Airlines and Aviation
In the 3rd crisis for a Malayian airline this year, an AirAsia Airbus A320-200 goes missing en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew on board. Was stormy weather to blame?
An AirAsia Indonesia airliner went missing 42 minutes after takeoff over the Java Sea on 28 December 2014.
Crew had just requested a change in flight plan because of stormy weather. It was turned down because of crowded skies.
There were 155 passengers and 7 crew on board. Most of the people on board the aircraft were Indonesian nationals. There were also 3 South Koreans and one person each from Britain, France, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore have all sent planes and ships to help search for the plane, which at least one aviation official says is ‘probably at the bottom of the sea’.
“Based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” says Bambang Soelistyo, Chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, AFP reports.
“That’s the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search,” he said.
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) warns against speculation as to what has happened to the aircraft.
“Whilst the search and rescue efforts are taking place, IFALPA stresses the need to avoid speculation as to what happened to the aircraft,” the body says in a statement.
“The Federation has reached out to the Malaysian Air Line Pilots’ Association (MAPA) and will keep its resources at the disposal of the relevant investigative agencies in order to help gather facts and any other information which may be pertinent to this event.”
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations represents more than 100,000 pilots in more than 100 countries around the world.
AirAsia Indonesia is a unit of AirAsia, a Malaysia-based budget air carrier, which has an extensive route network in Asia and Australia. It also flies as far afield as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
It has not been a good year for Malaysia’s aviation industry.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, in March. The aircraft has never been found.
Malaysia Airlines flight MHJ17 was shot down over Ukraine en route from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur.