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Possible tracking of missing plane info delayed

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 8:45 p.m.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 turned west 26 minutes into its flight, far before its co-pilot signed off without word of the change, a former FAA senior official told Fox News on Tuesday night.

Scott Brenner presented the information, saying it indicated that one or both of the pilots apparently knew that the change was being made before takeover. Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Harmid, 27, is the one who signed off “Good night” without mentioning a change of course.

The Malaysian government said it was turning the investigation over to other countries.

With no trace of the plane found, intense speculation continued to be raised daily and the scope of the search grew with each speck of possible information. But no leads had been verified.

Ten days after a the jetliner disappeared, Thailand's military said it saw radar blips that might have been from the missing plane but didn't report it “because we did not pay attention to it.”

Search crews from 26 countries, including Thailand, are looking for the flight, which vanished early March 8 with 239 people aboard en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Frustration is growing among relatives of those on the plane at the lack of progress in the search.

Aircraft and ships are scouring two giant arcs of territory amounting to the size of Australia — half of it in the remote waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

Cmdr. William Marks, a spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet, said finding the plane was like trying to locate a few people between New York and California.

Early in the search, Malaysian officials said they suspected the plane backtracked toward the Strait of Malacca, just west of Malaysia. But it took a week for them to confirm Malaysian military radar data suggesting that route.

Military officials in neighboring Thailand said their own radar showed an unidentified plane, possibly Flight 370, flying toward the strait beginning minutes after the Malaysian jet's transponder signal was lost.

Thailand's failure to quickly share possible information about the plane may not substantially change what Malaysian officials know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense data.

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