Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
Russia: First Civilian In Russia Killed By Ukraine Shelling; Surveillance Camera Captures Potential War Crime: Video Shows Russian Soldiers Shooting 2 Unarmed Civilians In Back Near Kyiv; Kyiv Mayor Can't Guarantee Safety To Returning Kyiv Residents; New Images Show Ukrainians Have Stopped Russians From Crossing River In The East By Blowing Up Pontoon Bridges; Man With No Flying Experience Lands Plane For "Incoherent" Pilot; Abortion Rights Bill Fails In Senate As Roe V. Wade Hangs In Balance. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 11, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. The first Russian civilian killed inside Russia in this war. And new fears Putin will retaliate and escalate this war even further. This as a commander inside the Mariupol steel plant standoff speaks to OUTFRONT.
Plus, we visit a family who lives in a cold and cramped cellar for 30 days. Just outside, Russian soldiers were camped out in force. How the family survived and interacted with the enemy.
And new details about the passenger with no flying experience landing a plane safely.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT live from Kyiv. I'm Erin Burnett tonight.
OUTFRONT, this evening, the first Russian civilian killed just miles from Ukraine border with Russia. According to the Kremlin, the Russian civilian was killed by an attack just outside the Russian city of Belgorod. It comes as they're even more and more reports of explosions in Belgorod which Putin has been using as a staging ground for troops entering Ukraine.
Now it is important to note that Ukraine hasn't denied this, they have not commented on it as of yet. But news of this reported death raises the stakes. It's important. It was just yesterday that Biden's national director of intelligence warned that Putin could escalate this war acting increasingly unpredictable ways.
The civilian death in Belgorod comes as Ukraine is offering to release Russian prisoners of war in exchange for the evacuation of injured Ukrainian soldiers inside that sprawling steel plant in Mariupol. The siege there is now in its second month, it is the last thing right now standing in the way of Russia owning that key port city.
We're also hearing from the commander still inside the plant that we've been speaking to regularly. He tells us that they are being hit around the clock. They are outnumbered, they are outgunned, he says they are not giving up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN SVYATOSLAV PALAMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER, AZOV REGIMENT (through translator): Serviceman before us, they set an impossible mission to hold and defensive position. And this is a truly impossible mission because we are working and we are fighting in the unbelievable conditions and we all know that the enemy outnumbers us by far and they've got aviation, they've got navy, and for us, it is just not enough to hear from them that they're doing everything possible. What we need to hear is that they are doing and will be doing everything impossible to rescue their soldiers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Captain Svyatoslav Palamar also telling us that as of right now, there are as many as 600 Ukrainians injured in the plant. And this is hard to hear, I mean, many of them are critical conditions, he says, some have lost limbs. And for those injured, the situation is impossible to say this coming more and more dire. They don't have the medication -- to save obvious are completely unsanitary.
Sara Sidner is with me here in Kyiv and all of these developments,
Sara, the prosecutor general in Kyiv announced the first trial were trial for war crimes, with a Russian soldier, 21-year-old who is in custody. And this is what's happening tonight. And this is a big development.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they are working around the clock really to try and figure out what happened in these cases. And then try to identify the soldiers and those who were killed. Sometimes they don't know the answer to any of that.
We have now video that shows a potential war crime happening in real time. You're seeing it happen on CCTV video and the reason why this is so unusual is because most of the CCTV video was shot out by the Russian soldiers as they try to make their way into Kyiv. This one, there was a generator that kicked in and they just didn't see it and it showed a shocking and disturbing situation where two men are shot in the back by Russian soldiers.
SIDNER (voice-over): This is a stark example of a potential war crime perpetrated by Russian forces -- an example the world has not yet seen -- Russian soldiers shooting into civilians in the back.
CNN obtained a surveillance video taken from this vehicle dealership that sits along the main highway to Kyiv. The video is from the beginning of the war, as Russians tried and failed to shell their way to the capital. The fight along this road was clearly fierce. But what happened outside this business was not a battle between soldiers or even soldiers and armed civilians. [19:05:04]
It was a cowardly, cold blooded killing of unarmed men by Russian forces. The soldiers show up and begin breaking in. Inside of a guard shack, two Ukrainian men prepare to meet them. We tracked down the men's identities. One is the owner of the business whose family did not want him named, the other was hired to guard it.
