As teams from 26 countries search land and sea for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, here’s what we know about the plane’s last communications with ground control and satellite systems.
Local time applies to both Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, which are 12 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States.
Saturday, March 8, 12:41 a.m. local (12:41 p.m. Friday ET)
Flight 370, a Boeing 777 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, took off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing.
1:07 a.m. local
The plane sent its last transmission by ACARS, the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, which sends maintenance information, such as engine performance, to the ground.
That system later stopped working. It is not clear whether it shut off before or after Flight 370’s last verbal contact with the ground, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told reporters Monday.
1:19 a.m. local
The last words from Flight 370 to the ground: “All right, good night.” Those words were apparently spoken by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, according to the CEO. Flight 370 was signing off from Malaysian air traffic control.
1:21 a.m. local
The transponder, which identifies the plane to civilian radar, stopped working. This was also the moment when the plane was meant to check in with air traffic control in Vietnam, according to Vietnamese authorities. It never did.
2:15 a.m. local
Malaysian military radar last detected Flight 370 in the northern mouth of the Strait of Malacca, south of Phuket Island, Thailand, and west of the Malaysian peninsula — hundreds of miles off course.
6:30 a.m. local
Flight 370 was due to land in Beijing.
8:11 a.m. local
A commercial satellite, operated by the British company Inmarsat and orbiting more than 22,000 miles above Earth, makes its last connection with the plane — an hourly digital “handshake,” as industry officials have described it.
Using the angle of the satellite, investigators drew two vast arcs. The plane is believed to have been along one of those arcs at 8:11.
Upgrades to the Inmarsat system allow it to receive position, altitude and speed data from aircraft, but Flight 370 was not equipped to broadcast that data, people briefed on the investigation told The Wall Street Journal.
One of the arcs stretches from mountainous Central Asia to northern Thailand. The other reaches from Indonesia to the vast southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.