way to provide sufficiently protections and sufficient safeguards and ensure this was not being used as inappropriate tool of discipline then we could have a conversation down the line. But that -- none of those assurances exist right now.
LEMON: All right, Captain Sean Cassidy, thank you very much.
I want to bring in my panel of experts no. And I'm going to start quickly with getting everyone's opinion on this. Should cameras be required this the cockpit? Should they, yes or no, should or shouldn't they? I will start in order. Jeff Wise?
LEMON: Mikey Kay.
LEMON: Jim Tilmon.
LEMON: Les Abend?
ABEND: No. We have had this discussion before.
LEMON: Yes, we have. Arthur Rosenberg?
ROSENBERG: Absolutely yes. There is no question about it.
LEMON: And we will get in to the reasons why after this break. We have cameras everywhere these days. So why not in the cockpit? My experts will tackle that question next.
LEMON: All right, here we go, everyone. Cameras in the cockpit. The idea raises questions of safety, privacy, and of course money.
Back now with my panel of experts. OK. So, I want to start with our pilots her, Jim and Les.
A skeptic may say what are pilots doing up there in the cockpit that they wouldn't want people to see.
Les, you first.
ABEND: Thank you, Don. I know we had a lively discussion about this frequently. But you have to -- the question is what are we doing? Are we increasing safety or are we making a deterrent for pilots? In other words, like a convenient store security, are we deterring the crime from committing at the 7-eleven? So what are we doing in the cockpit? Are we preventing pilots from doing a nefarious act, from committing suicide, you know, from reading the "Wall Street Journal" and possibly ignoring emergency bells and whistles. What is it we are attempting to do.
And if it is a live streaming data situation, somebody like Captain Cassidy indicated has to be watching and monitoring. What can the person on the ground do if that is a live streaming data situation? I don't see where cameras are going to assist or be a deterrent in any particular way. Where do you position the camera in the first place?
LEMON: All right, Jim?
TILMON: Well, I just think -- first of all, it's a ridiculous idea. And most of that starts with something that's outside of the realm of what a lot of folks are talking about. Let's talk about the economy of it. We only have so much money in the till. Let's take that money and spend it for next gen. This is ATSB approach that will eliminate the need for a lot of this kind of conversation.
If you are not going to do something that will impact safety and make it better and easier and even more economical for the airlines, than let's not do it at all. It's unnecessary. We don't need to have it. I can hear it now, flaps, hydraulics, makeup. I mean, that's on the checklist now.
LEMON: All right, Mary Schiavo? What about the argument that Jim and Les are making here. They say it is a ridiculous idea. What do you think?
SCHIAVO: It's a ridiculous idea not to have them. You know, the privacy issue is a red herring. The federal aviation administration regulations did away with that a long time ago when they said you have to have two people in the cockpit on every commercial passenger flight. Why because pilots engage in constant crew resource management. They must challenge each other all the time.
So, if they are constantly doing their jobs, they have no time for any privacy protected activities, half of which require you to be naked to engaged in. So we know that isn't happening. There is no privacy in the cockpit.
And if the accident we have been talking about recent, 9/11, Egypt Air, Silk Air, Malaysia and Air France, just those five alone there are 4200 deaths. That's about the Iraq war. And those five crashes, it was a mystery what the pilots were doing. So when you put it down to raw, hard data that's a lot of lives lost. And it is just a practical issue when 200 almost 300 accidents, commercial plane crashes are caused by pilot mistakes. Makes perfect sense to cut down on them.
LEMON: Les is about to jump out of his seat. Go ahead, Les.
ABEND: Thanks, Don. Well, I post the question to Mary is, certainly 4200 deaths is significant by and the family and we don't have to get in to that. But what would you have prevented with a camera in the cockpit? All you have is an after the fact technology that will assist with the DFDR, the digital flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder after the fact.
LEMON: Go ahead, quickly, Mary. I want to get the other guys in?
SCHIAVO: Two elements. One is an element of deterrence because in many recent crashes, you know, cold and com air, you can rattle off dozens of them. The pilots were busy engaging in complaints about their airline rather than watch their plane air speed deteriorate and if they knew they were constantly monitored they wouldn't have done it.
