94-minute mystery: Timeline of Flight 370

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  • Crucial keys emerge in effort to unravel missing plane's fate
  • New information from Thailand radar is adding to suspicions surrounding the flight
94-minute mystery: Timeline of Flight 370

One hour and 34 minutes passed between the time Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and when it was last observed on radar, hundreds of miles off course.

The fate of the aircraft is still unknown, but the gaps in that 94-minute flight period are getting filled in as more information is obtained by analysts and shared by authorities.

The latest update comes from Thailand, where a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman told CNN that Flight 370 disappeared from its radar heading east at 1:22 a.m. and then an unknown aircraft -- possibly Flight 370 -- appeared six minutes later, flying in the opposite direction. That information is included in the timeline below, which was compiled by CNN's Richard Quest, Kevin Wang and Ram Ramgopal.

All times local on Saturday March 8, 2014 (March 7, 11:41 a.m. ET -- switch to Eastern Daylight Savings Time had not happened):

12:41 a.m.: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 departs Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing.

1:07 a.m.: The onboard Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, sends out what turns out to be its last communication.

(Source: CEO of Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, in Monday’s news conference, clarifying that ACARS did not necessarily shut down at that time.)

1:19 a.m.: Someone inside the cockpit, believed to be the co-pilot, makes the plane's last verbal communication with air traffic controllers, saying, "All right, good night." Those were the last words from Flight 370.

(Source: Yahya at Monday’s news conference, confirming that it was the co-pilot who spoke; he also reconfirmed the time.)

1:21 a.m.: The transponder -- which communicates the altitude, coordinates and aircraft call sign -- stops responding.

(Source: Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director of the Malaysian Dept. of Civil Aviation, at news conference on March 12.)

1:22 a.m.: Thai military radar was tracking the signal of Flight 370 when it disappeared at 1:22 a.m. Malaysian time (12:22 a.m. Thai time), a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman tells CNN.

1:28 a.m.: Flight 370 was transmitting the normal flight path and commercial data, but then the Thai radar station in the southern Surathani province saw an unknown aircraft appear flying in the opposite direction at this time, a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman tells CNN. That aircraft might have been Flight 370.

Approx. 1:30 a.m.: Air traffic controllers lose contact with the plane​.

(Source: Malaysia Airlines CEO Yahya on March 13.)

1:37 a.m.: An expected ACARS transmission does not happen.

(Source: CEO Yahya, Monday news conference.)

2:15 a.m.: Malaysian military radar last detects what’s believed to be the plane, over the small island of Pulau Perak in the Strait of Malacca, hundreds of miles off course.

(Source: Malaysia’s Air Force Chief Rodzali Daud in briefing on March 12.)

6:30 a.m. (local and Beijing time): Expected Time of Arrival of Flight 370 in Beijing.

7:24 a.m.: Malaysia Airlines announces via Facebook that the aircraft lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40 am (that discrepancy in time is never explained, but later updates talk about the 1:30 a.m. loss-of-contact).

(Source: Malaysia Airlines Facebook page.)

8:11 a.m: More than seven hours after takeoff, a satellite makes the last electronic connection, known as a "handshake," with the plane.

(Source: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, news briefing on March 15.)

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