Breaking: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Missing

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Missing

An AirAsia flight with over 160 people on board travelling to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya went missing after losing contact with air traffic control, the company said on Sunday. A search mission is underway. AirAsia flight number QZ8501, bound from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has lost contact with air traffic control. The missing flight is an Airbus A320-200 with up to 162 people on board.

The aircraft had been flying at 32,000 feet and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid clouds, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry, according to Reuters.

There were 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant, and 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew on board, according to the latest statement from AirAsia. Among the total of 162 people on board there were 156 Indonesians, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, and three South Koreans.

Airplane wreckage has reportedly been found east of Belitung Island in Indonesia, according to CCTV. The information hasn’t yet been confirmed by Air Asia.

Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have offered Indonesia help in the search for missing flight QZ8501. Malaysia is sending vessels and a C130 aircraft while Singapore is also sending a C130, officials said, as cited by Reuters.

Boeing Press Release For AirAsia Flight QZ8501

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.

Boats have been sent from Tanjung Pandan, the largest town on Belitung Island, but are not expected to reach the area until midnight local time, due to inclement weather and sea conditions, reported The Sun Herald.

A British national was on board missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

We have been informed by the local authorities that one British national was on board. Their next of kin has been informed, and we stand ready to provide consular assistance,” an FCO official said.

members of passengers of missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 gather at Juanda international airport in Surabaya in East Java on December 28, 2014 hours after the news the flight went missing.

Malaysia Airlines, which lost two of its Boeing jumbo jets earlier this year, empathizes with AirAsia.
There were 155 passengers on board - including 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant.

There were 155 passengers on board – including 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501

There were 155 passengers on board – including 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all family and friends of those on board QZ8501,” Malaysia airlines said on Twitter.

The missing aircraft, an A320-200, was delivered to AirAsia in October 2008 and had since “accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours during some 13,600 flights,” says an official statement by Airbus. The company has promised to assist in the investigation of the plane’s disappearance.

It’s been more than eight hours since contact was lost with AirAsia flight QZ8501. The plane only had fuel for 4.5 hours.

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 Detik.com. 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.

There weren’t seven but six crew members on board QZ8501, says Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry. That makes the overall number of people on the plane 161, not 162, as previously believed. There were 23 no-shows on the flight, according to passenger manifest.

No distress signal had been sent from the missing plane, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian Transport Ministry, according to Reuters.

Timeline of Air Asia flight QZ8501

  • Departed Surabaya, Indonesia, at 5.35am local time
  • At 6.12am Indonesian time, the plane’s pilot requested to change the travel height of the plane to an altitude of 38,000 feet
  • 6.17am Air Asia flight QZ8501 loses contact with Jakarta Air Traffic Control
  • 6.18am the flight disappears from radar
  • 7.55am the flight is declared missing

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