The Malaysian government released its first preliminary report on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, on Thursday.
Below is the five-page report along with additional details, the history of the flight and the search and rescue efforts. It also speaks about real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
The report was sent to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN body that governs global aviation.
Relatives of those on board have accused the Malaysian government of bungling the early phase of the search and of keeping them in the dark about the details of the incident.
Earlier this week, Malaysia also named a former aviation expert to lead the international probe team to find the "actual cause" of the mysterious disappearance of its jet even as the aerial hunt to find the wreckage of the plane was called off after seven weeks of fruitless search.
The search moved to the Straits of Malacca a week after the disappearance after radar data confirmed that the aircraft made a turn back. It was expanded after satellite data showed it could have taken a course anywhere from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean. Satellite data eventually showed that the aircraft flew to the southern section of the Indian Ocean, off the coast of western Australia, where a massive search of the waters and underwater has still not yielded any evidence of the aircraft.
Also mentioned in the report was the fact that air traffic controllers failed to notice for 17 minutes that the ill-fated Malaysian jet had gone off the radar and did not activate a rescue operation for nearly four hours.
Here is a timeline of events that is mentioned in the report;
At 1:21 am (local time) on March 8, the plane -- carrying 239 people - including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals - disappeared from radar en route to Beijing.
It was not until 17 minutes later at 01:38 am that air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, asked its Malaysian counterpart where the plane was.
Then came a nearly four-hour gap -- from the time when officials noticed the plane was missing to when the official rescue operation was launched.
Kuala Lumpur Rescue Coordination Centre (KLRCC) was activated at 05:30 (local time) after all effort to communicate and locate the aircraft failed.
The report gives no explanation for what happened during those four hours, other than to say that Kuala Lumpur contacted Singapore, Hong Kong and Cambodia.
The report was accompanied by audio recordings of verbal exchanges between the cockpit of the plane and air traffic controllers and documents pertaining to the cargo manifest.
"(Prime Minister Najib Razak) set, as a guiding principle, the rule that as long as the release of a particular piece of information does not hamper the investigation or the search operation, in the interests of openness and transparency, the information should be made public," an accompanying government statement said.
According to the report, a playback of a recording from military primary radar showed that an aircraft that may have been MH370 had made a westerly turn, crossing Peninsular Malaysia. The search area was then extended to the Strait of Malacca.
Even with all these details, the report makes no mention of the military's role the night of the disappearance.
Malaysia believes the flight was deliberately diverted by someone on board and that satellite data indicates it crashed in the Indian Ocean, west of the Australian city of Perth.
Here is the full five-page report:
(Preliminary Report via Mashable)
(With Agency Inputs)