Malaysia turns to FBI for help in plane inquiry

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SEPANG, Malaysia — The Malaysian authorities have asked the FBI 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.

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

Investigators have said the plane’s extraordinary diversion from its intended course — it shifted from a northeastward path across the Gulf of Thailand to a westward one across the Malaysian Peninsula — was probably conducted by someone on the plane who had aviation experience.

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