YULI PLYATS, FATHER KILLED BY RUSSIANS: My father's name is Leonid Alexeyovich Plyats (ph).
SIDNER: His daughter, Yuli, wanted the world to know his name and what the Russians did to him. Both civilians, both unarmed. We know this because the video shows them greening and getting frisk by the Russian soldiers. And then, casually walking away. Neither seem to suspect what it was about to happen.
That is when a member of the civilian fighting force who talked to the men a couple of days before the attack told CNN. He did not want to be identified for security reasons.
LAMABA, VOLUNTEER CIVILIAN FIGHTER (through translator): We came there earlier, warned people to leave that place. We also hope for the humanity of Russian soldiers. But unfortunately, they have no humanity.
SIDNER: You see the two men walking in the shadows towards the camera. Behind them, the soldiers they were just talking to emerge. A few more steps, and their bodies dropped the ground, dust shoots up from the bullets hitting the pavement. The soldiers have opened fire.
Minutes later, the guard, Leonid, gets up, limping but alive. He manages to get inside the guard booth to make a call to the local guys for help. This is one of those guys. A Ukrainian truck driver turned civilian soldier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): First of all, we felt a big responsibility. We knew we should go there because a man needed our help. He was still alive.
SIDNER: He's the commander of a ragtag team of civilians who took up arms to fight for Ukraine. And try to save the men. When the guard called them, he explained what transpired with the soldiers. He said the soldiers as who they were and asked for cigarettes, then let them go, before shooting them in the back.
When his men finally got to Leonid, he had lost massive amounts of blood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): One man from our group went there and the guy was still alive. He gave him bandages, try to perform first aid, but the Russians started shooting.
SIDNER: They tried to fight back but were unsuccessful. They didn't have the firepower to save the countrymen.
Yuli, have you seen the video?
PLYATS: I can't watch it now. I will save it to the crowd and leave it for my grandchildren and children. They should know about this crime, and always remember who our neighbors are.
SIDNER: Her neighbors to the north, these Russian soldiers, showed just how callous they are, drinking toasting one another and looting the place, minutes after slaying the two men.
BURNETT: What were the last words that you remember he said to you?
PLYATS: Bye-bye, kisses, say hello to your boys.
SIDNER: Her boys will be left with a terrible lasting memory. The death of their grandfather now being investigated as a war crime by prosecutors.
SIDNER (on camera): And we did hear from the prosecutor who did see this video and has looked at the surveillance video obtained by CNN. And he said it is 100 percent official now they are looking into this as a war crime.
BURNETT: The video is just unbelievably disturbing.
SIDNER: It is.
BURNETT: I think it's important that you showed it -- I think it's important you showed it multiple times. It's been really horrible.
SIDNER: Yeah, in the back.
BURNETT: Yeah. Sara, thank you very much. And I want to go down to Seth Jones, director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton, former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
So, Seth, when you see Sara's report, you see what happened there -- Russian soldiers shooting two civilians in the back. I don't know if there's any reason at all, only interaction known to be between them was over, whether they had cigarettes to give the Russians. The story is horrific and the images, even more so.
Are you -- are you surprised to see this?
SETH JONES, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM AT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, Erin, no, we're not -- I'm not surprised, in two respects. One is we have seen similar atrocities by Russian soldiers in Chechnya as well as in Syria more recently.
And the second is, the way the Russians talk about Ukrainians and this is certainly supported by Vladimir Putin himself. It's a dehumanization of Ukrainians. And what it does is it legitimizes killing of civilians because these are subhuman, the way they have described them. And this is what gets us in the atrocity camp. So there is both historical precedent and there is kind of the way
Ukrainians are now being couched by Russian leaders.
BURNETT: Colonel Leighton, Russian authorities said for the first time in this war, civilian in Russia has died as a result of cross border shelling from Ukraine.
And this is the Belgorod region that has seen several explosions in recent weeks on fuel depots and things that seem to be important for the Russian military effort.
Ukraine has not confirmed or denied being responsible for the blasts.
Could this, Colonel, change the war?
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It could, Erin. I mean, it's certainly one situation, one case where you can talk about the possibility of an errant shell going somewhere and it being a mistake. But the Ukrainians have to be careful when something like this happens. It's not a surprise that it happened. It's certainly within the realm of the possible in a situation like this.
