tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN March 25, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT
red. >> stick it on the bottom of the foot. if the foot moves and a lights on the floor sensor goes off, you can know if someone moves around. he's a genius. hopefully he can commercialize it and help not just his grandfather but many other people. >> on that note let's go to "newsroom" with carol costello. >> hi carol. >> hi. have a great day. "newsroom" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. and good morning, i'm carol costello. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. we begin with breaking news on the crash of germanwings flight 9525 in the french alps. two americans now among the 150 people killed. that late word coming from the airlines ceo just about an hour ago. the u.s. state department has not confirmed that report yet. we do not know their names or where they're from. we should be getting more information in the next hour or so. also happening right now, a live look at the crash staging area. the leaders of germany, france pain will soon be arriving for a
first-hand look at the wreckage. if any of those leaders speak we'll bring it to you live. also new this hour, we have new pictures of the black box that's been recovered. the voice flight data recorder is badly damaged. crews hope to have it working for hours. key in the investigation, the last eight minutes of that flight. we're covering all of the angels of this story. our correspondents are at the site and in the countries mourning the loss of all of those aboard. let's begin with the breaking news. the two americans are among those killed in the crash. cnn's diana magnay is in germany this morning to tell us more. >> reporter: hi carol. well that's all i can tell you about these americans, just that two have been confirmed as having been on board. as you said we don't know their names, where they came from. we will be following up on that information, but we do have fresh numbers from the ceo of german wings as to the numbers of people from which country
were killed. we know that 72 from germany and 37 he says, from spain. in fact the spanish interior ministry suggests it was a little more than that. obviously this flight was flying from barcelona to dusseldorf germany, the worst affected. great britain has confirmed one dead. the netherlands, colombia australia, argentina are beginning to learn more about the people who are killed. i'm here in this town and the school behind me lost 16 exchange students who had been on a language exchange program in spain and were coming back from a week away. the headmaster said tragically they left here 16 happy students. now we have this terrible tragedy. all morning the students have
been coming to lay flowers behind me. there is a book of condolences where they are writing their sorrow. earlier we spoke to one of the classmates of those that were killed. let's have a listen to what she said. >> i knew all of them. they were all in my grade and twoto some i was very close. we already planned things for the future. what we were going to do when they returned from their trip and it's very hard to believe that we cannot do that. >> carol, these are just some of the stories that are beginning to trickle in. so many across europe and across the world mourn the death of those who died in the alps yesterday, carol. >> all right. diana magnay reporting live from germany this morning. now let's head back to the crash site. right now some nations are paying their respects to lost country men. the leaders of germany, france,
spain are arriving to look at the crash site firsthand. let's begin with the leaders visit. erin mclaughlin is at the staging area to tell us more. >> reporter: hi carol. that's right. the leaders of germany, france and spain are expected to arrive in this area. we do not believe they will be going to the actual crash site because it is in a remote and difficult to reach location but they are expected to meet with emergency workers in this area who are taking part in a recovery mission that is still very much ongoing in the field just behind me all morning we've been seeing helicopters flying in and out, mountaineering experts and we understand from local officials that they have managed to reach the crash site at least some of the choppers and the crash site as i mentioned, is extremely remote
reachable really only by air. the terrain there described as incredibly difficult, even icy conditions that they're having to deal with and local officials say that the plane was completely obliterated on impact. the wreckage strewn over a wide area including human remains. those remains really a priority for officials, a priority for the people here in france to begin that very important identification process of the 150 feel that were on board that plane to begin to remove those bodies. they have yet to remove even one so far so that they can be returned to their loved ones. they're also working to try and figure out what exactly happened to this ill-fated flight. we understand from france's interior minister this morning, he said that the cockpit voice recorder was recovered yesterday, that it had been
damaged, although not irreparably. they're working to repair it and they're hoping it happens in the coming hours, carol. >> tell us more about the flight data recorder because we had expected to have some information in the coming hours. is that still true? >> yeah i believe what was recovered yesterday was the cockpit voice recorder. it's still unclear where the other black box is. no doubt something that they're looking for as i speak, but we understand again from france's interior minister that it had been damaged and they're working to fix it. it seems like they're optimistic that they'll be getting some information at least today in that regard carol. >> erin mclaughlin, reporting live from the crash site. thank you so much. i want to turn to the investigation. peter goelz and i'm joined by flight instructor scott miller. welcome to you both. thanks for being with me. i appreciate it.
