'First Tangible Breakthrough' in Search for Malaysian Jet

Satellite images show possible debris of missing plane in the ocean near Australia.
3:00 | 03/20/14

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Transcript for 'First Tangible Breakthrough' in Search for Malaysian Jet
This is a special room. I'm Dan -- New York with a CBC news digital special report a big breakthrough in the search for Malaysia airlines flight 37. Australia now saying that they have found debris via satellite that could in fact be. Part of the plane. These -- the satellite images that show -- piece of debris 78 feet long 15100 miles from the Australian coast and this second piece of debris that is fifteen feet long at its fourteen miles away from that first piece. Now the larger of the two to 78 feet large piece. Could in fact be part of a fuselage if in fact the plane broke mid air or impact. It could also be part of the wing which spans 200 feet that of course is on a Boeing 777. The other smaller piece of debris could be a part of the tail -- which is only sixty feet long. ABC's Devin Dwyer is -- the latest now on this big development that's -- and lives. Good afternoon the search for that Boeing triple seven has ended for the day without any signs of debris from that plane but investigators tell us. They have some promising new clues. It may be the best lead so far Malaysia flight 370. Grainy images from an Australian military satellite showing too large objects floating in the south Indian Ocean this is the first. Tangible. Right through. In -- apple now has been an athlete. Baffling mystery overnight for high tech search planes raced to the area -- 15100. Miles off Australia's coast. ABC news was aboard an American PH that spent nine hours scanning the -- -- -- -- -- was -- -- in pods of dolphins. I don't think it's -- you go out you've been. Search area and determine its not there still -- you have eliminated a particular area for consideration. US officials are confident the debris was in the area where flight 370 -- run out of fuel. But no one knows for sure what exactly those satellites saw the -- the part doesn't look right for an airplane part to me. Clearly somebody needs to get there see what they are and either rule -- ruled out and that's the key right now. Today a Norwegian car carrier became the first ship to arrive in case debris is found. Meanwhile families of the missing are waiting anxiously for any news -- Malaysian officials promised to do everything they can. To be -- to defend these multiples is true that we must never never people who. At today's search was hampered by clouds and rain and will resume again tomorrow meanwhile. -- Malaysian authorities are saying that those satellite images still could be un related to the plane reporting live in New York Devin Dwyer ABC news back to you. Devin thank you for that day thirteen though and of course these -- the two biggest developments in this case. If they do locate these possible cases of debris what is next. Well -- if they if they can find something from the air that the next step is getting their hands on that wreckage getting the physical. State of whatever piece of debris they can find and ships are steaming on the way now to that location but it could take several days for them to get there. And experts tell us that once they do get that debris if it's there on board those ships then they -- the very complicated task of trying to work backwards essentially and find out how forward had drifted. Since initially going into the ocean and from there they begin to look down they would begin to look 141000. Feet in some parts down -- the bottom of the ocean. In hopes of finding those black boxes again as you know from Air France flight 447 a couple years ago it took them two years. To find that wreckage obviously this is going to be a long process in this case as well. That a significant step though certainly today ABC's Devin Dwyer. On the latest on that that -- -- appreciate that so for more on this new debris development in the search for flights recently a lot of rain ABC that Martinez who has and it by the Pentagon and -- -- satellite images were taken four days ago why did it take so long that for them to cannot just today. -- -- one of the things with satellite imagery as that you take it and then you have to look at it analyze exactly what you're seeing that's kind of the lag -- -- always see. With satellite imagery satellites circle the globe they're constantly taking pictures if their surveillance satellites. Or in this case it looks like it was a private -- looks like it was Digital Globe I'm but of those images are stored and then have to be looked at by. By experts and their field who can -- distinguish between. An object that -- -- what you're searching for might be just a blur of blurry image and in this case to the untrained eye this looks like a blurry image to most of us. But they have spotted something that the Odyssey they think is credible and so this was. Provided -- at imagery provided by this private vendor Digital Globe. And that who -- reviewed by the Australian I geospatial agency and they're the ones that. Get the experts are determined that there was something viable there so the US -- the where these images show were shot but not directly -- -- so how exactly. Is an area determined that it will be searched. Well at -- and of course we're looking at right now is currents and nikkei's. They since its imagery was taking four days ago they have the plot out the -- the patterns of occurrence where the waters -- take whatever