But the Russians could very well turn this around and say that it is, an excuse for them, use it excuse to go into Ukraine and conduct further operations. Of course, they have to have the capability to do so and what they can do depends on what type of weapons they want to use and how often they want to use them.
But it is certainly something they should be concerned about on the Ukrainian side.
BURNETT: So, Seth, when you hear the commander said that steel plant telling us that his words he needs officials to do the impossible, to save him. Not everything possible, but the impossible.
You were an adviser to the commanding general of the U.S. Special Operations in Afghanistan. So you do know the full range of what could be done here. Is there really anything left at this point that Ukraine can do to save the soldiers, 600 of them as I said some of the injured are mortally so. They are literally in unsanitary conditions with missing limbs.
JONES: Well, Erin, from a military perspective, trying to send in Ukrainian special operations forces for example by helicopter or using aircraft. It's just -- the Russians have the Black Sea blockaded right now. They have a front line where they've got air defenses systems. So anything that comes across to relieve soldiers and try to take them out in some kind of evacuation attempt is likely to be shot down.
I think the best that the Ukraine can probably hopeful right now is to strike a deal where they can release some Russian soldiers that have been captured by the Ukrainians. And then strike a drug deal. I think that's about as much as the queens can hope for, but trying to free them with a raid, I just don't see that as being militarily feasible with the Russians have surrounding the steel plant, and the size of the Ukrainian forces there.
BURNETT: Yeah, I mean it's a lot of people there. They are saying 600, the civilians, according to the committee we spoke to do seem to be out of that plant fully as he understands it. So that's significant.
But, Colonel Leighton, we've been to villages and seen an incredible amount of arms, and all sorts of bullets from small two huge ones, all kinds of sizes. And I want to show everyone some of what we saw today in a destroyed village near Kyiv.
These are called flechettes, they look like nails, there rarely using modern warfare. In fact, as far as I understand it, but they were really used in was War World I. They're inhumane, they're usually packed into shells and then they explode and they send these little darts everywhere.
What do you make, Colonel, of their use here?
LEIGHTON: Certainly, it's inhumane, Erin, and it's something that like you said, this goes back to World War I. This kind of a weapon and it is something that does, I believe, violate the laws of warfare. To use this against civilian population which was the principal target, let's be frank, and it really implicates the Russians in another possible series of war crimes, potentially. And that should be looked at.
But, you know, in terms of military use, it is a weapon that is absolutely not to be used by military forces, especially against civilian populations. But even against other military combatants. It is a weapon that has definitely outlived its time, outlived its usefulness.
BURNETT: Seth, big picture, I know you've been looking at some new maps and imagery of the battlefield. When we talk about what's happening in the east of Ukraine, what's happening in the south and the air defenses you just referenced along the Russian frontline -- is there such a thing now that has coalesced, what are you seeing?
JONES: Yeah, Erin, I think what we're seeing now is we look at the tactical force posture on the ground. What the Russians have done is, they now have essentially a frontline that goes from Crimea that winds towards the Donbas and to Luhansk and Donetsk and then moves upward towards the Russian border, just east of Kharkiv.
That's a pretty reasonably sized chunk of territory that the Russians are now reinforcing, putting minds in areas that have air defense systems. They've built rail heads for logistics support and probably most important in many ways is they are now essentially state building in those areas. They are putting up Russian flags, trying to push in the Russian ruble.
BURNETT: Yeah. JONES: And then placing Russian officials in government positions. So it's essentially de facto annexation now of the Ukrainian territory. It's contiguous.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
LEIGHTON: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, a walk in Kyiv with the city's famous mayor, a man who has gone from a world renowned boxer and heavyweight champion to a wartime leader. And he is warning his citizens, come back here at your own risk.
Plus, a Ukrainian couple forced to spend a month in a cellar. While outside their home, Russian forces literally moved in and were living in their yard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This was a foxhole, there are four here in his garden and he says they were basically two soldiers per foxhole.
And a passenger with no flying experience safely lands a plane in a Florida airport. Who is he? How did he do it?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PASSENGER: I've got a serious situation here, my pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Return at your own risk -- the Kyiv mayor, legendary boxer Vitali Klitschko, telling me that that is his message for the 1 million-plus residents of the city fled after Russians invasion and have yet to return. This is the U.S. warns Ukraine's capital is not out of danger tonight.
