The Boeing 777′s Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, last transmitted at 1:07 a.m., about 30 minutes after takeoff. ACARS sends information about the jet’s engines and other data to the airline.
The final, reassuring words from the cockpit – “All right, good night” – were believed to have been spoken by co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, according to Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
The transponder, which identifies the plane to commercial radar systems, shut down about 1:20 a.m., and an ACARS update that was due at 1:37 a.m. was never sent.
After its communications ceased, the plane turned west and crossed the Malay Peninsula. Military radar detected it moving along a known flight route until it was several hundred miles (kilometers) offshore.
Even disabled, ACARS emits hourly pulses that are recorded by a satellite, and Flight 370′s last “ping” was sent at 8:11 a.m. The location of the plane could only be determined in a broad arc from the satellite, which places the jet as far north as Kazakhstan in Central Asia or far into the southern Indian Ocean. The plane would have been near the limit of its on-board fuel supply.
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