Sunday, December 28, 2014

Another flight lost @ Sea...

I hate to say it happened again, but, unfortunately, I have to say so. Something is terrible amiss with these foreign flights! (let's just hope they find some of the passingers & crew alive)...
-Daniel aka Obsidian

Search for missing AirAsia jet #QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Indonesia suspended

- AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia and carrying 162 people on board went missing Sunday morning.
- Contact with the plane was lost around an hour after departure, somewhere over the Java Sea between Belitung island and Pontianak, on Indonesia's part of Kalimantan island.
- Search and rescue operations were launched with the Indonesian army as well as Singapore and Malaysia scouring the area around Belitung, but have been suspended for the night.

Indonesia air traffic control lost contact with AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on Sunday morning.

Search and locate efforts were launched but Indonesia later suspended the operation as darkness fell. The national search and rescue agency said the operation will resume at first light on Monday morning, with the search area expanded to include mountainous areas on land.
Earlier, AirAsia released a statement listing 162 people on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and one infant making up 155 passengers along with seven crew members (two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer).

The passengers comprise one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one British, three South Koreans and 149 Indonesians, while the crew consists of six Indonesians and one French (the co-pilot). See the full manifest here.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) confirmed that the Singaporean on board the missing flight is a two year-old girl travelling with her father, the British national.

A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct possible next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, at Changi Airport in Singapore December ... more 

QZ8501 lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 7:55am local time, 42 minutes after departure and an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore.

Reuters reports that the aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing without a distress signal.
The plane was on the submitted flight plan route before it asked for permission to deviate to avoid "bad weather" described by officials as dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning.

"The plane requested to the air traffic control to fly to the left side which was approved, but their request to fly to 38,000 feet level from 32,000 feet could not be approved at that time due to a traffic, there was a flight above, and five minutes later the flight disappeared from radar," said an Indonesian air transport official.

Map locating the scheduled flight AirAsia QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday morningMap locating the scheduled flight AirAsia QZ8501, which went missing on Sunday morning

The captain in command had a substantial total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours, said AirAsia, adding that the jet underwent its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.
Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes confirmed the plane had been given the all-clear by aviation technicians, was in "good condition" and "has never had any problems whatsoever".
Indonesia responded by dispatching seven aircrafts, four navy ships and six boats from its search and rescue agency. It has also received offers of support from Australia, Singapore, Britain, South Korea and Malaysia so far.

A C130 plane was deployed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force in the afternoon, with another of its aircraft due to join the search on Monday morning along with four vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy.

In a statement late Sunday afternoon, the CAAS said that the next-of-kin of the Singaporean on board were contacted and were at the Changi Airport Relatives Holding Area (RHA).
"They are being provided with all necessary assistance and support," CAAS said. "Assistance and support are likewise being provided to the relatives and friends of affected passengers who are at the RHA."

According to the Changi Airport Group, as of 6:30pm on Sunday, 47 relatives and friends of 57 passengers on board the missing flight have registered at the holding area.

"Help and support are being provided to them at the RHA by 36 Changi Airport Group (CAG) care officers and four counsellors from the Ministry of Social and Famiy Development," it said, adding that other staff from AirAsia, airport partners and officials from the Indonesia embassy in Singapore were also assisting.
According to Airbus, the missing A320-200 is a twin-engine single-aisle aircraft seating up to 180 passengers in a single-class configuration.
It was registered as PK-AXC and was delivered to AirAsia from the production line in October 2008. Powered by CFM 56-5B engines, it had accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours in some 13,600 flights.

Airbus said it would provide full assistance to authorities in charge of the investigation.
AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801.
AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website at
(Correction: This article initially identified the aircraft as an A380. It is an A320.)