BURNETT: Admiral Kirby, a spokesperson for the pentagon, said that he -- there is still concern in the U.S. that Putin will renew his assault here on Kyiv. And I know you have said repeatedly that you think Putin's goal is to occupy the city.
Do you still believe that's the case?
VITALI KLITSCHKO, MAYOR OF KYIV, UKRAINE: I have doubt out. It was and still the main priority, the heart of our country. The capital, capital of Ukraine still target of Russians. And that's why they try and they camp to occupy Kyiv, into three days to be here. In occupy the capital of Ukraine. Destroy the plans of Russians and right now they change it, try to concentrate his power in east of Ukraine. But targets still the same. Occupy whole Ukraine and main city, the capital, still main target for Russians.
BURNETT: How worried are you right now about his choosing to use nuclear weapon of some sort, a tactical nuclear weapon or something here in Kyiv?
KLITSCHKO: Yes, of course, I'm worried. It's my personal priority to support the defenses of people and give services and safety's main priority right now for every citizen of Ukraine. Yes, of course, we worry and we hope our warriors defend us.
But the risk is still there and without our partners, without the United States and European countries, we can't survive. It's a hard reality and I want to say, thank you very much for supporting Ukraine.
BURNETT: So, here in Kyiv, we're on this bridge. Looks over the city, people behind you, people are coming back. People are coming back, you have three and a half million people in Kyiv and many of them have returned.
Still, air raid sirens every day. Still the fear of cruise missiles hitting at any point. You talk about fears of tactical nuclear weapons. What do you say to the people who are coming back, what are they coming back to, Mayor?
KLITSCHKO: We can give the guarantee, we can't prevent to come in to Kyiv. It's always home and much better to be somewhere else.
KLITSCHKO: That's why the people are coming back. People want to be back to hometown.
And -- but as mayor of Kyiv, I tell to anyone, sorry, it's your personal risk. But we can't give you a guarantee if there is any second, any minute can be Russian rockets can land in any building in any place in Ukraine. And the war in Ukraine, we can't give a guarantee for any Ukrainian.
BURNETT: So, you know, we're here on this bridge, the glass bridge. But people call it Klitschko Bridge, after you, looking over Kyiv. You are a world renowned professional boxer, you have a lot of heavyweight titles. You retire to go into politics, you're mayor of Kyiv.
How has this war changed to you?
KLITSCHKO: This war changed the life for everyone, every Ukrainian, every citizen of our city. Huge responsibility. It's nonstop work right now and the people ask for the help. People ask for safety. It's our responsibility, it's my responsibility also.
Everyone can explain so many stories right now what happens in our country. The change, the lives changed everyone. One short story. We evacuated people from Bucha and Gostomel in our
train station. One small boy crying. I come to him and told, please don't cry, they asked about that man and mom, and you find them, and the person who support the child tell me, the boy don't know. He's alone.
Dad and his mom is killed.
You asked me about how change the life of the people, just one example. How it changed the life of many Ukrainians, thousands, millions of Ukrainians. It's right now, time before the war, time in the war and we think right now time after the war. And we keep fingers crossed, stop this senseless war as soon as possible.
BURNETT: Mayor Klitschko, thank you so much for your time.
KLITSCHKO: You're welcome. Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, Russian soldiers living side by side with Ukrainian family. Foxholes, just outside their home in the garden. It was an incredible thing to see and I want to share with you. You'll see firsthand how they lived, together, for a month.
Plus we're learning more about the passenger with no flying experience who was able to safely land a plane after the pilot became incapacitated.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: What's your position?
PASSENGER: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, new images of Ukrainian military strikes going up to pontoon bridges that Russian forces were trying to use the cross a bridge in eastern Ukraine.
This comes as a couple here in Ukraine tells me about their experience. They lived side by side Russian soldiers. Their town was completely destroyed by shelling.
While we hear reports of atrocities, this couple tells me the soldiers they spend time with, they had some conversations with them. The soldiers told them that they have been deceived by their commanders.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT (voice-over): Two baby goats, born yesterday. New life admits so much dying.
Olga and Vadim's house here in Andriivka, north of Kyiv, was completely destroyed, hit by constant shelling and then set on fire by departing Russian soldiers.
