ANOTHER Malaysian carrier suffers a tremendous loss days after Christmas, when Air Asia Flight 8501 went missing from Surabaya to Singapore at 7:24 am (Surabaya LT), Sunday, Dec 28. The missing flight 8501 took off from Juanda International Airport at 05:35 am and loss contact before its scheduled arrival at Changi Airport, according to Malaysia-based AirAsia tweet.
Based on the flight tracking website Flightradar24, the aircraft was “flying at the regular cruising altitude for most jetliners — 32,000 feet — when the signal was lost.” It was reported that the pilot asked for a “deviation” due to a bad weather before it lost contact while it was still under the control of the Indonesia Air Traffic Control (ATC).
The pilot reportedly asked to increase altitude to 38,000 feet form 32,000 feet to “avoid clouds” since thunderstorms are reported in the area. Search and rescue operations are currently in progress but there is no update about the flight since it went missing this morning. The six-year-old aircraft was carrying a total of 162 people, including two pilots, an engineer and four flight attendants.
The missing Air Asia Flight was an Airbus A320-200 with a registration number PK-AXC and based on reports its last scheduled maintenance was on Nov 16, 2014. The plane is manned by captain Iriyanto, who goes one name which is common for Indonesians, had a total of 6, 100 flying hours with his first officer with a total number of 2, 275 flying hours.
Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority was informed about the missing plane half an hour after the Jakarta ground control lost their contact. Singapore immediately activated their air force and navy to assist the Indonesian authorities in Air Asia missing flight search and rescue operation.
Meanwhile, American President Barack Obama was brief on the missing aircraft and the White House officials continues to monitor the ongoing search and rescue operations. Obama and his family are currently on vacation in his home state of Hawaii for the holidays.
Here are some of the Twitter and Facebook reactions of the Missing Air Asia Flight QZ 8510.
“I don’t believe this, it’s almost unreal, this is almost like a fiction taken straight out of a movie. THREE TIMES IN A YEAR?? Something must be up, wake up MALAYSIANS, we are being sabotaged, we are too naive if we think that MH370, MH17 and QZ8501 are natural coincidences. Missing flights are not common occurrences, though some people out there might start to think so now. Something is up, I don’t doubt that!” — Facebook user James McFarlann
“To all these people praying for this flight to land safely, you should probably put hope in the pilot. If its bad weather this plane is supposedly going through then god isn’t going to float this plane to safety. ITS THE PILOTS JOB. How about we put our faith in the one that’s guiding all these people, not some god that seems to be everyones answer when they have nothing else to go off of. I hope this flight returns to the ground safe and sound.” — Facebook user Hayden Proulx