AirAsia Flight QZ8501 apparently “climbed at abnormal speed” before it stalled and crashed into the Java Sea in December, according to Indonesia’s Transport Minister, Ignasius Jonan.
Being that the plane’s black boxes have been found and analyzed, Jonan said at a parliamentary hearing in Indonesia that radar data showed the Airbus A320-200 was climbing at a rate of 6,000ft a minute before the crash, a rate which is almost not possible for such an aircraft.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Jonan said, “I think it is rare even for a fighter jet to be able to climb 6,000ft per minute. For a commercial flight, climbing around 1,000 to 2,000 (feet) is maybe already considered extraordinary, because it is not meant to climb that fast.”
Originally, Indonesia’s meteorological agency thought that extreme weather may have caused the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash. But it has now come to light that the pilot asked for permission to climb to a higher altitude to avoid the storm moments before the plane disappeared from radar.
As a side note, the pilot’s request was denied due to “heavy air traffic,” according to Jonan, who added, “In the final minutes, the plane climbed at a speed which was beyond normal. The plane suddenly went up at a speed above the normal limit that it was able to climb to. Then it stalled.”
The option of foul play in the form of terrorism had already been ruled out according to investigator Nurcahyo Utomo, who told reporters, “We didn’t hear any other person, no explosion.”
The BBC reported that vessels from the U.S. and China, were involved in a huge international hunt for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, although, to date, only 53 bodies have been recovered from the crash.
For the time being, rescue teams are being severely hindered in their search due to bad weather, high waves and strong underwater currents.