VADIM BOZHKO, HOME DESTROYED IN RUSSIAN INVASION (through translator): Here, we had a bathroom, here with the washing machine.
BURNETT: Vadim shows me Vanya's (ph) room, his step son who died this spring fighting Russia.
BOZHKO: He dreamed of a house, a car. He dreamed of living on.
BURNETT: Dreams that will never come true.
Vadim and Olga survived all the Russian shelling by staying in this cellar for 30 days.
There is barely room to lie down here, it is freezing. Even today, it is damp. They said they ate on this table. They had a clock to tell time and turn on the radio quietly for a few minutes a day to try and hear news.
They'd come out for air and light. And that's when they spend time with Russians.
Soldiers from a Russian artillery unit lived here in the yard. Vadim said the Russians ate, lived and littered here. They built these foxholes right away. There were four here in the garden.
Vadim says these foxholes have been cleared of mines. This was the kind of place that Russian soldiers would leave them. They left them in Russian homes, hit them under carpets, but this is a foxhole, there are four here in his garden.
And Vadim says there were basically two soldiers per foxhole. Keep in mind, as you hear the birds and here -- they were living here in frigid temperatures with snow and sleet and rain.
Vadim says the holes were luxury apartments. Russians built makeshift heaters with chimneys to stay warm. Vadim and Olga had nothing like that. The soldiers stole sheets and mattresses from villagers. Vadim says some bartered for food, offered their despised rations for eggs and jam.
Vadim says the soldiers were all 18 and 19-year-old, except one, Slavic was 22. Vadim was afraid to talk to them, but overtime, he did. They told him that they were told to gather on the last day of military exercises. They thought they were going home, only realizing two days later that they were in Ukraine.
BOZHKO: They said our government was fascists.
BURNETT: They told him as soon as Russia puts in the new leader, Ukrainians would live better.
And Vadim told them this --
BOZHKO: If we do not like the government, the Ukrainian people reelect it. There is no need to decide for us.
BURNETT: They listened.
BOZHKO: They apologized and said that they had been deceived and asked us not to be angry with them.
BURNETT: Vadim tells me one day during a shelling, he invited Slavic to come to the cellar for safety. Slavic said no. Maybe Vadim shrugs because he is an orphan and he's lost so many friends in the war.
BOZHKO: This is a person who does not care if he lives or not.
BURNETT: Many soldiers who stayed in Andriivka probably didn't make it out of Ukraine. Convoys were destroyed as they left this devastated village. Vadim and Olga lost their home and son.
And yet, they say people nearby had soldiers with them who were vile, who they say tortured and raped.
What were these?
BOZHKO: We are lucky. We prayed to God. God help us.
BURNETT: It's fortitude in the face of grave adversity. On this spring day, there is a future.
Olga says, it's new light, it's new life.
BURNETT (on camera): And it was amazing for her joy and love of the goats and the belief that there is a feature. They said there go have been injured in a shelling. Obviously, so many farm animals were taken and eaten by the Russians. But their goat survived, and she was already pregnant and now they have these two kids, and she was saying -- you know, it was amazing to see the hope.
And that one could look at a situation like that and all of the loss, the loss of her only child, her son, and say that they are lucky.
OUTFRONT next, a terrifying thought for anyone flying when, all of a sudden, your pilot is no longer responsive. It actually happened. It just happened to one passenger who had no flying experience and somehow, he safely landed the plane.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: What was the situation with the pilot?
PASSENGER: He is incoherent. He's out.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, a bill to protect abortion rights failed to pass the Senate, with a Democrat joining Republicans to vote it down.
BURNETT: New tonight, a passenger with zero flying experience, zero flying experience, like the vast majority of us on this planet, who managed to safely land an airplane has been identified by CNN as Darren Harrison.
Harrison, you see him here, with the air traffic controller, seen there, sorry, with the air traffic controller who guided him to safety. He was forced to take control of the plane after the pilot became incapacitated in the cockpit.
Pete Muntean is OUTFRONT with more on this truly extraordinary story.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Darren Harrison boarded this private Cessna Caravan in the Bahamas, he was merely a passenger. It was not long on the flight to Florida, that Harrison became the pilot.
PASSENGER: I've got a serious situation here. My pilot is gone incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the airplane.
