Search and rescue efforts have already found AirAsia Flight QZ8501 to be very difficult, and although a potential crash site for the missing plane is thought to be known, the search has been suspended for the short term.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a former French airline chief claims the U.S. military shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. But one author believes there is “no sensible theory” for the disappearance of the missing plane, and that Flight MH370 is lost forever.
“This is my worst nightmare,” tweeted AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, as he led the potential crash site search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 Sunday morning. “I as your group CEO will be there through these hard times. We will go through this terrible ordeal together and I will try to see as many of you. On my way to Surabaya where most of the passengers are from as with my Indonesian management. Providing information as we get it. We will be putting out another statement soon. Thank you for all your thoughts and prays.we must stay strong.”
The Airbus A320 lost contact with air traffic controllers while on the way from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore at 7:24 a.m. local time (11:24 p.m. GMT) on December 28.
“The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC),” AirAsia said in a statement at 5:23 a.m. GMT on Sunday.
The missing plane was at the regular cruising altitude when the signal was lost and no distress reports came from the plane, which is similar to how Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared since the emergency beacon did not send a distress signal to satellites overhead. Although bad weather could have played a factor, Airbus jets have computer systems that automatically adjust to wind shears and other weather-related phenomena.
Some reports have speculated that catastrophic metal fatigue could play a factor, but the missing plane is only 6-years-old. The A320 family of jets has a very good safety record, with just 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, according to a Boeing safety study. The airline also has a good safety record, and none of its subsidiaries have had a missing plane before, according to FOX 19.
One fact known is that the crew asked to fly higher in order to avoid clouds. There’s also no indication that terrorism played a factor, despite the request for an adjustment in the flight route.
Unfortunately, search and rescue operations at the potential AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash site were suspended until Monday morning due to the darkness and the bad weather on the Java Sea.
“We ended at 5:30 pm (10.30 GMT) because it was getting dark. The weather was also not too good as it was getting really cloudy,” transport ministry official Hadi Mustofa told AFP. “Tomorrow we will begin at 7 am, or even earlier than that if the weather is good.”
Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong has already expressed condolences to the families of the missing plane AirAsia Flight QZ8501.
Saddened to hear of missing flight #QZ8501. My thoughts are with the passengers and their families. – LHL
— Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) December 28, 2014
With the situation being so similar to Flight MH370, Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Tun Razak has offered to help search the potential crash site.
Very sad to hear that AirAsia Indonesia QZ8501 is missing. My thoughts are with the families. Malaysia stands ready to help.
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) December 28, 2014
AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre those seeking information about relatives or friends who may have been on board the flight. The number is +622129270811.