tv The Wonder List With Bill Weir CNN March 27, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
soon hope investigation. so much more to work with than mh 370. still a mystery. up next, much more on what happened a year ago and what's been happening since. the cnn special report, vanished of flight 370 starts now. a routine flight begins. a safe aircraft. a trained crew. and then -- >> there are reports of a passenger plane crashing in the french alps. >> the plane descending 27,000 feet in nearly 8 minutes. >> the aircraft obliterated. >> no piece larger than a small car. no sign of life. >> a tragedy that soon grows
worse. >> the crash was not an accident. >> all aboard germanwings 9525 are lost. >> we don't know why he did it. but he did it. one aviation mystery solved but another remains. just one year ago, 239 lives lost on malaysia flight 370. >> you have a series of events that appear to be human driven. >> it remains one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time. >> no one excepts a 777 to vanish. it just doesn't happen. >> many more questions than answers. >> we need to know what happened. it is not an option not to know. >> vanished, the mystery of malaysia flight 370.
it's one of the greatest mysteries of all time. >> nobody expects a 777 to vanish. it just doesn't happen. >> a state of the art aircraft march 8th, 2014. kuala lumpur international airport. just after midnight the pilots of malaysia airlines flight 370 or preparing for takeoff. >> it's all about checklists in aviation. they're going through checklists. >> miles o'brien is a pilot and aviation analyst for cnn. >> it doesn't matter how mundane it is, how many times you've done it, you do it religiously because that's absolute foundation of safety in aviation. >> in the cockpit, 27-year-old first officer fariq hamid. this shows him training. flight 370 was the first time flying the airport without an instructor. >> so while his experience level might have been low on the
aircraft, he was totally up to date on how to fly it. a lot of airline pilots tell me these are the best people to fly with because they just come out of rigorous training. >> next to fariq, zaharie shah, with a stellar reputation. >> we go back about 30 years. we started flying together. >> nik huslan is a former chief pilot for malaysia airlines. >> my wife was a chief stewardess. so i think if my wife's on board the air, i would like zaharie to fly the plane because i've got great confidence in the guy. >> there's real confidence in the plane they're about to fly. the boeing 777. >> it's a great airplane. a material record of safety. >> the pinnacle of aircraft that i have flown. the automation is just fantastic.
>> any hydraulic system that would fail, there are two or three backup systems. after making their final preparations, the pilots are ready for pushback. at 12:32 a.m., the pilots taxi to the runway. cleared for departure. flight 370 takes off for a six-hour scheduled flight to beijing. >> the human control, direct physical control on the controls will probably cease after the landing gear goes up and the flaps go up and it goes on auto pilot.
>> the passengers are cruising comfortably at 35,000 feet. even the pilots can relax a little. the plane is basically flying itself. >> there was no particular challenge there for a seasoned captain and that first officer to handle that flight without any problem. >> and at 1:07 a.m., all seems well. according to an automatic message sent from the aircraft's communication system called acars. richard quest is an aviation correspondent for cnn. >> think of acars as a giant smartphone that will send out huge amounts of information via satellite or by radio transmission. >> then at 1:19 a.m., a standard handoff with air traffic control as the plane leaves malaysian air space and enters vietnamese air space.