MUNTEAN: Audio captured from Live ATC details the transmission between Harrison and an air traffic control facility in Florida, as he was over the Atlantic Ocean at 12,000 feet now at the controls.
TOWER: 333LD, roger. What's your position?
PASSENGER: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.
MUNTEAN: Air traffic controller, Robert Morgan, was on break when his colleague said he needs to come help fast.
Morgan is also a certificated flight instructor with 1,200 hours flying time.
ROBERT MORGAN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: They're like, hey, the pilot is incapacitated. The passengers flying the plane, they have no flying experience. I said, oh boy.
TOWER: What was the situation of the pilot?
PASSENGER: He is incoherent. He is out.
TOWER: 3LD, roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.
MUNTEAN: Controller Morgan told CNN that he had only flown a plane similar to this one. So, he pulled up a photo of the plane's instrument panel and talk Harrison through it, step by step.
MORGAN: Since he was a calm person and I am a calm person, we were kind of able to work together as a team.
MUNTEAN: Controller Morgan lined Harrison up with the Palm Beach International Airport and brought him straight in to a successful landing. Aviation experts call it a remarkable feat that left other flights listening and stunned.
AMERICAN 1845: Did you say the passengers landed the airplane?
TOWER: That's correct.
AMERICAN 1845: Oh my god. Great job.
TOWER: No flying experience. We got a controller that worked them down that's a flight instructor.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: All these things kind of lined up in a way that made this thing happen. This gentleman is clearly a natural, so he should get flying lessons for sure.
MUNTEAN: After the landing, Morgan met Harrison, his newest student pilot that he taught to land without ever getting in the plane.
MORGAN: He counted me as a hero, but in my eyes, he was the hero.
MUNTEAN (on camera): The original pilot in this instance was taken to a local hospital. The new pilot, Darren Harrison, told air traffic controllers he did have some familiarity with flying but only through observation, no formal training or flying experience.
Adding to the drama of all this, Erin, Harrison says that he was just trying to get home to see his wife, who is pregnant -- Erin.
BURNETT: It's an amazing story. Pete, thank you so much.
So, I want to go to John Nance, a well-known aviation expert, of course, and former commercial airline pilot. So, John, as a pilot, just how impressive is it for someone with no flying experience to take control of a plane in an emergency, even with somebody trying to tell you what to do over a radio, and managed to land it safely.
JOHN NANCE, ABC NEWS AVIATION ANALYST: It has happened before, Erin. And, usually, it does not turn out anywhere as near as well. But this was an amazing circumstance. The most important aspect here, and that we made reference to it, was the fact that only was the controller calm, and, of course, possessed of a lot of experience, but both of them stayed calm, and there was an element of trust developed immediately. And that's what you have to have if you got no experience on manipulating the airplane.
BURNETT: I mean, it is truly phenomenal. Harrison would not have been able to do it without help from that air traffic controller. So, I want to play this exchange between them. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PASSENGER: I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane but I'm maintaining at 9100.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Number 333 Lima, Delta, Roger. What's your position?
PASSENGER: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: The air traffic controller had never flown that model of play before, so in an incredible moment of calm and just, you know, self-position, he print out a picture of its instrument panel to guide the passenger through this. How typical of an undertaking was that for the controller?
NANCE: Well, pretty difficult in terms of keeping his head, to have the time to print this out. But, you know, in reality, I don't know if they spoke these words exactly, but there was something similar, the only thing you really had to do was manipulate the controls.
In other words, they're all in front of you, and the throttle. If you can get the gentleman to do that, and do it slowly and deliberately, then you can have a good result. That is what they created together, precisely.
BURNETT: So, when you listen to the exchange between them, all of them, what I just played there is a good example, Jim. You know, it's amazing how calm they are, both of them. It's a terrifying situation. No one can really predict what they would do. Were you surprised by this demeanor?
NANCE: I am not surprised that the controller was calm, whether it was this gentlemen or any other controllers. They have ice water in their veins. It is an incredible group of people.
But I am surprised that the gentleman on the airplane who ended up being the instant pilot was as calm and capable of listening to instructions and following instructions, and not letting panic take over. That is when we lose it, is when we try to talk somebody down, and there is panic involved.
