OTR Interviews

Inside the final 54 minutes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Leaked transcript of final 54 minutes before Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's disappearance may yield new clues

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX HOST: This is a FOX News alert. The final 54 minutes. You will go inside the cockpit for the final 54 minutes before all communication between the cockpit of Flight 370 and air traffic controllers went dark. U.K.'s "Telegraph" says it has obtained the full record of cockpit communications leading up to the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Also tonight, another strange conversation from the cockpit. A mystery phone call made by the pilot just minutes before takeoff.

Meanwhile, it is a race against time. Think about it. It was two weeks ago tonight that Flight 370 vanished into thin air never making a 6:30 a.m. landing in Beijing. The life span of that black box battery is running out. We have the latest on the search of the southern Indian Ocean.

But, first, those final 54 minutes of conversations in the cockpit with air traffic controllers. "Time" magazine's Nate Rawlings joins us. Nate, what you can tell me about the 54 minutes? Anything weird?

NATE RAWLINGS, TIME MAGAZINE: Thanks for having me, Greta.

As the "Telegraph" reported, authors have been combing through the 54 minutes where the pilots were communicating with the air traffic controllers and, so far, nothing out of the ordinary has been found.

The last communication was from the co-pilot, the 27-year-old co- pilot, at about 1:07 a.m., which was 54 minutes into the flight. He told air traffic controllers that they were cruising at 35,000 feet. The only thing that's even remotely suspicious about that call is that he had announced that about six minutes before. So that is not a required call to announce it twice but aviation experts say that we shouldn't read too much into that. That happens all the time. Just trying to keep the tower informed.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Nate, the 1:19 a.m. phone call when the co- pilot says, "All right, good night," and finishes his conversation with the air traffic controllers, everyone says it's absolutely normal. Everything is fine. Nothing unusual in this transcript of the conversation. Well, prior to that phone call, there is the shutting off of ACARS. So, if that was deliberate, there was something sort of weird going on in that cockpit in that period that apparently isn't picked up in this transcript.

RAWLINGS: Sure. Aviation experts have said -- and this, again, is speculative -- that if someone did want to sort of disappear, that would be the time to do it because it was during that handoff between Malaysian airspace and Vietnamese airspace. So what they are really going to be looking into is what happened after that call, the, "All right, good night" call, when the plane made this mysterious turn to the west. If they can ever find the black box with the flight voice recorder and flight data recorder, those will be the first things that they will look into.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nate, thank you.

RAWLINGS: Thank you so much.