>> malaysian 370. >> the controller here speaking to ho chi minh. he says good night 370. something i would do. >> there was no indication that anything had gone wrong. >> david soucie is a former safety inspector for the faa. so for the first 40 minutes of this flight up to that point everything has been routine. >> mm-hmm, yes. >> everything was routine until now. two minutes after talking with air traffic control, 40 minutes into the flight, the plane's transponder goes dark. >> the plane's transponder is effectively the instrument that sends out a signal to air traffic control. it tells you what height it's at, which direction and what speed it's traveling. suddenly this giant 777 is blind
to the world. >> and there's no easy explanation for why it happened. >> either it was intentional and someone tried to turn all those systems off at once or the pilot was unable to communicate, kept from communicating or there was a mechanical failure of some kind that took all those systems out at one time. >> then, minutes after the transponder stops, the 777 makes an unexpected turn heading west and way off course. >> that the plane turned immediately after the transponder went off is completely inexplicable and very worrisome. >> peter goelz is a former managing director of the ntsb. >> we don't know whether this was done voluntarily, whether it was done under duress. we simply have no idea. >> no idea what really happened, but goelz sees a red flag. >> it was completely out of the ordinary that there was no distress call. that the turn takes place and there's absolute silence, it means that somebody on that
plane redirected it to a new course heading and they were not telling anyone. >> not telling anyone and never checking in with vietnam air traffic control. >> the fact that the westerly turn happens at the point of handover between malaysia and vietnam, for many is the strongest evidence that something nefarious was going on. >> you've investigated many incidents. is that coincidence that everything seems to go wrong at this particular, critical moment? >> it can't be coincidence. i don't believe in coincidence with my accidents. it just seems to me that there was something. now, it doesn't mean that it was nefarious, it doesn't mean anything else, but remember there's a lot of systems doing a lot of things at that time as well. >> so the critical moment is immediately after this handover. when you're essentially in this kind of no man's land in the
sky -- >> yeah, nobody's watching right then. >> for 19 minutes, no one was watching and flight 370 would vanish. coming up -- a critical mistake by air traffic control with time running out. >> the aircraft was still flying, as we know now. that just is so painful to think about, that four hours later, no one's looking yet.
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in the middle of the night on march 8th, at 1:21 a.m., malaysia airlines flight 370 vanishes into thin air. there's been silence from the cockpit, and by 1:37 a.m., a second flight communication system, acars, isn't working either. >> acars was either switched off or it failed. we don't know which because whatever did happen, this is the crucial moment. we pretty much know that all the comes are disabled, switched
off, broken, blown up. >> is an investigator looking at this, what would the determination be at least to this point of what is happening? >> at this point, i've got two different paths. one is that that aircraft was taken over and that the systems were intentionally shut down. the other side would be that there was a singular failure at a common location, and that singular mechanical failure would have done exactly the same thing. at this point in the investigation, there's no evidence one way or the other. >> but there would be piles of evidence if acars hadn't stopped transmitting. >> you'd know the air condition of the engines, the route it was taking, the altitudes it was taking. we would know exactly the state of that aircraft. >> just the kind of information someone taking over a plane wouldn't want anyone to know.
>> if you were doing something nefarious and switching off acars would be a crucial part of making the plane go dark. >> 17 minutes after the plane went dark, 19 minutes after the last words from the cockpit, there was still no check-in with vietnam air traffic control. the call former chief pilot nik huslan has made thousands of times. >> you have to be like drunk for you to forget to check in after somebody tells you immediately to check in. every pilot would do that as soon as possible. anything after two or three minutes already abnormal. >> around 1:38 a.m., air traffic controllers try to reach the aircraft. >> they tried the radio, they tried to call and see if mh-370 was out there, no response. >> you attempt to communicate directly with the aircraft first? >> right. that's first thing you do. if that's not successful, they
try to contact other aircraft around. they did that and those tried to raise 370 as well, no success. >> with no response, an air traffic controller in kuala lumpur calls malaysia airlines for help. >> i think fundamentally you have to assume nobody expects one of these planes to fall out of the sky. nobody expects a 777 to vanish. >> malaysia tells air traffic control a completely different story. they say mh-370 hasn't vanished at all. according to their own special flight tracking system. >> malaysia airlines says, oh, the aircraft's fine. we know exactly where it is. >> yet they've had no communication. >> they've had none. they've had none. so their system was showing that the aircraft had continued to go on that heading. >> over the next hour and a half, malaysia airlines gives air traffic control more promising messages. they had exchanged signals with the flight, the plane was in
normal condition. and the plane was flying off the coast of vietnam along its scheduled flight path. >> and at that point the guard is let down, you're going in a different direction. you're not search and rescue. you're just trying to communicate. >> but an hour and a half after that first reassuring message, a tragic realization. malaysia airlines now tells air traffic control, the information was wrong. >> we don't know where the aircraft is. our system told us it was there, but it wasn't. >> the airline tells air traffic control their flight tracking program was based on flight projection and not reliable for aircraft positioning. >> everything went wrong there. everything. it borders on scandal. the airline in the middle there just offering just complete red
herrings and dead ends, it's inexcusable. >> at best, the malaysia airlines information to air traffic control was unhelpful. at worst, it was downright damaging to getting an investigation and a search under way quickly. >> not only did malaysia airlines give bad information. air traffic control waited to sound the alarm. >> i think air traffic control waits so long because it's just the normal confusion of the moment. but at some point in all of this, an air traffic controller can push the big red button that says, help. panic. missing plane. and that's what they didn't do until much later.
