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Thursday, January 1, 2015

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 - Aircraft actions 'bordering on the edge of logic'


Now that we have proof that QZ8501 indeed crashed, investigators now have the task of dtermining what caused the fatal crash. Most, if not all, experts are looking at a combination of severe weather and pilot input, with one analyst quoted as saying ""It was like a piece of metal being thrown down. It's really hard to comprehend … The way it goes down is bordering on the edge of logic"."

Is this debris from QZ8501
07:31 GMT: Objects resembling a body, luggage, a life vest and debris, which is believed to be part of the AirAsia plane were spotted by a pilot, who has been involved in the search operation according to local media, which was reported by Reuters. 
"The body seemed bloated," according to First Lieutenant Tri Wibowo, who as on board a Hercules aircraft, which was helping the search operation to find the plane, reported on their website.

The discovery of the debris was made at around 11.00 local time, after the teams had been searching for around five hours. They were found in the Karimata Strait, which is west of the Indonesian part of Borneo.

An RAAF P3 Orion

07:44 GMT:  An Australian Orion plane has spotted objects in the sea in the AirAsia search area, according to Jakarta's Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto, cited by AP.

The objects were found 700 miles (1,120km) from the location where the plane lost contact.

However, we cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane,” Putranto says, “We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions.”


Aviation expert, Captain Des Ross who specialises in aviation security and risk assessment, addresses the 'elephant in the room'. Why did the ELT (beacon) not activate?

All modern aircraft were fitted with an ELT that automatically activated when an aircraft crashed into water, or on land.

He said information from the transmitters would be relayed to satellites and on to search and rescue agencies, such as Australian Marine Search And Rescue (AMSAR) in Canberra.

(Editors note: it has not been determined whether the ELT on QZ8501 transmitted via satellite or the more simpler and common VHS (line of sight) radio frequency.)

“It’s pretty bad luck if that doesn’t work. It’s not intended to be disabled. Even if you disconnect the power entirely it’s still got a battery in it,” said Capt Ross.

“They’re normally pretty reliable devices, and yet we’re not hearing anything about it (in the case of QZ8501) or in MH370.

“That’s a little bit strange.”

'most likely at the bottom of the sea' says Chief Marshal Bambang Soelistyo

02:55 GMT: Despite no conclusive evidence one way or another, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief said the missing AirAsia jetliner is now most likely at the bottom of the sea.

“The last coordinates were in the sea so it is likely it is on the sea floor,” Chief Marshal Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference at Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta.

Worried relatives wait anxiously at Juanda international airport in Surabaya in East Java
23:08 GMT: Search and rescue operations have been resumed for the missing AirAsia jet, Indonesian network TV1 reported. Eight boats, two aircraft, and three helicopters have reportedly been deployed to search for the missing plane.

0600 (local time) The search for the missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 will resume at daybreak Monday in Indonesia, according to the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency. Expert adds that PK-AXC had a 'ditching switch' that could help the aircraft float in the event of incident over water. Investigators still baffled why no distress call made. CEO says they have “no idea what went wrong”, describing the incident as his “worst nightmare”.

11:10 GMT: Flight QZ5801 dispatch information has been made public. It shows the plane took off with 8,296 kg of fuel, substantially more than the planned consumption for the flight - 5211 kg.

Why did QZ8501 take off with three tonnes more fuel than needed? 50 per cent more.
- expert says this is not unusual. 

10:01 GMT: No wreckage of flight QZ5801 has been found, an Indonesian Navy official told the BBC. He added weather conditions were poor in the search area.

Emergency Locator Beacons (ELB) under scrutiny again after apparent failure of unit aboard QZ8501. ELBs emit a radio signal in the VHF range (121.5 MHz) so that searchers can locate the aircraft in distress. No signal was ever received from MH370. Now QZ8501's ELB appears to have been faulty.

08:57 GMT: Indonesian national search and rescue radars haven’t detected signals from the emergency location transmitter, says Sutrisno, the head of Basarnas, the national agency in Jakarta, as cited by The transmitter becomes operational once a plane is struck from outside or falls into the water. Either the plane managed to land smoothly or the transmitter was defective, the official says.

A320 maintenance manual show location of ELB

Reports of wreckage remain unconfirmed

click to see video

A flight information signboard shows the status of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore at Changi Airport in Singapore December 28, 2014 (Reuters / Edgar Su )

A search and rescue operation has been launched after an AirAsia flight carrying 162 people from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control.

The airline said the Airbus A320-200 was lost from the radar at 7.24am (local time), after asking to fly higher to avoid clouds.

AirAsia Berhad (MYX: 5099) is a Malaysian low-cost airline headquartered near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AirAsia group operates scheduled domestic and international flights to 100 destinations spanning 22 countries. The aircraft concerned is Indonesian-registered, belonging to affiliate airline Indonesia AirAsia, based in Jakarta. AirAsia Berhad (Malaysia) has a 49% share in the airline. In 2011, Malaysian Airlines announced a partnership and share swap with AirAsia, but later called off the deal because of continued opposition (mainly from MAS staff) and political timidness.

AirAsia said there were 157 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Singaporean and one Malaysian on board the flight.
  • AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 7:24am (local time)
  • The Airbus A320-200 was flying from Indonesia's Surabaya to Singapore
  • Flight was due in Singapore at 8:30am (local time)
  • 155 passengers - 149 Indonesians, 3 South Koreans, 1 Singaporean, 1 Malaysian, 1 French
  • Emergency call centre established by AirAsia, the number is +622129850801 

AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-200 PK-AXC (Flickr user: achdiyatmareza)

    Official  Announcement by AirAsia Indonesia

    28 December 2014 at 14:41

    AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning.

    At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available.

    The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.

    At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service.

    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,

    Full manifest published

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