Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane: FBI to recover deleted data from lost jet pilot's flight simulator

Washington: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said its technical team will be able to retrieve deleted data from the flight simulator found at the residence of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who commanded the missing Malaysian jet that has been declared "lost".

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"I get briefed on it every morning," FBI director James Comey said at a Congressional hearing on the FBI's 2015 budget.

He suggested that the deleted data might provide new clues to investigations about the plane, which has been missing for nearly three weeks, Xinhua reported.

"I have teams working literally around the clock to try and exploit that," he said, adding that "I expect the work to be finished fairly shortly, within a day or two".

But Comey did not say what results he expected from the FBI's analysis.

Police searched Shah's house soon after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed last week that the plane was suspected to have been diverted deliberately.

All the game logs in the personal flight simulator of Captain Shah were reportedly deleted Feb 3.

The Malaysian police have replicated the flight simulator found in Zaharie's residence hoping to find clues if the pilot had practised landing on his home flight simulator at airports located in areas where the search is being conducted.

The flight simulator was built by Captain Zaharie himself in November 2012. It had been made with off-the-shelf computer hardware including an ASUS Direct CUII and Rampage IV Extreme motherboard and six flat-screen monitors.

The simulator can re-create almost 20,000 airports worldwide and all routes flown can be saved on a hard-disk. Many of the controls are simplified, but the simulator provides basic features that recreate some of what an actual pilot experiences.

According to reports, three games -- Flight Simulator X, Flight Simulator 9 and X Flight Simulator - were found in the captain's personal simulator.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same day. The 226 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

The plane lost contact along with its radar signal when it was flying over the air traffic control area of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur Monday, Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak said British investigators from its Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have confirmed flight MH370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean".

"Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth," he added.

The ongoing multinational search operation still continues in the southern Indian Ocean.

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