December 22, 2014
US examines pilot simulator data as Malaysia plane search falters
The FBI is helping Malaysian authorities to analyse data from a flight simulator belonging to the captain of a missing Malaysian airliner, a US official said today as investigators grasped for clues 12 days after the plane vanished.
Malaysia's police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, said an examination of the simulator, taken from the home of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, showed its data log had been cleared on February 3, more than a month before the airliner, carrying 239 people, disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"The experts are looking at what are the logs that have been cleared," he told a news conference.
No wreckage has been found from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished from air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast at 1:21 a.m. local time on March 8 (1721 GMT March 7), less than an hour after taking off.
Malaysia has now made available to the FBI electronic data generated by both pilots of Flight MH370, including data from a hard drive attached to the captain's flight simulator, and from electronic media used by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, a US law enforcement official told reporters.
The official said he could not confirm that some data had been wiped from the simulator and stressed that there was no guarantee the FBI analysis would turn up any fresh clues.
US investigators had become increasingly frustrated in recent days that Malaysian authorities had not asked them for more help.