it was spotted in the ocean. Eyes but initially what we've heard from the Australians is that that the plot lines that they determined. Came from the NTSB the American national. Transportation safety board the aviation crash experts they plotted a line they created this 1151000. Square mile area. The grid search that they wanted. And then when the news came out that this these options and spotted just to the southeast of there. Then that's when they sent those aircraft to search a new area and not where they had been spotted. But where they might be because of potential drift. It's all very -- complicated. A lot of science involved in this and -- the experts will tell you that is an imperfect science as well. What what about now from this development or even previous plans that are important works. As you restricting more vessels more place of that area for the search. Now -- -- and we have been told that right now it's just the the other US involvement right now in this mission is to. I remember they that -- the Malaysians are still insisting. That the northern corridor has to be searched as well as the southern quarter which is the one that the USP -- aircraft and those Australian. -- at this morning news conference the Malaysian jet Transportation Minister listed off all the assets that are being dedicated to the northern search. So -- -- it's -- -- just as equally as viable as the one to the south. But in terms of US assets right now the USS Kidd left. A couple of days ago from its mission. Right now we're told that it's still -- remain in the South China Sea where was plan to be. Along -- -- was resigned to the search for now the PA but if they need to dedicate other aircraft they can do so because there are additional. Based in Okinawa in Japan that's where this. Pretty a top of the line when it comes to something like this is searching the water that the vast stretches of the ocean. And and potentially that's what we might -- but in terms of CS says that it's a little trickier because it takes time for the vessel to get there. Zero Israeli navy is sending a ship it -- been arriving a couple of days that's how far away -- location is from the coast of Australia. ABC's -- Martinez the Pentagon Louis thank you for that. For more on the search and possibly the movement. A want to bring in former NTSB investigators -- -- Washington DC top thanks for being with us. So if the plane's debris is found say they'll -- -- images did capture some of these. Pieces of of a plane how far given the fact that it's day thirteen those images were taken four days ago. How far could have traveled this from a specific point of impact. Well read that depends on the current wind obviously. It's been thirteen days it can travel quite a distance. If you have a three night current. Today is going you know sixty miles -- -- is traveling. The winds are there it's gonna -- even more its -- problem. So once you start finding wreckage working it backwards as to where the real impact site is -- take a lot of effort and a lot of calculation and some. -- -- -- -- -- -- Given the fact that is not -- thirteen is this the longest search for commercial aircraft. Islamist -- Mike I -- -- mean I can't think of one in recent memory it's going this long mr. certain. Not to get too far into a speculative area but if the plant back was hijacked. Why -- five hours to dump it in the middle of the ocean. Well -- I agree that does make sense to me. I would think if we were truly hijacked. That they would have done some of the aircraft. You know turnaround crashed into a city or something like that. Hi Jackie doesn't come to the top of mindless. Given the fact -- had brought this up about that its Air France flight 447 crash. It took nearly two years for investigators to find the black box that was thirteen thousand feet. In the bottom of the Atlantic this -- the Indian Ocean is deeper than that right I mean is it possible that these black boxes may never be found. I think they will be found to take time. The fortunate thing -- -- with the Air France is. We knew it crash somewhere along -- flight -- here we don't know the exact flight trek which makes a much more difficult. The first and their France -- you found debris. You go back to the flight -- you try to piece it together and they finally founded. And then took a while another year or so to collect all the assets to go after actually getting down to wreck himself to -- the boxes. Now become warned that the problem in the future is that once you determine where the wreck is. Putting together the equipment to go down to 161000 feet it's not a simple task. Given the fact that Malaysian officials are very adamant in search in the north quarter -- then why is it that they -- continued on that now that we've seen as new satellite images. I I'm not certain there had could be their discovery all the bets they've been so criticized that -- -- -- option open. I would tend to lean with the NTSB investigators knows them quite well these are some the best people in the business of collecting data. And putting together track lines. So I would goes -- -- data first right aviation expert -- -- and Washington DC Tom thanks for that. Appreciate it of course you can keep the store in real time bite down on an -- Starting this sort for exclusive updates on the -- those two satellite images now being very closely watched search for the Malaysian airlines flight. -- on Dan -- New York with this ABC news special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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