>> not until two hours after it's clear the plane is lost did air traffic control notify emergency responders. >> that two hours is incredibly critical towards finding the aircraft and finding it if there were survivors. >> and it had been four hours since atc had last spoken with the cockpit. >> that just is so painful to think about, that four hours later, no one's looking yet. >> as precious hours pass, time is running out. while flight 370 flies further and further over one of the world's largest oceans. coming up -- what happened on board flight 370? >> we do not know how the perpetrator are, we will never know the reasons why, but definitely there's a human hand involved.
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>> but it didn't seem to. by now, the 777 is believed to be hundreds of miles off its original course. >> we don't know what's normal for their military. and i think that a big part of the problem with this investigation is that the malaysians were very tight lipped about what they had, what they knew and when they knew it. >> the malaysian air force, for reasons still not fully explained, doesn't tell anyone in civilian authority what it had seen for hours. >> governments don't want the talk about this. they don't want to talk about holes in their radar system, a posture which is not as ready as they want the world to believe it to be. >> not only is no one told. nothing is done. no jets are scrambled. >> why would you have an air force if it's not capable of doing something like this? that's a big error. that's a big mistake. and frankly, the malaysian government has not really accounted for it in a proper way
to these families and to the rest of the world. >> for david soucie, however, there's a gray area. >> here in the united states, we would know that in a heartbeat. over there it wasn't set up that way. a clear delineation of firewall between military and civil operations and the two just didn't meet each other. >> a missed opportunity? >> exactly. >> on the ground in beijing, of course, the families waiting patiently for the arrival of flight 370 knew none of this. finally, an hour after the plane was expected to land, malaysia airlines makes its first public announcement on facebook. >> flight 370 lost contact with subang air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. this morning. >> it quickly becomes the biggest story in the world. >> where is malaysia airlines flight 370? >> more questions than there are
answers. >> the hunt for flight 370 now covers thousands of square miles. >> it turns to government and airline officials. to many critics they don't seem to know what they're talking about. >> there was a deer in the headlights component to those early news conferences. you can almost see them struggling through it not knowing what they're doing. not understanding how to begin the investigation. >> there are currently 43 ships and aircraft searching for it. >> an unprecedented investigation that would baffle the greatest minds in the aviation world and the accident investigation world. >> they put out information without really corroborating it. much of it turned the out to be false. >> i would like to news reports that suggest that the aircraft may have continued flying after last contact.
as we will confirm shortly those reports were inaccurate. >> they ended up on both sides of a bad situation with too little information. >> even days after the plane disappeared, families believed they aren't being told the truth. this chinese woman demanded answers just before another press conference in kuala lumpur. she didn't get any. >> after ten days to two weeks, you know, there was a public perception that was set in stone that the malaysians were not able to handle this situation and that they were having trouble. >> as far as the images are concerned, i don't think we can actually verify when they were given. i will check with the -- >> hold on, ladies and gentlemen.