>> thank you for having us. >> my pleasure. >> lots of information coming in to us right now. there are at least two different time lines, but this is what french officials are telling us this morning. 10:30 in the morning local time all seems well with this flight. at 10:31 the plane starts to descend without authorization. controllers reach out but get no answer from the cockpit. at 10:35 the plane is at 6500 feet and then it simply disappears from the radar. 10:53 the plane apparently crashes. now, peter, the crucial time is between 10:30 and 10:31. why? >> well you know you need to know what the last moments were like. what were the flight crew doing? hopefully the voice recorder which is really profoundly damaged, they will be able to extract the voices from the chips in the recorder. it may take some time but they'll get that data.
we need to know what the pilots were doing, what they were saying if they were communicating. if we don't have that last moments, it's going to deepen the mystery and we won't know what they were focused on. >> and you mentioned that the cockpit voice recorder is damaged, peter. does that mean that we might not know what happened during that crucial minute? >> no, i think -- first of all, it just shows the profound force that that plane hit the mountain with. i mean it was going at an extraordinary amount of speed and the damage was profound but they will be able to extract the voices. if there's anything on the recorder they'll be able to get it. i've seen more damaged recorders where they've gotten voices off the digital devices. so it may take some time but they will get it. >> the real key is the data recorder. that's where the key information
will be. >> scott, you're a pilot. air traffic control reached out to this pilot, to this cockpit at 10:31. no answer. describe a scenario where you or your co pilot would not answer or send a distress call. >> well i've been thinking a lot about that and unfortunately, a direct answer to that question i would have a hard time coming up with one. when we are operating the aircraft even if everything is perfectly normal or we are encountering adverse conditions we ensure it is being flown, we ensure it's on the proper flight path and we ensure we are communicating properly. the lack of communication especially during the 8 minute descent is very troubling and very curious at this point. >> even if you were trying to right the plane and the plane was in the process of crashing let's say, you could find some time or the co-pilot could find some time to at least send out a distress call. >> yes, that's true. and this -- the eight-minute
descent, it does appear obviously that that was an unusual event and that something very compelling caused the crew to make the decision to start down but during that eight-minute time frame there should have been adequate time more than enough time to even get a quick message out about why they were descending. if they had experienced a pressurization problem, this is pure speculation, but if they had a pressurization problem we have an actual checklist that we follow to get the aircraft safely descended. printed is an atc communication item. >> interesting. so peter, i'd like you to take a look at the wreckage and you're going to see the wreckage in a second here. you're going to see circled areas. the pieces of wreckage in these circled areas are likely pieces of the tail section because there's red on the tail section. there are bigger pieces of the fuselage about the size of a
car. as an investigator what can you discern from the debris field? >> we've seen debris fields like this in the past. you can go back to value yet, the plane that crashed in the everglades virtually dissin at the great-- disintegrated as well. it was a very high speed impact. this plane was going in excess of 400 knots probably when it hit the side of the mountain. you're not going to get much beyond that because the wreckage is so tiny. as captain miller indicated, that eight minute disscent where there was no communication is very troubling and have i concerning. >> so scott, i also thought it kind of strange that germanwings has not released the pilot's wing or any information about the co-pilot. why would that be? >> well that again, pure speculation, it could be, you know something as simple as
family notification ahead of time. ensuring that, you know in fact the proper names are being released. there may have been a last-minute crew change that may have inserted a little bit of uncertainty. i wouldn't make a lot of that. i think they're being very careful with the release of data to ensure proper information is released. >> peter, why not release any information, at least, about the co-pilot? >> well i think captain miller's right. we don't know. it could be that they're having difficulty reaching out to their next of kin. it may have been a request from german or french authorities. they are going to do extensive background checks on both of these crew members to see whether there's any indication of something that would raise a red flag to investigators.
i think lufthansa and the french have been very methodical. they have been very precise. they haven't had any missteps in family assistance or in the investigation. i just think they're doing it in a step-by-step basis. i think we'll get the names of the crew members in the near future. >> peter goelz thank you for your insight. two americans are involved in the crash. will adding that to the investigation complicate the field? we'll talk about that next. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com.
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you see this helicopter. it just landed near the crash site at the base of the crash site at the base of the french alps. you can see three world leaders getting off that chopper. francois hollande. angela merkel. it's a wonderful gesture they're there. >> you have the three there because obviously the plane departed from spain more than 50 passengers on board. 50 of the dead were from spain so that's why lacroix is there. it was going to dusseldorf in germany. many of the germans are dead. that's why angela merkel is there. it was flying over the french alps. there were french citizens there so francois hollande is there. it's called the state of occurrence and it is the french that have the business the bea
of france that do the investigation. >> so they'll be the primary investigating arm of this crash, right? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> because we now know that two americans died and you would think the ntsb would get involved in the investigation. >> every country under aikoa 13 to give you its full title, every country that has passengers is allowed to take part. they will see documents. it might be that the ntsb has an accredited representative. there will be avionics on board that came from american companies. the ntsb and the bea are usually involved in any major incident simply because there is an interest involved and they have the expertise. >> do we have rene marsh available? have you heard anything from the ntsb as of yet this morning? >> reporter: yes, carol.
i spoke with the ntsb. richard hit it on the head there. officially the bea, the french equivalent of the ntsb will be leading this investigation for all the reasons he late out but, still, now that we know two americans were on board the ntsb says they are paying close attention. they will have access to any information they are curious about or want to know about because they do have this increased interest. as far as the avionics there may be we don't know all the details of what may have been manufactured by u.s. companies at this point but that too, raises the interest level for the ntsb. officially they will not be leading the investigation and as of right now as i speak to you they tell me they are not physically sending someone there, they are monitoring from here. that said their posture is here that the moment that the bea says they need any sort of assistance they're there and ready to go. >> i was going to ask you, richard, too many -- >> just to pause there.
i see pictures that's lacroix, the gentleman with the beard who has joined the group in the sen seyne-les-alpes. here are the pictures of all of them. >> it's nice to see the spectacle. >> don't forget these three leaders meet frequently at european councils so they know each other very well. they are constantly negotiating whether it's over greek debt european budgets e.u. matters, it's not unusual for them to be together. it's not often and it speaks to the magnitude and the gravity of what's happened that the three have decided to come together so quickly. this is unusual. >> very unusual. let's talk about the
investigation itself. so i heard what rene said. everybody's ready to help but the french are in charge of the investigation. but there will be pressure from outside sources on french investigators to hurry along won't there be? might there be? >> there always is pressure. the french the bea, the bureau they are enormously experienced. just to pause as they are having a moment of silence. pressure but the bureau is extremely
experienced. they did air france 447. they did concord. they've done many many many incidents and they're very good at releasing information. they're extremely good. there will be news conferences. there will be press conferences. they produced a phenomenal report on 447. >> releasing information because for some information i'm obsessed about the co-pilot. we've heard nothing about the co-pilot. why is that? because during the press conference they had, they released information about the pilot but nothing about the co-pilot. >> it's going to take time. it's less than 24 hours. >> they know who was flying the plane. >> you want to put it into digestible fashion. the first job and duty is not to tell us about the co-pilot. the first job and duty is to deal with the families the relatives, the crash site the investigation. now i would imagine we will get a report from the bea very soon that will collate that
information. we will not find the name. we will not find the name. >> a lot of people who want to know about it. french officials came out and said they haven't ruled out terrorism but they think it's unlikely. why did they put it in that exact way? >> because you would be the first person asking have you ruled out terrorism. >> of course. >> and they haven't. everything remains on the table. this is so different, this incident. this is out of all the realms. rene marsh has been saying from anything that we've seen before this is absolutely unusual. >> more unusual than malaysia? >> that was unusual. >> i would think that would take the cake. rene want to bring you into this discussion. i guess it's not so unusual for authorities not to release the names of the pilot, the co-pilot or any real information about them until later? >> reporter: right. even when you look here in the united states the ntsb they never release the names of
individuals involved in accidents. the names are usually -- that information usually comes, for example, from the airlines but not the ntsb. that's just the way it usually works. so it doesn't surprise me that at least at this stage the investigators are not taking it upon themselves to release individual's names. again, that usually comes from the airline. >> just keep in mind as we watch the events unfold over the next few days carol, this is a very remote place. it's difficult to get the recovery of the remains and the aircraft and they are wholly engaged in that task. at the same time lufthansa has to continue running the airline and lufthansa has to get all of the documents for that investigation. so we're such early days in this but i think you're going to see a dramatic increase in information, you're going to see a lot more happening now. certainly now that we've seen
the three leaders. >> well and they have one of the black boxes although it's very damaged. peter goelz says they'll be able to get information out of there so that's good. they'll release that probably fairly quickly? >> they'll release it on their time scale, not on ours. that's really the way it goes yes. but here's the interesting point, the ntsb changed the rules by themselves effectively. if you go back to asiana in san francisco. deborah herzman gave more information than we've ever seen and it's the rest of the world following their normal procedures. it's the u.s. that went on this -- its own frolik of giving much more information, many more press conferences, but luckily the bea does have a history if we look back at 447 of being very transparent, very open in what they release. >> that's good. how does this differ at this point, rene than an ntsb investigation? because the ntsb does hold very