ABEND: I disagree.
LEMON: OK. Arthur, any legal issues her for a pro or con?
ROSENBERG: There are always legal issues. But let's talk about practical issues here. First of all, nobody wants big brother looking at them all the time. But that aside, let's look at two situations. An accident sequence and security situation. For the accident sequence we have an audio stream in the form of a cockpit voice recorder. We have a data stream in the form of a digital flight data recorder. We have nothing to visually see what is going on in the cockpit.
For example, in the course of an accident sequence, a pilot's hands may hover over certain instruments or radio devices, on the yolk, how he is gripping it. None of that is documented unless you have a video.
On the security side, to understand what is going on in the cockpit in the midst -- I will give you an example. The regent JetBlue situation about two years ago, the captain had a breakdown. The co-pilot was able to coax him out of the cockpit. He locked the door. The captain is running up and down screaming we're not going to Las Vegas. To visually see what is going on in that cockpit is important.
LEMON: OK, hurry up.
ROSENBERG: OK. And add on one more thing, the issue of the live stream of the video I think is a good idea. And it can be triggered along with the idea of flight monitoring if the plane deviates from its flight path.
LEMON: OK. Here's what people don't understand when it comes to pilot against cameras in the cockpit. If you work for a company they give you a cell phone. Everything in the phone belongs to CNN. They can take it at anytime and use it. Everything in the computer, in my e-mail belongs to CNN. When I walk in the building if I show up late, or whatever, they can use it for disciplinary actions. That's no different than any other profession, Michael Kay. Why is it so different for pilots? The director of the show, the audio track, when the director talks to me it is recorded.
LEMON: Go ahead.
KAY: Cameras are not the essence of the issue, OK? They are quicker fixes. The time, money and resource to do what you are indicating we should do.
LEMON: We're not saying that there aren't other fixes. Hear me out. We're not saying there aren't other fixes. We're trying to figure out why pilots are so opposed to this particular one.
KAY: The essence of the problem, Don, is geo locating or almost near time geo locating. And that can be done through ADSB. ADSB is linked to transponders.
LEMON: That's the essence of the problem for tracking the airplane. We are talking about the actions of the pilot, not the tracking of the airplane.
KAY: The actions of the pilot can be derived from the FDR and CBR. We have been using the system for years. And to be honest with you, it's not really broken. It's the fact we can't find the airplane is the single point of failure. We can't do that because transponders can be turned off. We can solve that problem pretty quickly.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Jeff Wise.
WISE: You know, listen, Don, I'm sympathetic to what you are saying. We all have cameras on us all the time. But you know who doesn't have cameras on them all the time? It is CEOs, the president, people who run things. They don't have cameras on.
LEMON: The president does have cameras on him all the time. There is a camera in air force one. There is camera where, but go ahead.
WISE: hear my point, though. The people who are in-charge don't get watched all the time. Why? Because they are in-charge. They are running the show. So the pilot of a plane, traditionally, up until right just now because of MH-370, he is the authority. He is the force of law in that -- he inherits the mantle of the ship's captain, you know, who could marry people and exert the force of law.
And so, when you start putting the camera on the pilot you are basically treating him as a potential perp like the rest of us. That -- so I think it is essentially -- there is a big symbolic issue here.
LEMON: I think that is all mindset. I think there's no camera on me in my office. There's no camera on most people in their office. And it is the pilot -- the cockpit is not the pilot's office. It is where they operate. It is where they do their work.
But standby, everyone. Coming up, our experts will answer your questions. That's next.
LEMON: Back now with my experts where a lightening round answering your tweet questions. And the first where we are going to start with is Mary. I have a question here. It is from -- I don't have it here. It is the one from Robert. I just got this earlier.
Robert said what happened to Houston, the guy headed up the MH-370 search? We haven't heard from him in a long time.
SCHIAVO: That's right. But he said he would report back when he had something to report. So sadly I think he has had nothing to report.
LEMON: All right. Les, this one is from Jason. Jason says why would a pilot do a 170-degree turn unless the plane was in trouble? If the pilot lost all of his avionics, what would he do?