>> this is very important. >> i know, i know it is. >> family members were left asking, what on earth was happening. >> whose interests are being served or protected by this long wait? and something that's increasingly feeling serious and rapidly turning into a farce. >> adding to that, the early conflicting reports on where authorities think the plane actually is and whether it had turned or not. >> initially the malaysians said there was no turn-around. the transport minister said no turn-around. and he was very definitive, and that was misleading, and that was wrong. it's noticeable in the day and days after, he became -- he hedged. he hedged. he suddenly, i'm not talking about that. i'm not saying that. we're not commenting on that. >> weeks after the flight vanished, richard quest did put some of those questions to
malaysia's prime minister. >> what would you say to the critics, and be blunt, prime minister, who say malaysia wasted time at various parts of the investigation? >> i don't think they're a fair criticism. you remember when the plane was reported lost, i was briefed that morning. and i took the decision that we must search both areas. the south china sea and the northern part of sri lanka. >> but no one was willing to comment either on the biggest unanswered question -- did mh-370 vanish because somebody with intent took over its controls? >> there is some level of human intervention. this is undoubted. >> nik huslan has piloted the plane thousands of times. >> we don't know who the perpetrator. we will never know the reasons why, but definitely there's a human hand involved. >> no matter what scenario you go with, we're deep into the world of crazy. crazy scenario, obscure scenario, evil scenario,
whatever it is, we're in crazy land, right? this is stuff that doesn't happen. >> but it did happen. a truly astounding mystery. there is only a handful of verifiable facts and after the confusion, delay and chaos engendered in the first few weeks, comes this -- a completely different search area based purely on mathematics. >> it's never been done before! they were making it up as they go along. they were using information that was never intended to be used for this purpose. >> coming up -- searching in all the wrong places. why was there so much confusion when it came to where to search? >> we had no idea where that aircraft was. but yet the pressure's on to do something.
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on the morning of march 8th, four hours after flight 370 disappears, a search is launched in the south china sea east of malaysia. >> as with any search, you start where the plane was last seen. >> we began this morning with a desperate search at sea after a jet carrying 239 people vanished off the southern coast of vietnam. >> but very quickly overnight, very quickly, there's no debris. they can't find anything from the aircraft. and that's unusual. >> even more unusual, searchers also start looking in the
opposite direction, hundreds of miles to the west. >> i sat in the studio covering this, and we would look at each other and say, did he just simply say we're looking to the west? >> yes. that's because newly discovered military radar reveals the plane may have turned back to the west. at the same time new leads are coming in. >> late today chinese authorities released satellite photos of what they call a suspected crash site. >> an international fleet of aircraft and boats are now searching in two different areas. >> they had to look in the east because that's where debris was
allegedly being reported. they had to look in the west because that's where their radar data have told them the plane had gone. >> but searchers still find nothing. days turn into weeks, and the search area expands even farther. why was there so much confusion when it came to where to search? >> we had no idea where that aircraft was, but yet the pressure's on to do something. >> rescue seven one. >> it became the biggest oceanic search of all time. >> this is completely unprecedented on so many levels. nothing has ever happened quite like this. >> and into this confusion suddenly drops the inmarsat data. >> inmarsat, a british company, reports that flight 370 had exchanged digital signals known as handshakes with their satellites.
>> that was a watershed moment. and that changed everything. >> it changed everything because everyone had thought flight 370 had gone completely dark, but the discovery of the digital handshakes was proof the plane was in the air for several hours longer than anyone thought. >> suddenly, they have evidence that it flew west and south and continued to fly for some 6 1/2 hours. >> using complicated calculations, inmarsat could roughly determine where the plane was going. >> this is evidence that is kind of getting close to black magic. i mean, it's a feat of mathematics and ingenuity and reverse engineering, but we just don't know how accurate it is. >> but it is also the only hard evidence available to investigators, and malaysian prime minister najib razak. >> i asked them again and again, are you sure? and their answer to me is we are as sure as we can possibly be. >> he needed to be sure because, based on those calculations, the prime minister was about to deliver some very somber news. >> the flight ended in the southern indian ocean. >> the southern indian ocean. thousands of miles away, where no one could likely have
survived. family members were shocked. distraught and angry. there would be no rescues, no debris. now, a last hope remained. find the black boxes before they stop emitting pings. >> you're not in an ivory tower. you haven't got the luxury of time. you got pingers that may expire. so you've got to say, this is our best guess now. >> their best guess is a remote area more than twice the size of california. >> good morning. these are all the aircraft
flying today. >> the australians take over the search. and soon after the australian ship "ocean shield" lowers its towed pinger locator into the water, pings are detected. >> clearly this is a most promising lead. >> it was wow again. >> it was miraculous. they just put the towed pinger locator in the water. >> i was convinced this is it. they've got the answer. it's a matter of days. >> a robotic submarine scours the 329-square-mile area where the pings were heard. it's painstakingly slow work. then, two months later -- >> a massive setback in the search for malaysia airlines flight 370. the u.s. navy says the under water pings are not from the plane's black boxes. >> how big a setback was that? >> it was terrible.