lengthy press conferences and they'll inform us beforehand and they'll take questions, et cetera et cetera. >> reporter: well i mean going back to one of the black boxes found, i mean when you talk about getting the information off of that it is not a lengthy process. so to richard's point, i think it'll be up to the immediate investigators here the bea, to determine when they feel it's worth while to release that information. when we're talking about getting tangible evidence or whether -- or information about exactly what happened that can be done within 24 hours. it's similar to plugging in usb into a computer. that download happens rather quickly. so we should know a lot of information. whether they will reveal that as soon as they have it or hold on to that until they have the other black box so that they can put it all into context, it
remains to be seen because, remember they only have one. and only one box only gives you one side of the story. what vectors may want to do is wait until they find that second box and they can put this into context. they know at what time what happened and what the pilots were saying. essentially create their own time line so they have a better idea of the chain of events. >> the one thing that i completely agree with rene they will wait until they've got both boxes unless there is something on the cockpit voice recorder that indicates a systemic problem, such as the angle of attack, the uncommanded descent. we don't know i'm just giving you an example. then they will move very fast to put out some sort of release so that they can deal with it. >> erin mclaughlin is somewhere in that crowd of people.
we're trying to get her on the phone. obviously the world leaders are talking to the recovery people. we're trying to get her. in the meantime. i'm never going to fly again. i want rene you, richard to get your fears. >> rene you want to go first? the reason this gets so much attention is because this is not a regular occurrence. when you think of the millions of flights that take off, we're talking about the handful of incidents, that is why it could get so much attention, because it is not an everyday occurrence. this particular aircraft we know the fatality rate is something like .14 per every, you know
million flights that take off and land. so it's an incredibly safe aircraft and air travel itself is incredibly safe but unfortunately when you have a high profile incident like this which we're not used to seeing when you consider how many flights take off every day, it's going to get this attention. >> 3 billion passengers a year. put that into context. 1,000 -- roughly give or take 1,000 fatalities. that puts it into perspective. i was flying back from my last assignment to cover this on an airbus a320 yesterday. i have absolutely no problem. i will get on one tomorrow. i'll get on one today. >> okay. just to give you the exact statistics around the world, there were just 12 fatal airline accidents last year 641 people tragically died but to put that into perspective, that's one
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countries, francois hollande angela merkel and they are talking to recovery workers. we expect one of these world leaders to speak at any moment when they take the microphones, of course we'll take you back to the french alps. but first let's talk a little american politics shall we? he's among the most vocal opponents of obamacare. just days after ted cruz said he was running for president, he may be changing his tune, i don't think that's true but anyway he may be changing his tune on obamacare at least when it comes to his family's health coverage. cnn's chief political correspondent dana bash has more for you. >> reporter: carol, when ted cruz announced he was going to run for president, along with that he and his campaign said his wife heidi would be leaving her job at goldman sachs in
order to help run for president. that's where they got health insurance for their whole family. with that gone i wanted to know where he's now going to get his insurance. here's his answer. >> so she's taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job. we're transitioning. we'll presumably get insurance from my job in the senate. we'll be on the federal exchange. >> so you will be getting obamacare effectively? >> it is one of the good things about obamacare is that the statute provided that members of congress would be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of americans so there wouldn't be a double standard. >> but senator, for right now, the irony is just kind of unbelievable that you have made your name fighting against obamacare and you now are going to sign up to get your insurance through that very process, obamacare. >> listen it was the case before obamacare that federal employees could get health insurance through their jobs. that's not a new development so
yes, i'll get my insurance through my job like millions of other americans. that's not as shocking -- >> would you take a subsidy from your job, which is the federal government? >> we will follow the text of the law. i strongly oppose the exemption that president obama illegally put in place for members of congress because harry reid and the senate democrats didn't want to be under the same rules as the american people. >> that means you are going to take a government subsidy? >> i believe we should follow the text of the law. >> the law that you want to repeal? >> yes, no. i believe we should follow the text of every law, even laws i disagree with. >> now one key question that the senator didn't answer but his campaign later clarified was about getting a subsidy, taking what is effectively an employer contribution which in his case because he works for by the federal government paid for by the taxpayer. he is not going to take that
subsidy just like many other republicans who also have obamacare for their health care even though they oppose it they sort of stand on principle by doing that. now the cruz campaign they are pushing back saying look this is not unusual. there are many many republicans who want to repeal obamacare and still have to get it because it is the law of the land. the issue though is ted cruz has been the most vocal opponent of obamacare. he started his presidential campaign on the fifth anniversary of obamacare saying such so it is -- obviously that is giving the cruz campaign some heartburn in terms of trying to explain this issue, carol. >> all right. dana bash thanks so much. joining me now to discuss this further, cnn political commentator anna navorro and host of the "huffington post" live mark lamont hill. welcome to you both. >> good morning, carol. >> good to be here.
