Search for Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Drastically Narrows

It's likely missing Flight 370 took two paths.

ByABC News
March 19, 2014, 4:42 PM

March 19, 2014— -- American and British aviation officials have refined satellite signals from the missing Malaysia Flight 370 and created two possible flight paths that dramatically narrow the scope of the search to an area off the coast of Australia.

WATCH: New Satellite Images Reveal Possible Objects in Indian Ocean

The two possible paths have the plane heading toward the South Pole and ending, experts believe, off of Australia.

U.S. officials familiar with the investigation tell ABC News that the hourly satellite pings from the jet had yielded far more clues than expected, enabling the focus of the search to be cut in half - from an area roughly the size of Texas to that of Arizona.

Calculations by UK and US experts had now been handed over to the Australians to help with the search.

Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:55 a.m. Friday, and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., the airline said. It disappeared two hours into the flight and disappeared off the radar northwest of Kota Bharu, Malaysia, in the South China Sea.

There were 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

The Australians have their aircraft concentrating around the two plot lines and a new high-tech subhunter called P-8 is also flying missions, looking for any wreckage in the vast areas.

Earlier today, ABC News learned that the FBI is examining the homemade flight simulator that belonged to the captain of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight and a key question will be trying to determine what the captain deleted and whether it's important to the investigation.

The simulator's hard drive and data were taken from the home of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah this week as part of investigators' efforts to determine whether the crew of the plane could have been complicit in whatever happened to the flight and the 239 people on board. Authorities are baffled about the plane's disappearance, but have determined that it was a "deliberate act."

An initial review of the simulator, which the captain had boasted on YouTube of building himself, found nothing suspicious and no indications of plotting the plane's disappearance, but the FBI will scour the hard drive.

Malaysian officials said at a news conference today that the veteran pilot had deleted files from the simulator and investigators were trying to determine what had been erased.

The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Despite the focus on the flight simulator, Malaysian officials said they are not ruling out any possibilities.

"I would like to take this opportunity to state that the passengers, the pilot and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise," acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

Today's daily news conference was marked by angry relatives of passengers who shouted insults at Malaysian authorities and held up a banner in protest. A chaotic scene ensued in the Sama Sama Hotel in Kuala Lumpur as the families screamed out pleas for information and the police tried to escort the relatives out of the area through a horde of cameramen trying to get near the families.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: David Wright Aboard Navy Search and Rescue Plane

"It's really too much. I don't know why it is taking so long for so many people to find the plane. It's 12 days," Subaramaniam Gurusamy, 60, said in an interview from his home on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. His son, Pushpanathan Subramaniam, 34, was on the flight heading to Beijing for a work trip.

"He's the one son I have," Subaramaniam said.

Search crews from 26 countries are searching for the plane.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.