Missing MH370 Update: Flight Simulator Files Deleted

Investigators combing the globe for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 announced several key developments in the search during a press conference Wednesday.
Posted at 9:15 AM, Mar 19, 2014

Investigators combing the globe for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 announced several key developments in the search during a press conference Wednesday.

Officials are reportedly working to recover files missing from a homemade flight simulator found in the home of Flight 370's pilot. (Via Al Jazeera)

"Malaysian authorities say someone appears to have deleted some of the files from the simulator found in Captain Zaharie Shah's home, the same simulator Shah was sitting in front of in a YouTube video." (Via NBC)

As The New York Times notes, it's unclear why the files in question were deleted back in February. But investigators say they believe the missing records could shed some light on the plane's baffling disappearance. 

Officials also told reporters Wednesday they've narrowed the search area for the missing Boeing 777.

"Australian officials say they significantly refined their search area in the southern Indian Ocean. It's consistent with what we've been told by a senior U.S. official that the plane is more likely to be in the southern corridor." (Via CNN)

Since the jet vanished on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, the search has since divided into two massive arcs — one stretching north toward the Caspian Sea, and the other curving far across the Indian Ocean. (Via Google Maps)

The Malaysian transport minister said during a press conference Wednesday that both search areas are of equal importance. But an unnamed U.S. official told CNN investigators are assuming that the plane went south.

Though this narrows the search area considerably, that official says the search could take weeks. "This is an area out of normal shipping lanes, out of any commercial flight patterns, with few fishing boats and there are no islands."

According to The Irish Times, officials are assuming the plane disappeared in the southern search area because there's no evidence that the plane crossed over any countries along the northern search area.

But new evidence suggests the jet was deliberately diverted off course by someone with technical knowledge of the aircraft at least 12 minutes before the plane's co-pilot signed off for the last time. Rescue teams from 26 nations are now involved in the search.