Search for Flight 370 Focuses on the South Indian Ocean

Satellite data suggests the plane may have gone down in an area the size of Texas in a 2 million square nautical mile search.
3:00 | 03/18/14

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Transcript for Search for Flight 370 Focuses on the South Indian Ocean
This is a special room. I'm -- -- a New York with this ABC news digital special report -- eleven in the search for Malaysia airlines flight 37 time. Is running out to find the black boxes and -- Thailand. Just today saying it may have detected a plane that could have been flight 370 but saying it didn't share this information. Because it was and asked for ABC's haven't large tracking the latest developments as this report. The search for flight 370 now covers a daunting two million square nautical miles. But investigators are giving special focus to an area the size of Texas in the south Indian Ocean. That's where satellite data suggest the plane could have gone down. You're on your way to an article at that point. The good news here is that we have the Australians with the NTSB. Now in charge of this investigation. American and Australian sub hunters powerful cameras are scanning the surface for floating specks of insulation seat cushions were moving. -- the plane was in trouble officials say he didn't send any signal. There -- number of distress beacons on board the aircraft. And we know that -- have don't be activated because we are receiving authority for such -- Investigators can't rule allowed catastrophic system failure but -- all signs point to -- deliberate act. At least twelve minutes before the last radio call all -- good night. Someone used to cockpit computers -- program a change -- course. Two Malaysian tuna fisherman who to Peru told ABC's Bob Woodruff in the F spotted the plane after its infamous left -- and yeah. And and -- unit Jumbo jet flying above the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam. When he heard about the disappearance -- reported citing two. The top priority remains finding any debris from that plane Australia says a complete search of that area 15100 miles off its coast. We'll take a few weeks. Devin Dwyer ABC news New York. So for more on today's helmets -- want to bring aviation expert and ABC news consultant John Nance Scott Ian from Seattle John thanks for your time today appreciate it. These -- -- of these black boxes how long can they last. We'll black boxes nationals who actually -- international or look like -- recorder and the conquer the proper voice recorder like data recorder. Can last for a very Hurt Locker at a time but the thing that -- is concerning -- -- -- little -- if -- a little water. Belittling and makes a mechanical sound. Only last for about thirty days or manufacturer's guarantee. They may go as long as 45 or sixty days but it's very strange sound you've got -- early close the microphones the water to hear it and and without that kind of a situation in thirty -- You can expect or want to stop the noise now -- program Greek. -- about a thirty -- expiration of that but you're totally sit close as far as you know to audibly pick this up I mean how -- -- -- talking talking a couple thousand feet is just half a mile. It depends what the wreckage if if this is still in the wreckage -- -- -- getting ejected. If it's pulled over by a metal on the bottom of the ocean especially -- 151000 feet down is going to be very difficult security -- from the sharpest. But without proper -- -- endlessly about collateral five models you're probably going to be able to think it'll be you know the right frequency. And -- -- what you're looking for. Outside of that this is something that you brought microphone in the water -- -- fifty miles 500 miles away. What about the actual destruction of these kinds of boxes I mean I'd imagine there and very. Hardened -- basements but at the same time enemy is or is there a possibility that effect if there were if there wasn't that an -- has been an explosion that. It would just be rendered useless. Least ensure the tale of an aircraft and the aircraft will mirror ball field first shall -- -- other details always going to be the last thing to decelerate. And consequently their capability of handling just about any possible impact on airliners traveling at 500 miles an hour is so good. That we just almost never compromised and one even when we have only been within until spiral over time. Now days is not -- Traci on oil. This is actually digital information going into a permanent ship that is what do in case and all sorts of insulating material -- it's. Nearly impossible compromised. Speaking of the information itself that's on both of these boxes of voice recorder and -- data recorder what is the information that's contained. Well if it's -- I got to point out that -- whoever did this. Obviously. Knew what they were doing -- outline airplane probably not apply this airplane and could have easily and probably didn't turn off the voice recorder as well as well recorder and the -- -- they -- -- -- -- -- But if the information is there. It's also an annual -- hundred different channels of information about the airplane on the flight data recorder and again you literally. The ability to piece together what the airplane was doing -- the engines running out fast or running the other -- the altitude at all. The Cochran board's recorder has multiple microphones and company conversational voices in the cockpit should have been -- -- but we haven't progressed it yet. At any -- if these were not interdicted by the actions whoever took this airplane. Then it's going to be a treasure troll will have a but we might go through all the help of trying to animal we find that -- have been interdicted and they're not gonna give us anything. So in fact in the pilot the cult I can't have control what these boxes -- recording. They can't have control while they're recording but they can have control of -- their record. You can't erase them you -- -- cockpit voice recorder -- when you're on the ground the engines off the ground power. By the same told him there is a shocker recruitment cop at a