AirAsia jet vanishes over Indonesia, 162 missing
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Anjet vanished over the region today. The flight carried 162 people.
Among the 155 passengers and seven crew flying from Surabaya to Singapore are three Koreans, one Malaysian, and one person variously reported as a French or UK national. The rest are Indonesians. There are sixteen children and an infant. The plane was diverting around weather formations over the Java Sea when contact with (ATC) in Jakarta was lost.
Localhave been told the flight last spoke to controllers at 6:12 local time seeking to climb from 32,000 to 38,000ft. The flight vanished from radar at 6:17. The ceased to be received a minute later. ATC issued a series of escalating alerts in response. It was due to enter Singaporean airspace at 6:52 and land by around 8:30.
The Indonesian Navy, police forces, and National Search and Rescue Agency are focusing on an area 20 from . The plane went missing in the vicinity of . A rescue boat with a crew of 22 has been dispatched, with water police providing an additional vessel. The Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority is overseeing the efforts. Searches are presently suspended until morning.
The Indian Navy has reportedly placed three ships and a on standby to help.is "ready to provide any assistance to support the search and rescue effort" according to a statement. The Singaporean military has sent two aircraft to assist. The
Australia has also offered assistance. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop telephoned her Indonesian equivalent, , to offer support. Bishop has also offered Australian assistance to South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott contacted Indonesian President to offer sympathies and a plane.
Areas for families and friends have been set up at Changi Airport where the flight was headed and at Juanda International Airport where it departed. The airline said in a statement they would "keep all parties informed as more information becomes available" about "the status of the passengers and crew members on board".
"I hope I can get information soon on the whereabouts of our family members," one weeping woman at Juanda told. She said she has four relatives on board and heard about the disappearance from news reports.
The area where the plane vanished around 40 minutes into its trip was experiencing thunderstorms. Some clouds were as high as 50,000ft. The aircraft,registration PK-AXC and serial number 3648, was six years old. It was undertaking flight designation QZ8501 and last underwent maintenance in November. Management company own and lease the aircraft.
|I hope I can get information soon on the whereabouts of our family members|
—Woman awaiting news at Juanda Airport
Pilot Iriyanto and co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel have over 8,000 hours experience between them. Airbus released a statement saying the plane had accumulated 23,000 flying hours on 13,600 flights. The French-based airframer said it would assist investigators. The BEA, which investigates aviation mishaps in France, is liaising with their Indonesian counterparts at the National Transportation Safety Committee to provide assistance.
The engines were built by US firm General Electric and French engineering company . The US connection means the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) can also join the probe.The NTSB says it is ready and willing to assist if required., a joint enterprise between
|Our priority is looking after all the next-of-kin for my staff and passengers|
—AirAsia owner Tony Fernandes
A screenshot apparently leaked from an ATC radar screen shows the flight ascending through 36,000ft with aof 353 . The aircraft would normally be travelling faster, with an jet also on the screen showing a ground speed of 503knts at 36,000ft.
"My only thought are with the passengers and my crew" said AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes. He said he is heading to Surabaya and thanked Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian authorities for emergency efforts. Fernandes bought AirAsia for a symbolic price from the Malaysian government in 2002. By 2010 it had expanded from two aircraft to 86.
"I am touched by the massive show of support especially from my fellow airlines" said Fernandes. "This is my worst nightmare." He urged staff to "Pray hard. [...] Our priority is looking after all the next-of-kin for my staff and passengers."
Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting head of transportation in Indonesia, said "We don't dare to presume what has happened except that it has lost contact." Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he is "saddened" and his "thoughts are with the passengers and their families". Pope Francis used today's address in , the Vatican to say he was praying for the missing. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called the news "Very sad to hear[...] My thoughts are with the families. Malaysia stands ready to help."
The British Embassy in Jakarta has acknowledged reports a UK citizen may be missing. US President Barack Obama has also been briefed. Initial reports claim AirAsia did not include British when listing the nationalities missing, but the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office say a UK victim's next of kin have been informed.
The present version of AirAsia's statement lists a UK passenger and a French crewmember.identifies co-pilot Plesel as French.
AirAsia is based in Malaysia. 2014 has been a year of air disasters for the country; has been missing since March with 239 on board and in July was shot down in Ukraine with 298 casualties. Both involved aircraft.
AirAsia has a good record with no previous major crashes.
|AirAsia Emergency Contact Number: +622129850801|
Juanda Airport:  8690945
- "Next phase of search for MH 370 begins" — Wikinews, October 9, 2014
- "Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298" — Wikinews, July 19, 2014
- Dean Schabner and Bill McGuire. "Sea Search Begins for Missing AirAsia Jet" — , December 28, 2014
- Nurfika Osman and Dylan Amirio. "AirAsia plane missing with 162 people on board" — , December 28, 2014
- Simon Hradecky. "Crash: Indonesia Asia A320 over Java Sea on Dec 28th 2014, aircraft went missing believed to have impacted waters" — , December 28, 2014
- Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith. "AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Plane carrying 162 disappears over Java sea" — , December 28, 2014
- Devparna Acharya. "AirAsia live: QZ8501 goes missing with 162 people, Indian Navy to help" — , December 28, 2014
- Andrew Callus, Tim Hepher, Jason Neely. "Airbus says missing AirAsia plane was delivered in 2008" — , December 28, 2014
- Mavis Toh. "Missing Indonesia AirAsia A320 owned by Doric" — , December 28, 2014
- Gaurav Raghuvanshi. "Indonesia’s Search-and-Rescue Capabilities Honed by Experience" — , December 28, 2014
- "AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501" — , Accessed December 28, 2014
- AP, Reuters. "Search for missing AirAsia plane suspended for night" — , December 28, 2014
- The Daily Telegraph. "‘No’ isn’t in AirAsia’s owner’s book" — , December 28, 2014
- "US NTSB ready to assist with missing AirAsia flight QZ8501" — , December 28, 2014
- Missing AirAsia flight: 'It's my worst nightmare', says Tony Fernandes" — , December 28, 2014. "
- Latika Bourke, Lane Sainty. "Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop offer Australian assistance to find missing AirAsia flight QZ 8501" — , December 28, 2014
- Eveline Danubrata, Michael Taylor, Gayatri Suroyo, Chris Nusatya, Cindy Silviana, Kanupriya Kapoor, Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, Praveen Menon, Siva Govindasamy, Saeed Hassan, Rujun Shen, Anshuman Daga, Sanjeev Miglani, Tim Hepner, Alwyn Scott, Philip Pullella. "UPDATE 7-Indonesia halts search for missing AirAsia plane as night falls" — , December 28, 2014
- "AirAsia families gather as search intensifies" — , December 28, 2014
- Matt Pearce. "AirAsia Flight 8501: Search set to resume for plane that carried 162" — , December 28, 2014