Final words from jet came after systems shutdown

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 16 Mar 2014 09:13:55 EST

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Aviation and security experts are baffled by the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner.

Authorities say when someone at the controls calmly said the last words heard from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, one of the Boeing 777's communications systems had already been disabled. That's adding to suspicions that one or both of the pilots were involved. Whoever spoke did not mention any trouble on board.

Investigators are also examining a flight simulator confiscated from the home of one of the pilots and digging through the background of all 239 people on board, as well as the ground crew that serviced the plane.

Authorities say someone disabled one of the plane's communications systems about 40 minutes after takeoff. Around 14 minutes later, the transponder that identifies the plane to commercial radar systems was also shut down. The fact that both systems went dark separately offered strong evidence that the plane's disappearance was deliberate.

The search area now includes 11 countries over which the plane might have flown. There are 25 countries now involved in the operation.

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