>> thanks for being here. i appreciate it. mark ted cruz sounds reasonable. he's following the law. what's wrong with that? >> yeah i think some of this is over blown. we're beating up on ted cruz for taking obamacare. i thought he gave the perfect answer with regard to that point. i followed the letter of the law. obama doesn't. i don't agree with him but i think he gave the right problem. here's the problem. dana bash asked him a direct question. he didn't just say no. he said i will follow the letter of the law. we left that interview with the impression that he was going to take the government subsidy, which is optional. that's what looks bad for him. he could have done cobra, private insurance. i don't knock him for taking the government plan i knock him for taking the government subsidy which is what we left the interview thinking. >> on the other hand ana, he was doing what was most economical for his family. isn't that what we're all supposed to do? >> not all of us are running for president and i think it's --
just off the gate it basically shows ted cruz the scrutiny when you are running for president, the target on your back is going to be that much bigger. first of all i would say to ted cruz you have a great wife and a great woman. hang on to that woman. she's putting her career on hold. she was the one that was providing the health care and i know the story a little bit. know that she also allowed him to take a loan out on the house when he was running so he could continue running the campaign. so if nothing else you have got to say he married well he's got two cute little girls. he has to figure out how to cover them for health insurance. so i ithink he's finding himself between a rock and a hard place and following the letter of the law. >> mark he did marry a great woman. i heard no mention of her takesing a break from goldman sachs, for example. >> because it doesn't fit the
narrative. this is where ted cruz i think is going to go wrong. he's of the belief that the republican party needs to have an extreme -- not an extremist, but someone who is a dyed in the wolf conservative not a moderate. that's not just about policy that's about fitting a particular narrative. he delivers his announcement from liberty university. all of these things are to play a certain nair ra tiff. he doesn't like rock music, he listens to country music. all of this is playing to the political cheap seats. in his mind that's what's necessary to win the presidency. i think he's way off base. i think they'll nominate someone who they think can win an election not someone who plays to the cheap seats. >> mark i listen to country music, too, but frankly it's because it's the only lyrics i can understand these days in american reason. >> that's a good reason. >> carol, that point i think is unfair. i have heard him, you know that
ted cruz is not my cup of tea, but i have heard him talk about his wife and his wife's career at length. i've heard him do it in private aspects and i've heard him also do it in public appearances. he had a video just before his announcement highlighting some of what his wife and mother have done. >> ana and mark thank for your insight. i appreciate it. we're going to take a break. i'll be back with much more in the "newsroom." when laquinta.com sends craig wilson a ready for you alert the second his room is ready, ya know what he becomes? great proposal! let'stalk more over golf. great.
