Written by Staff Writer
29 Dec, 2014 | 7:34 am
The search has resumed for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, which has gone missing with 162 people on board, an Indonesian official has said. The Airbus A320-200 disappeared over the Java Sea early on Sunday en route to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia. The pilots had requested a course change due to bad weather but did not send any distress call before the plane disappeared from radar screens.
The search began as soon as possible on Sunday but was largely suspended as night fell. Although some ships continued the hunt overnight, the main search planes and vessels, from several nations, resumed at first light. Indonesian transport ministry official Tatang Kurniadi said: “Our primary task is to find the plane. We are co-operating with every possible department, and relevant countries.
“This includes the department responsible for aircraft design, the aircraft manufacturer from France, and relevant operational teams from AirAsia and Malaysia.” Bambang Soelistyo, the head of the Indonesian search-and-rescue team, said his nation was providing 12 ships, three helicopters and five military aircraft. Malaysia was to deploy a C-130 plane, along with three ships, with Singapore lending a C-130 and Australia also providing help. The search area is near Belitung island.
Flight QZ8501 had left Surabaya in eastern Java at 05:35 local time on Sunday (22:35 GMT Saturday) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 (00:30 GMT). Last contact with the flight was at 06:24 local time. And also the pilot had asked permission to climb to 38,000ft (11,000m) to avoid the clouds.
The AirAsia Indonesia plane in question was delivered in 2008, has flown 13,600 times, completing 23,000 hours, and underwent its last maintenance on 16 November. The captain, Iriyanto, had more than 20,500 flight hours, almost 7,000 of them with AirAsia, Mr Fernandes said. The co-pilot is French national Remi Emmanuel Plesel. There were 155 passengers on board.
This has been a difficult year for aviation in Asia: Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines has suffered two losses – flights MH370 and MH17. Flight MH370 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew. The wreckage, thought to be in southern Indian Ocean, has still not been located. MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board.
Source : BBC
“Based on our coordinates, we predict that the plane is on the sea, for now it could be in the bottom of the sea,” Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told reporters when asked about the missing plane’s likely location.
Source: Times of India
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