Tags: fbi | missing | plane | flight | simulator

FBI: Missing Plane Search Turns to Probe of Pilot's Flight Simulator

By Jonna Lorenz   |   Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 05:29 PM

In a continued search for answers on the missing plane, the FBI is looking into deleted data on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Malaysian authorities said files were deleted on Feb. 3 from the device, which was found in the pilot’s home, but didn’t indicate whether such action is unusual.

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"At this point, I don't think we have any theories," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, according to The Associated Press.

The FBI is assisting Malaysian authorities in the investigation of the disappearance of the Boeing 777, which reportedly turned from its course with disabled communications systems during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. There were 239 people on board.

Investigators are checking the backgrounds of all of those onboard the plane as well as ground crews, with particular attention on pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Ab Hamid. They haven’t found any evidence to explain why the plane was taken off course and don’t know whether the missing data might shed light on the mystery.

"It may not tell us anything. It's a step in the process," a U.S. official told CNN. "It could be a very insignificant detail in the process."

Officials have determined that the plane’s disappearance was the result of deliberate action, but no one has yet been accused of wrongdoing.

"The passengers, the pilots, and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise,” Malaysia defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "For the sake of their families, I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that might make an already difficult time even harder.”

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