In this case, it was textbook solution. In addition, if you had to have this happen in an airplane, a Cessna Caravan is a great one to have because it has a fixed landing gear and is pretty straightforward.
BURNETT: If it has to happen on anything, it should be this one.
All right. Jim Nance, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time, sir.
NANCE: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, a bill to make abortion illegal nationwide is block in the Senate. And now, all 50 states are bracing for a post-Roe v. Wade world.
Plus, the baby formula shortage is getting worse as many parents are getting desperate. How long before store shelves are stocked again?
BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden reacting as Senate Democrats failed to pass a key vote that would protect access to an abortion. The president speaking at an off camera fund-raiser just moments ago and predicts that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will go after the landmark decision on same-sex marriage next. That, of course, is a highly controversial statement, but it comes as a lot of state leaders are taking matters in their own hands to protect abortion rights.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the Supreme Court strikes down roe v. Wade, it will cement America's political fall lines in a way not seen in more than 50 years.
Colorado State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet says that she is bracing for a post-Roe v. Wade world. Her own experience makes her fear what will happen.
DAFNA MICHAELSON JENET (D), COLORADO STATE ASSEMBLY: Taking away abortion rights and abortion services and care puts women's lives at risk, period.
LAVANDERA: The Democratic lawmaker says that she was 20 weeks pregnant when her baby's heartbeat stopped. She says that she was sent to an abortion clinic.
JENET: I was already bleeding. My doctor was afraid that I could hemorrhage and die. When I think is important about my story, and that people don't understand, is that abortion care is a part of pregnancy care.
LAVANDERA: The leak Supreme Court draft opinion suggests that abortion rights will be left to individual states. This is what the country would look like, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, a group supporting abortion rights. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting abortion rights, but at least 26 states already or will likely move to outlaw abortion access. Thirteen of those states have so-called trigger laws, designed to immediately ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
We will have this patchwork of different states, different laws, different standards. Are you comfortable with that?
THREESA SADLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RAFFA CLINIC: I would love there to be all states where abortion did not exist in our country. I realize that's not where we are headed.
LAVANDERA: Threesa Sadler is a director of an east Texas clinic offering counseling and medical services to pregnant women, offering alternatives to abortion. She says she was inspired to do this work because when she was 19, she had an abortion, a choice that she regrets.
Last year, Texas lawmakers passed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
SADLER: The women that we are seeing, they see more panicked and angry because there is a shorter timeframe.
LAVANDERA: How much more panic and scared are these women going to be when it is illegal?
SADLER: A lot of our women, once that is decided to be illegal, it goes off the table for them. They are rule followers for lack of a better word. And so, I think -- my hope is that some of the panic goes away.
LAVANDERA: In a state with trigger laws, abortion access will also look very different. Five states have different versions of laws that would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother's endanger. Eight states will only allow abortions where the life of the mother is in danger.
But all of this will likely have one clear effect for states where abortion will remain legal.
JENET: We're going to have a lot of people traveling to Colorado to be able to get that safe, legal abortion from all the states that surround us that do not have safe and legal abortion.
LAVANDERA: And, Erin, advocates on both sides of the abortion issue tell us that the potential Supreme Court decision could open the floodgates to new laws that we don't quite know about yet. Some of the examples they gave were in the situation where a woman's life is in danger, will there be lawmakers that try to control and legislate how those decisions are made?
And clinics -- health clinics that offer advice and counseling to women who just had an abortion, will they be required to report these women that come in? Advocates say that these are the type of questions that they are bracing for.
BURNETT: Ed, thank you very much.
And next, a massive baby formula shortage nationwide, now, we are learning it may take up to eight weeks, two months, to get products back in stores?
And finally tonight, a major baby formula shortage in the United States has no immediate end in sight. Abbott Nutrition, one of the country's largest formula manufacturers, says that it may not be able to restart production in two weeks, and that it could take 6 to 8 weeks before their products are back on store shelves.
Two months, this is desperate. When you are a new parent, and your kid can't latch or something, I mean, you are talking hours. People, this is desperation.
Right now, nearly half of all baby formula products are at a stock in the United States. The states hit the hardest are North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee. The White House says it is now working 24/7 to address the shortage, which has been caused by supply chain shortages and on top of that, a major safety recall. It was back in February when Abbott recalled its formula after two infants died.
Thanks so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.