The search for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is still going on. On Sunday, a jet flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore had disappeared with 162 people aboard. A search operation is coming into very broad area with help of helicopters, planes, and ships. Local authorities said they may require international help for an underwater search.
Indonesia’s top rescue official said that the authorities believe the missing jet might have hit the bottom of the sea. The prediction is based on the plane’s last contact with the radar and the coordinate data pointing the calculation point at the Java Sea between the islands of Borneo and Belitung.
Given the extreme weather conditions, one of the pilots sought permission to fly at a higher altitude before the jet lost contact with air traffic controllers. However, it is unclear if weather played any role in disappearance.
Large waves and clouds hampered the search operation on Sunday and Indonesian authorities said that weather influences how quickly they could find the missing jet.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia CEO, said we really don’t know the reason behind disappearance and we don’t want to speculate right now. A proper investigation will be carried once the aircraft is found. He expressed that AirAsia’s first concern is for the relative and the next of kin of passengers on board.
Of the people on board, 155 were Indonesian, three from South Korea and one each from Singapore, Malaysia, France and Great Britain. Seven of the people were crew members and 18 were children including one infant.
The Airbus A320 is also known for its safety features, including a ditching switch that allows the aircraft to float like a boat, once safely brought down on the water.
Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst, believed that the standard emergency procedures might not have been deployed. She told that depending on the severity of onboard emergency, the pilots should have issues a pan-pan call or a mayday call.