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there you are. >> reporter: hi carol. that's right. german chancellor angela merkel french president francois who will hollande and they are meeting with emergency workers and i overheard them asking if they had been among the first to respond to the crash site. this visit seen as extremely important for these countries, a show of solidarity and respect for the victims as well as the countries mourning the loss of 49 people that were on board that plane were of spanish nationality. 72 were of german nationality and france of course leading this recovery effort. now the leaders are not expected to visit the crash site itself. it's very difficult.
it's in a very remote location. in fact choppers can't land in the area it's so remote and so steep though it's not known if they were able to fly over the crash site. and the recovery effort very much continuing today. we do know that the recovery workers have managed to reach the area to begin the very important work of repatriating bodies. identifying and repatriating bodies. we are also working on assessing why and how this crash occurred in the first place, carol. >> erin mclaughlin, many things. i want to go to london and check in with isa suarez. she has word on one of the flight data recorders. can you bring us up to date with the latest information on that? >> reporter: we'll do carol. you're hearing from erin. the french authorities will say
the priority is to identify the remains and it's a painstaking process, but let me bring you up to date on the other two angles. what you do have you have an air incident investigation and a criminal investigation. why we have a criminal investigation, because so many people died in this crash. but they have found -- they have found one of the black boxes. one of these black boxes is an orange box but it's called a black box. it's a voice recorder. i've been told as well they were expecting some news the next three hours from french authorities regarding that voice recorder. we've seen footage. you can see footage there. it is badly damaged. it is seriously badly damaged, a bit battered. the orange cylinder if we can show it close up the orange cylinder in that voice recorder is intact. they're hoping they can take up information from there. we heard from the transport minister from france and he said if the voices had been recorded
then they'll be able to actually find out perhaps why it happened. this is the why, carol, not the what. we asked basically deborah herzman, the president of the national safety council if it is damaged, how much realistically can you get? how much information? take a listen to what she had to say. >> so it's no surprise to hear that the cockpit voice recorder is damaged because of the type of crash that occurred and the damage that occurred to the rest of the aircraft you probably expect that outside housing or the casing that holds the recorder to be damaged. what's most critical is that the information that's inside that data is protecting. these are crashworthy fireproof boxes that are designed to withstand these forces. it will be important for them to pull that information off if it's usable and they should be able to do this within hours if the data and the solid state
recorder is not damaged. >> reporter: now they're saying the cylinder in the middle that looks to be intact. hopefully that will provide more information of like i said french authorities hoping to have some more information, exactly the why in a couple of hours, in three hours or so. but that still leaves one key -- the other black box and that is the data recorder carol. that will explain the what happened. so many questions regarding exactly what happened why it went cruising altitude within 3 minutes it started descending. why there was no may day call. so many questions. no doubt we'll be focusing in honing in on the key minutes between the time of cruising altitude and the descent. thank you so much. we want to talk about the black box and the coming news conference that we expect to happen at any time with the three world liedeaders. we've always heard they're
indestructible. you heard what the experts said. it demonstrates the terrible impact at the crash. >> right. so this -- the box itself is most definitely -- not indestructible per se but, yes. it is designed to withstand the ferocious forces of an aircraft hitting ground at 500 miles an hour. it is also designed with mh-370 in mind to go down 20 30,000 -- 20,000 feet into the ocean. so they are most definitely designed for exact -- there would be no point, carol, in building a contraption that couldn't withstand these sort of forces. it would be a nonstarter. and what you have here obviously that's just the box -- >> i'll get back to it in a second. >> that's the box it's being carried in. so you have the outer casing if you like. look at that on the left. on the left that's the pinger. in case it was lost at sea or whatever. it also has an emergency locator
beacon on it in case it had to be located and the round part is the bit which is solid state. there's no tape. in the old days it was magnetic tape that would be recorded pulses or a voice. no longer. it's solid state. so providing you've physically got the chip and providing it's not been completely destroyed, you can actually extract the data from that. they'll be able to do that reasonably quickly. >> as far as what's on the -- >> here we go. >> that's better. it's not moving. >> right. so that's the locator that we've seen before. over there is the housing and the casing and the electronics. this is the bit that carries the recording. >> that looks pretty antenic. >> absolutely. it's designed to be. it's designed to be more than robust. and this is of course a similar one for the flight data recorder and that is what they'll be able to extract the information. what it will tell us is what the
pilots were there are five microphones in the cockpit. one in each of the headsets and then two area mikes and another area mike and they will on different channels and why that's important if i may is because you not only want to hear what we're saying to each other, but you also want to hear any external noises so those microphones will pick up the flaps going down wheels being retracted and difference in engine noises if an alarm has gone off and when you read a report it says sound of autopilot disengaging. that particular noise. a lot of information. >> a lot of information. of course crucial information is supposedly this one-minute span of time between 10:30 and 10:31. >> i would say it's a bit longer than that. the aircraft reaches its cruise altitude roughly 10:28, 10:27,
10:28. and then at 10:30 around that time it levels out around 10:28. you have two to three minutes where they go through the checklist known as in the cruise. now a look at the time line. the plane is around 10:31 starts its descent without authorization. the ground asks what are you up to? what are you doing? no answer. and then at 10:35 it disappears from radar. that 10:53 may be a little bit previous. >> that's according to french authorities that came out this morning. two different time lines. >> it's about a nine-minute window in which this takes place. we won't know the exact minutes and seconds until we get the report. we're in the area. >> richard qwest, thanks so much. i got to take a break. we'll be back with much more in the "newsroom."
