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Deleted files on pilot’s home flight simulator raise suspicions

Malaysia Captain Shah

Why are we only hearing about this now? It’s 12 days. 12 days. The NSA is listening to every single conversation, and they don’t know where that plane is? We have satellites that can see what color panties you are wearing and we don’t know where that plane is?  Another painful example of Obama’s failed leadership. Step up, man. Get answers. There were three Americans on board , including Philip Wood, 50, a technical storage executive at IBM Malaysia, who was planning to move from Beijing to Malaysia with his girlfriend, Sarah Bajc. The two other Americans have been identified as Nicole Meng, 4, and Yan Zhang, 2.

There were 20 employees from a Texas-based company, Freescale Semiconductor, 12 of whom were from Malaysia, and eight of whom were from China. And there was a Pennsylvania woman who worked for an American chemical company. Mei Ling Chng, a native of Malaysia, worked for Eastman Chemical Co. and lived in the Pittsburgh suburb. (CBS)

And  investigators have discovered the runways of five airports near the Indian Ocean loaded into Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home-made flight simulator.

We are not discounting the possibility that the plane landed on a runway that might not be heavily monitored, in addition to the theories that the plane landed on sea, in the hills, or in an open space,” the source was quoted as saying.

Malaysia Hamdan“Malaysia, FBI probing data from pilot’s simulator,” By Ian Mader, 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian investigators – with the help of the FBI – are trying restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, officials said Wednesday.

Files containing records of simulations carried out on the program were deleted Feb. 3 from the device found in the home of the Malaysia Airlines pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference that Zaharie is considered innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing, and that members of his family are cooperating in the investigation.

It was not immediately clear whether investigators thought that deleting the files was unusual. They will want to check those files for any signs of unusual flight paths that could help explain where the missing plane went.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name, said the FBI has been provided electronic data to analyze.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said U.S. investigators are prepared to help any way they can.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanations, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next and why.

Investigators have identified two giant arcs of territory spanning the possible positions of the plane about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, based on its last faint signal to a satellite – an hourly “handshake” signal that continues even when communications are switched off. The arcs stretch up as far as Kazakhstan in central Asia and down deep into the southern Indian Ocean.

Police are considering the possibility of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or anyone else on board, and have asked for background checks from abroad on all foreign passengers.

Hishammuddin said such checks have been received for all the foreigners except those from Ukraine and Russia – which account for three passengers. “So far, no information of significance on any passengers has been found,” he said.

The 53-year-old pilot joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and had more than 18,000 hours of flight experience. People who knew Zaharie from his involvement in opposition political circles in Malaysia and other areas of his life have described him as sociable, humble, caring and dedicated to his job.

The crisis has exposed the lack of a failsafe way of tracking modern passenger planes on which data transmission systems and transponders – which make them visible to civilian radar – have been severed. At enormous cost, 26 countries are helping Malaysia look for the plane.

[….]

Aircraft from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand searched an area stretching across 305,000 square kilometers (117,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean, about 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) southwest of Perth, on Australia’s west coast. Merchant ships were also asked to look for any trace of the plane.

China has said it was reviewing radar data and deployed 21 satellites to search the northern corridor, although it is considered less likely that the plane could have taken that route without being detected by military radar systems of the countries in that region.

Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Indonesia military radar didn’t pick up any signs of Flight 370 on the day the plane went missing. He said Malaysia had asked Indonesia to intensify the search in its assigned zone in the Indian Ocean west of Sumatra, but said his air force was strained in the task.

“We will do our utmost. We will do our best. But you do have to understand our limitations,” Purnomo said.

Hishammuddin said both the southern and the northern sections of the search area were important, but that “some priority was being given to that (southern) area.” He didn’t elaborate.

Malaysian investigators say the plane departed 12:41 a.m. on March 8 and headed northeast toward Beijing over the Gulf of Thailand, but that it turned back after the final words were heard from the cockpit. Malaysian military radar data places the plane west of Malaysia in the Strait of Malacca at 2:14 a.m.

Thailand divulged new radar data Tuesday that appeared to corroborate Malaysian data showing the plane crossing back across Peninsular Malaysia.

The military in the Maldives, a remote Indian Ocean island nation, confirmed to Malaysia that reports of a sighting of the plane by villagers there were “not true,” the Malaysian defense minister said.

German insurance company Allianz said it has made initial payments in connection with the missing plane. Spokesman Hugo Kidston declined to say how much but said it was in line with contractual obligations when an aircraft is reported as missing.

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