it felt like we were right at the beginning again. >> back to the beginning. and no closer to solving the mystery of malaysia flight 370. coming up -- authorities investigate the last two men known to be in the cockpit of flight 370. >> we need to know what happened. it is not an option not to know. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ great rates for great rides. geico motorcycle, see how much you could save. despite what people said,. she bought me a sewing machine and she let me play with dolls and that was something that was kind of, growing up culturally, it was quite unacceptable and she really dared to let me be different. [thunder and rain]
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you have an acars system being turned off. you have the plane being turned not once but at least twice probably three times. >> and most perplexing, no distress call. >> there are so many ways to notify people that there's a distress. uhf, vhf radio, many, many, many ways. >> none of that happened. >> none of that for seven hours. >> could it have been deliberate? to answer that question investigators zero in on the last two men known to be in control of the plane. seen here passing through security on the night of the flight. first officer fariq hamid was only 27 years old. >> very young to be flying a 777 in the u.s., but had gone through all the gates and had passed and was with a very senior guy. that's a perfectly safe scenario. >> there were these 2011 photos taken of fariq in the cockpit with two passengers that
initially raised eyebrows. >> that's very concerning to me that he would have invited someone into the cockpit. once you're in the air, that's it. >> i don't think we indict the first officer with that but it's something to note and remember. >> fariq had no known motive and no apparent reason to take down the plane. >> there was just no indication that there was anything going on in his life other than he had made it. >> fariq had made it. and was on an impressive career trajectory. >> at 5,000 miles on a 737 you go from a small plane to a big plane, and that was his promotion. >> cnn aviation correspondent richard quest gained permission to fly on malaysia airlines in february. in an eerie coincidence, it was one of fariq's last training flights on the boeing 777. >> there is absolutely no question that he was a qualified, competent pilot. the captain said he was one of the best they had. he landed the aircraft perfectly. >> one of fariq's next flights would be his last. malaysia 370. and what about the pilot sitting
beside fariq hamid? captain zaharie zamad shah. >> there were questions whether he was having extra-marital relations, whether his marriage was actually in trouble at all, there were questions about his political affiliation to the opposition. >> then there was the flight simulator zaharie had built in his home to practice landings. >> yesterday officers from royal mission police visited the home of the pilot. >> it seemed like a potential lead until investigators declared it a dead end. >> the examination of the flight simulators revealed nothing suspicious for the authorities. >> and nothing came of speculation about his marriage or political leanings. like first officer fariq, zaharie lacked any apparent motive.
>> many aspects of the case had been centered on the captain, and the more they looked, the less they found. >> i just don't see any logic. i don't see any reason he would want to be a rogue pilot. >> zaharie's sister spoke out to channel news asia. >> he does not -- he did not have that kind of makeup. >> he got married fairly early. socially, great guy. extremely helpful. and always willing to share. >> nik huslan met zaharie during the rigorous days of flight school, 30 years ago. >> we have to polish our shoes until we can see our teeth in it, you know? everything was very, very regimented. >> he remembered him as a skilled and seasoned pilot who loved to fly seen here in a video tribute posted by his family. >> crazy about flying. he flies real little airplanes, goes home and builds toy
airplanes and flies them. he's got the life of aviation running through his veins. >> if it wasn't zaharie and it wasn't fariq, what about the other passengers on flight 370? could it have been a hijacking? >> it would explain the fact that the radios were shut down possibly systematically. it would explain why there may not have been communication. >> are there any suspects? >> they've gone through everybody on the aircraft, and they've determined that there is no one there that would match the profile of someone who would take over that aircraft. >> if not human intervention, could something on the plane have malfunctioned? >> it's got to fly for another six hours. that's the problem. but the mechanical questions. >> kind of ka it is a catastrop allow to shut down communications but still fly? >> anyone who hangs their hat on
one scenario or the other in my view is heading for a fall. the entire experience of air crash investigations is that, yes, it's usually the obvious, but it's quite frequently something you've never even thought of. >> there's no way to know until the black boxes are found. until you find the plane, how can you move anybody, anything? >> you can't. what you'll know from the black boxes is what happened. what you won't know, necessarily, is why. >> there are no black boxes inside human beings. that's what we mean in this case. >> our best hope of solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time, presumably still lies somewhere at the bottom of the indian ocean. >> we need to know what happened. we need to know whether this plane came down at the point of a gun, by the hand of the pilot
or by mechanical failure. it is not an option not to know. coming up -- a brand new search for answers begins in the indian ocean. >> it's a big, big hunk of ocean. it's as remote as you can get and still be on this planet. not to be focusing, again, on my moderate my goal was to finally get in shape. to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. so i finally made a decision to talk to my dermatologist about humira. humira works inside my body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to my symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance on humira. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months.
