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FBI to probe MH370 pilot's deleted files

Published: 5:52AM Thursday March 20, 2014 Source: AP

A US official says the Malaysian government is seeking the FBI's help in analysing any electronic files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot of the missing Malaysian plane.

The official says the FBI has been provided electronic data to analyse.

Malaysia's defense minister says investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the simulator used by the pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Files containing records of simulations carried out on the program were deleted on February 3.

It was not immediately clear whether Malaysian investigators thought that deleting the files was unusual. They will want to check those files for any signs of unusual flight paths that could help explain where the missing plane went.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysian authorities have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled.

Mr Hishamuddin announced that a delegation of Malaysian government officials, diplomats, air force and civil aviation officials will head to Beijing to give briefings to the next of kin on the status of the search.

Aircraft from Australia, the US and New Zealand yesterday scoured a search area stretching across 305,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean, about 2,600 kilometres southwest of Perth, on Australia's west coast.

Merchant ships were also asked to look for any trace of the plane.

China has said it was reviewing radar data and deployed 21 satellites to search the northern corridor.

However, it is considered less likely that the plane could have taken that route without being detected by military radar systems of the countries in that region.

Those searches so far have turned up no trace of the plane, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

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