AirAsia Flight QZ8501 goes Missing After Elevation Request

News hit early this morning of a missing AirAsia flight with approximately 162 passengers onboard. The flight took off from Indonesia early this morning, and was scheduled to arrive at Singapore Changi Airport, but never made it.

Flight routAccording to the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, the pilots of the doomed Indonesian AirAsia flight QZ8501, which departed at 5:30 AM local time, where recorded making a transmission to Jakarta Air Traffic Control, requesting permission to proceed with a higher altitude at approximately 6:12 AM. By 6:17 AM the aircraft had lost communication with air-traffic control. The flight was scheduled to land in Singapore at 8:30 AM Singapore local time.

airasia manifestAccording to manifest records, there were 155 passengers onboard the AirAsia flight, of multiple nationalities including Singaporean, British nationals, Malaysian nationals, and French, South Korean, and Indonesian nationals. There were also a total of 7 crew-members on the flight. AirAsia has since confirmed that the flight comprised of 138 adults, 16 children and one infant baby. The crew was comprised of two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer.

The Indonesian authorities have already formulated a team for a search and rescue mission of the airliner. The authorities have received reports of a possible wreckage site 100 miles away from the location last reported by transmissions to air-traffic control, near Beliyung in the Java Sea. However, while these reports are still unconfirmed, Indonesian search and rescue authorities have already dispatched local fishing and official vessels from the nearest port in Tanjung Pandan, to the last known location of the plane. However, inclement weather and horrid sea conditions, mean the rescue party will not reach the area until at least midnight local time.

air asia weatherThe aircraft, an Airbus A320-200 registered as PK-AXC, was officially declared missing at 7:55 AM local time. During its last known transmission, its pilots were requesting permission to elevate to 38,ooo feet to avoid a cloud; during which time the air traffic control sheet reports that the plane’s speed dropped considerably to 353 knots, suggesting it was having trouble climbing to the requested altitude. Air traffic control and analyst believe this was due to the severe weather reported by the pilot.

While the plane issued a request for elevation, it did not at any time send out a distress call to air traffic control, suggesting that the aircraft experienced a sudden catastrophic event.

At this time AirAsia is in complete cooperation with Indonesian authorities, in the effort to find the missing airliner. The company has since changed the color of their logo from red to gray in a show of solidarity for the victims and the victim’s families, until the wreckage is found.

THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM AIRASIA READS:

“AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 (Surabaya LT) this morning. The flight took off from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 0535hours.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board.

The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours

There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.

Nationalities of passengers and crew onboard are as below:

  • 1 Singapore
  • 1 Malaysia
  • 1 France
  • 3 South Korean
  • 156 Indonesia

At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.

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).

The aircraft had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.

AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801. “

Original Article From: The Daily Mail
© C. J. Leger | December 28, 2014

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