new pew poll that you intraday power to the -- abortion Corcoran stops recording. You more -- and record up to that point. So want to question here is. Finalists were not complicit and there's somebody else on the carpet for instance. I would -- -- -- -- circuit breakers occupied -- what they're doing are all sorts of mysteries of -- -- So it records the voice conversations that are inside the cockpit also any kind of transmission is back and -- to control towers as well. Yes history and it basically captioned -- -- -- radios that are going our. And records anything despite its leader and said well as ambient conversation. We talk about these black boxes or orange -- more specifically speaking. So often whenever we have these kinds of accidents happen is there any other kind of a quarter -- recording devices actually on the -- -- -- to help people locate these planes. -- in this is something I think it's got to go out. Be looked at -- future because we did not know for I don't think it was a single -- of the shuttle pilot in the world. Who knew the better plane was continuing -- -- every hour to a satellite and it wasn't exchanging information. Well that's a perfect ability to take a little GPS and make sure that -- bringing its position every hour or more importantly probably every couple of minutes. That would not be over burdening the satellite transmission capabilities to have every airplane 93000 flights. Per day around the world peeing their position to -- we know politically they went black nothing I -- -- -- deterrent that all. And we would know where the airplane was. That would simple lightness a million -- We've got this essentially international coalition more than two dozen to dozen countries have been taking part. In this search in this investigation. One of those countries Thailand now saying it could have spotted in fact the plane. But didn't share that information because no one had passed. Does that speak to -- of the the beat the temperament and a cooperative. I guess environment from all of these countries. Most of these countries are suspicious of each other. Even when they are allies each other most of them -- -- People an official positions or usually frightened of their own shadow little more important -- forward so it's understandable legal Lewis fantastically ridiculous. Obviously which -- a -- international. Group coming together here to do everything possible fine this year. It is the proverbial needle in the haystack we've got an airplane and the water. -- got at all and which is diminished possibility that shall possibility until we find one scrap of it somewhere. We don't know that the this year it is simply -- -- -- Our -- and slow deep hole and I -- somewhere that's very unlikely. Or in the ocean which is highly likely. But we may never find it I I hope that's not -- all. Possibilities have been put on the table -- -- -- officials have been continually repeating. Some -- obviously have been a little more outlandish than others but again keeping that Spector as -- as possible. Is it still -- seem most plausible that it could have been as simple as an electrical failure. -- No I I just -- absolutely no waitress where it will electrical failure an inflight fire or anything mechanical and the reason why -- very positive changes. Course that were cataloged by the military -- may not have had a bead on exactly how high they -- We're now told the 45000 foot altitude that we told the aircraft climbed to immediately after the last radio call and accurately -- stern was not necessarily ballot but what seems to be -- seems to be holding -- all this a radio alleged -- It is several different course changes. And those simply would not be a workable in a situation where the crew had either been incapacitated. Or where the airplane was on fire and in any of those scenarios that you construct or not. Not conversant with national situation I think very clearly although you know you always have to say. The improbable -- -- you shall we does not mean it's impossible. But the most likely situation here is as has been stated numerous times -- on the last number of -- -- days that does somebody did. There was one of the two pilots up front whether somebody the -- caucus somebody who burst into the -- whoever was in control -- airplane. After the turn off course. Knew what they were doing and and it bears no resemblance to anything that would be a progressive mechanical failure. Of course there is no consensus out there as far as what could be the leading cause on this but among the community of aviation experts like yourself. Is there a growing majority of possibilities of what might have happened. Well I think hijack internal or external is is the number one theory and I see that most supported by by all the other council for. -- actually hijackers also including -- one of the pilots shall people who were assigned to this airplane decided to take you someplace other. That look like plants shut. Hopefully this topic he's I don't see anything in the background of these two gentlemen the captain of the personal that -- -- -- -- commensurate with we did she indications. In the silk air disaster where the captain circular regarding him committed suicide and we could see it in Egypt air disaster -- the first -- -- This is readily apparent right now but there may be a lot more information that we don't have Charlie we're seeing information being -- well that should have been forthcoming much earlier. I think that they should -- the problem here ears. There's no precedent but certainly not in my career I think council also Emilia Earhart at least we knew what she would do -- Is there there's -- initially history radiation and it is catching almost all core. Aviation expert and ABC news consultant John Nance in Seattle John thank you for time really appreciate that -- And of course you can keep up with the story in real time. By downloading ABC news app and starring -- for exclusive updates on ago. Renowned up and down cuts -- New York with -- digital special report.

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

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