Flight MH370: FBI aids search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
The FBI is now helping the Malaysian government’s search for the missing flight MH370.
The agency is believed to be helping the Malaysian investigators examine a home flight simulator belonging to one of the Malaysia Airlines jet’s pilots for clues.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is said to have deleted some files from the computer simulator.
Teams from 26 countries are trying to find flight MH370, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board.
The flight was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The FBI, through its legal office in Kuala Lumpur, “continues to engage with appropriate Malaysian authorities and provide support where necessary to the Malaysian government in their investigation of the missing aircraft”, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.
The agency would not comment on the specifics of its investigation, nor what had been communicated to its investigators by Malaysian authorities.
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Malaysia was also speaking to US aviation and transport accident investigation agencies.
“We are finding that the level of co-operation with the Malaysian government is solid, and we are working closely with the Malaysians as well as our other international partners in this effort to find out what happened to the plane and why it happened,” Jay Carney said.
A US law enforcement official told the Reuters news agency the Malaysian officials gave the FBI access to data generated by both pilots including from a hard drive attached to the captain’s flight simulator and electronic media used by a co-pilot.
But the official stressed there was no guarantee the FBI analysis would yield further clues.
Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said some data was deleted on February 3 from the simulator found at Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home and that investigators were trying to recover the deleted files.
The acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, stressed the captain should be considered innocent until proven guilty and that members of his family were co-operating with the investigation. Deleting files would not necessarily be suspicious, particularly if it were done to free up memory space.
The Malaysian authorities have said the evidence so far suggests the Boeing-777 was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next.
Investigators have identified two giant arcs of territory spanning the possible positions of the plane about seven hours after take-off.
This is based on its last faint signal to a satellite – an hourly “handshake” broadcast even when communications are switched off. The arcs stretch up as far as Kazakhstan in central Asia and deep into the southern Indian Ocean west of Australia.
Investigators are considering the possibility of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board.
[youtube d9oJseWCFEg 650]