ABEND: I agree. That's my whole mechanical scenario that I have been leaning toward is that he did a diversion their tactic heading to an airport that he was familiar with because of some sort of mechanical problem. If he lost all his avionics, he still got standby instruments that he can utilize.
LEMON: OK. Mary again, this is a question from Tina, says to me, it seems like the searchers are looking in the wrong place. They should go back and recheck the path of the flight. Do you agree?
SCHIAVO: I agree they should check the path of the flight but I do think they have to finish searching the area where they are looking right now. But I'm suspicious about those radar reporting across Malaysia and Indonesia.
LEMON: Arthur, Andy says why so much secrecy about this accident? What are they hiding?
ROSENBERG: I think that the Malaysians were completely inexperienced and just out of their league with this and hopefully they will get on track going forward.
LEMON: All right, Jeff, a question from Art. A motive? Why would someone go through the trouble of evading radar just to crash a plane in the Southern Indian Ocean? WISE: Great question. I mean, this is why it is a huge mystery and why it has been gripping the world as long as it has. Who knows? It doesn't make sense. The whole thing doesn't make sense. We don't know who did it, why or what or anything.
LEMON: All right, Michael. This is a question from new York and it says if the plane landed, can it fly again without being detected? And if so, how would you stop it from being used as a weapon?
KAY: I think one of the nine principles of war, one of them is surprise. And I think if that was actually the case, then, whoever the terrorist organization is planning on using this as a weapon has lost the element of surprise because all the area defenses of all the sovereign territories within that part of the world would be heightened I should imagine. So yes, it can be landed. If it was landed I would be very surprised that no one saw it. And so, if it was landed it would be the government of that landed.
LEMON: Do you think that is a legitimate scenario?
KAY: I think it is the most unlikely scenario. But we don't have enough information to take anything off the table yet.
LEMON: OK, Jim, this is a question on pilots' actions here. can someone please answer what is SOP if a pilot feels a plane is in danger and he must maneuver to escape a credible threat. Jim, Tilmon?
TILMON: Well, I don't know if there is an SOP because I don't know what you are talking about in terms of the threat. You know, if the threat is in the airplane that's one thing. If the threat is on the ground and somebody's got something they are threatening with. Pilots have an uncanny ability to believe they are going to fly the airplane safely no matter what. The beautiful thing about the human being is we know how to analyze data and we know how to make quick and fine decisions.
LEMON: All right. And just to show that and see how mad Les Abend is with me about cameras, I'm going to ask him the same question. Can someone answer what is SOP if pilots go to plane is in danger and he must maneuver to escape (INAUDIBLE)?
ABEND: You want me to answer that?
LEMON: Yes, sir. I want you to answer the same question.
ABEND: Same question. We have a checklist to follow. If it is a mechanical situation, we follow a checklist and even a hijacking situation we have a scenario that we utilize. So, we always have some card in our Dick that we can utilize.
LEMON: All right, we'll be right back, everyone.
LEMON: Final question. A reality check really, tomorrow will be seven weeks, day 49. Mary Schiavo, what do you think?
SCHIAVO: I think we need to get that preliminary report out and really reassess the situation. So it's a good time to see where we are and plan for where we will go next.
LEMON: Seven weeks, Mikey Kay.
KAY: Seven weeks is one-fourteenth of the time it took to find the black boxes from Air France 447. We are in this for the long haul and we are just beginning.
LEMON: Arthur Rosenberg?
ROSENBERG: Stay the course and for the future of aviation, cameras in the cockpit and streaming data of aircraft position.
LEMON: Jim Tilmon.
TILMON: Well, outside of that camera in the cockpit, I have been tell you, we have learned a great deal of this situation. We have learned hot not to do things if we learned to do some things we have never done before. I think aviation is going to benefit from all of this somehow.
LEMON: I have got two seconds left. Quickly, Les.
ABEND: Let's get some accuracy see on this Malaysian radar. I think that is important.
WISE: Incredible -- we've learned so little in seven weeks.
LEMON: Yes, I'm Don Lemon. Thanks you for watching tonight. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.
"AC360" starts right now.