TODAY   |  March 25, 2014

Aviation expert weighs in on missing flight

Greg Feith, a former investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, joins TODAY to discuss the latest news on the missing flight.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> investigator. greg, good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> i know malaysian authorities have said this satellite data is conclusive. china has asked to use the raw data . it's questioning the voracity of this analysis. i'm wondering for you, are you confident, convinced this satellite data establishes the plane did, indeed, go down in the southern indian ocean ?

>> they have basically confirmed what the ntsb had told the malaysians a couple of weeks ago about where this airplane may have gone down based on the information. the aaib went in and worked with them, did some high-level math. they found they have this partial ping, which, again, just reconfirmed not only the southern route , but then gave them basically an area to really concentrate on because of the partial handshake or ping they received.

>> we see the families just in anguish, understandably, but also really questioning whether this is true. how important is it in an investigation like that for the investigators and the airline authorities to establish trust and credibility? something that seems to be sorely missing in this case.

>> it's absolutely vital. only because you have to build credibility and confidence in the work that you're doing. in this particular instance, we've talked about it now for the past 16 days about the partial information, incorrect information that had been coming out of this process. and, of course, the families getting secondhand information, and now with this text messaging. you lose the credibility of your investigative process. plus, as the investigative body, you spend a lot of your time trying to fight these fires while you're really looking to get the technical aspects under control. this is a large search. you have to choreograph it continuously. and what you don't want is to be distracted because something has occurred with the families that takes you off your mission. and that is recovering this aircraft, the black boxes , and getting this process completed.

>> he knows a great deal about these kind of investigations. thank you so much. appreciate it.

>> you're welcome.