The behaviour of asymptotically flat gravitational fields in the framework of general relativity is studied by the use of tetrad formalism. For this, a system of coordinates u, r, <latex>$\theta $</latex> and <latex>$\phi $</latex> is used, such that at spatial infinity u = const. is a null hypersurface and r, <latex>$\theta $</latex> and <latex>$\phi $</latex> reduce to the usual spherical polar coordinates. A set of four vectors (a tetrad) is also chosen with the only restriction that they are everywhere null. The metric tensor and the four vectors are expanded in inverse powers of r; the rotation coefficients and the tetrad components of the Riemann tensor are then calculated in a similar expansion; and the first two terms in the expansion beyond their values for a flat space are retained. The field equations in these approximations are derived explicitly and their effect on the expansion of the tetrad components of the Riemann tensor is studied; and the total energy and linear momentum are examined. In this paper three main results are derived: (i) the form of the peeling theorem in the above-mentioned coordinates for an arbitrary null tetrad; (ii) the generalized expression for the news function of the field; (iii) a simple criterion for recognizing certain classes of non-radiating fields.