h site. they're at the staging area right now. this picture was sent out by the french government. you can see the french president and german chancellor referring to a sheet of paper on the way to a staging area. they are there right now. they have been talking to military personnel on site. we do expect them to say something in the coming minutes because there are podiums set up. when that happens, we'll take you back to the staging area live. in other news this morning, in just over an hour afghan president ashraf ghani will address congress. it's the first visit to the united states since being elected last year. the speech coming on the heels of president obama granting ghani's request to keep 10,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan until
the end of the year. previous plans was to cut that number in half. let's talk about that with cnn global affairs analyst. what do you expect the afghan president to say? >> he'll get a warm reception in congress. his number one virtue is that he's not his predecessor. he's not hamid karzai. he had become particularly in his second term very difficult to work with for the u.s. he was a hurdle to a lot of things. ghani takes a more sober approach to the problems in afghanistan. he's asking for greater help. the obama administration has already responded positively and so far that's gotten bipartisan support in congress. so i think he will get a good reception. he will say things that congress likes to hear. i think he'll say that he's grateful for american support and say it's important. >> that's a big deal.
he said that before. he said that. they thanked america for its help in afghanistan and that goes a long way. >> it certainly does particularly this time when you're asking for more help and asking for money. he's also been very smart. it's not just about military support. he's also said for instance that aid from the united states should be linked to reforms to actual achievements from his government. his government is suggesting this which is a positive step which conveys a sense of a desire to make things happen. in his first trip to america years and years ago his predecessor seemed like a transformational figure. it's right to be skeptical. at least at this moment he's saying all of the right things and congress will appreciate that. >> help the american people understand why afghanistan needs u.s. troops to stay longer. why can't they get it together for themselves? >> well they were badly devastated in the war and the
taliban remains despite america's best efforts the coalition's best efforts, the taliban remains a huge presence controls large parts of the country. yes, the afghan military forces are about 300,000 strong. it's a large number of people. the quality of those forces is very questionable. >> haven't american personnel been training those afghan troops for the last ten years? >> they've been training some of them. there are some elements within the afghan troops who are really quite good and taking the fight back to the taliban but the large majority of them are not. try putting an army up from scratch and look at what we learned in iraq despite the training you can give them is not easy. it takes a lot of time and takes a long period of peace. it's hard to build an army when you're still at war. when the taliban is actively killing people attacking not just towns and villages but also military attachments. it's difficult to create an army. >> is there a sense you can
teach men how to fight but you can't teach them nationalism, love of country? >> it's more complex. it's not easy to learn command and control. it's one thing to learn how to fight. they have to feel a sense of national duty. it was hard to do that under karzai when the president and some members of his family were on the take or were very corrupt. it was hard to feel loyalty to a government that is not serving your interests. it also as any military commander will tell you, command and control, what to do when you're attacked and who to his to and how to follow orders despite what you're seeing how to recognize that somebody who has a 30,000-foot view is the person you should be listening to. these are things in the heat of battle that take a lot of training and it's not simply training that you can give them in a military base behind closed wall but training in actual combat. >> bobby ghosh, thank you for your insight. i appreciate it.
the next hour of "cnn newsroom" starts now. good morning. i'm carol costello. thanks so much for joining me this morning. right now the leaders of germany, france and spain are on site for a firsthand look at the wreckage of germanwings flight 9525. they are expected to speak moments from now. of course when they do that we'll bring that to you live. in all, at least 15 countries are mourning the loss of their citizens today. also know that we're just finding out investigators are starting body identification but they say that could take days. two americans now confirmed to have been aboard that flight. we don't know their names or where they're from. we're hoping that information will come into us at any time. also jarring images of the black box that's been recovered. as you can see, the voice flight recorder is badly damaged. the crews hope to have it working within hours. key in the investigation, the final eight minutes of the flight when that airliner descended more than 30,000 feet for some