(CNN) – For the first time in several weeks, authorities have released information about missing Malaysia Flight 370 not previously available to the public.
Malaysian authorities published a 47-page document containing hundreds of lines of communication logs between the airliner that went missing March 8th and Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company.
This is what raw data looks like; the last digital traces of the missing plane. This is the moment critics and flight 370 families have been calling for.
“Bottom line we want to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes.”
The math isn’t easy. Lines of numbers show the milliseconds it took signals to go from an Inmarsat ground station to a satellite, to the plane, and back again. That determined the plane’s distance from the satellite each time it connected, which led to these seven arcs. The plane could have been anywhere along them at the given times. And analysis of these other numbers determined the direction the plane was moving.
Just hours after the release critics are weighing in, saying they need more to determine if Inmarsat got it right.
“Right now with what we have, our hands are really tied. We’ve got the raw data, but we don’t have a good explanation of how to interpret all those values.”
And some passenger families aren’t placing much value in the data.
“With no direct evidence, we never believe it.”
But Inmarsat says the Malaysian government decided what should be released.
“We have absolutely no problem putting our model in the public domain and that is a decision for the leading country to put out there.”
This data seems to disprove some of the wilder theories, like the belief Flight 370 may have landed at a US military base.
“I think the Inmarsat data is very accurate in that regard. We knew that before and this data released today reinforces that conclusion. It did not go to Diego Garcia.”
The data isn’t perfect. The arcs could be off by about six miles either way, plus after losing fuel the plane could have glided for 23 miles in either direction.
Put together, that’s a margin of error nearly 60 miles wide.