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Malaysia Turns to F.B.I. for Help in Plane Inquiry

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The Malaysian authorities have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for help in recovering data that was deleted from a home flight simulator belonging to one of the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, in the hope that it will provide some clue to what happened to the plane- reported the New York Times.

The expansion of the American role in the investigation came as governments struggled to narrow down the vast search zone for the plane, which stretches across two hemispheres, and as relatives of some of the 227 missing passengers angrily criticized the Malaysian government’s handling of the so-far fruitless hunt.

Investigators have said the plane’s extraordinary diversion from its intended course was probably carried out by someone on the plane who had aviation experience. Attention has focused on the two pilots, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and his junior officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had built a flight simulator in his home, said on Wednesday that some data was erased from the simulator on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fated flight.

The data recorded in Mr. Zaharie’s flight simulator may shed light on whether he was involved, and may have rehearsed actions before the flight.

To speed its efforts, the F.B.I. will probably make copies of the simulator’s hard drive and have its contents digitally relayed back to agents and analysts in the United States who specialize in retrieving deleted computer files.

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Reporter: Kovásznai-Szász Réka
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