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the southern indian ocean -- rough, remote, forbidding. >> when we look at the room as pilots and looking for the air points, and it is as are remote as you can be and still with be on the planet. >> this is where the experts believe that the brwreckage of 0 may lie, but finding it is immensable challenge. >> we are not trying to find a needle this the haystack, we are still trying to find the haystack. >> that was march of last year when the vessel set out to try to the find it the wreckage, and failed. >> we have limited it to a small number of haystacks.
>> and now the australian national safety board has set sail with a new man in charge. >> we are confident if we can find the right haystacks, we can find the needles in the haystacks. >> it is easy to forget the plight of the families, but you ku imagine the roller coasters of the emotions along wit, and you go through the stages that goes with it including the e denial of whether or not it happened at all. in this case tlshg is no wreckage, and maybe the people will say, maybe they are alive somewhere, and how much would that add to the torment? >> dolan believes that he has the tools to find the answers. >> this is not the easy task, but we believe that we have the best crews and the best vessels to carry it out.
>> and experts have continued to refine the search area, but it does not mean it is easy to reach. >> it is six days sailing out from the coast of australia, and so in terms of the duration, we have challenges, and we are operating in the range towards the limits of the equipment that is available to us, and that is the best equipment. >> and this is the smaller armada that is counted on. and by this vessel "the go phoenix." and the ships taking part in this search are canvassing the indian ocean that have never before been charted and huge task costing huge amounts of money with of course no guarantee of success. >> this is an airline with a sterling safety record. now, if there was something
wrong mechanically, and we don't know about it, it is serious. it is very important that we get to the bottom of this for a lot of reason, and not just the least of which is the families, but the understanding that this mystery is more than just satisfying our curiosity, but it could very well be about safety of all of us as we fly. >> there is more than a thousand 777s out there, and that speaks to the crucial nature of finding the aircraft, and not just the humanitarian reasons of those on board, but they have to got to know what happened. the only way the do it is to find the aircraft, get to the aircraft. >> getting to the aircraft has taken an effort unlike any before. >> what is going on here is unprecedented, so there's surprise, puzzlement, a great mystery that is sitting there. and so, it has been our focus, let's find the best way to
getting to the mystery. >> it is a big, big hunk of ocean. it is going to take a long time. will we find it? i hope so. i know that we can't stop looking. we can't stop looking. so as long as we continue to look, there'll be a chance that the it -- that it'll be be found. the worry i have is that it may the worry i have is that it may not solve the mystery. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com they have no contribution to the society, preying on the community and the kids. >> i want the can any bus club to be be a household name. >> this is a pioneer of the industry. ♪ watch out for her >> we are not the amsterdam of the rockies. this is breckenridge.
>> everybody is playing everybody. >> there is over $2 billion to be made next year. i plan to the make my profits. >> this is cnn. this is cnn, breaking news. the fate of malaysia flight 370 is still one of the greatest mysteries of all time, but we are learning more and more about the germanwings plane that slammed into the alps. and what we are learning is shocking. the french newspaper say ths th the co-pilot andreas lubitz suffered a serious depressive episode in 2009. "the new york times" and the "wall street journal" are both reporting that the according to unnamed sources he suffered from mental illnend