Air Asia flight with 155 passengers on board en route to Indonesia missing


Air Asian flight

A massive search and rescue operation for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 which lost contact with air traffic control over Indonesia has been suspended for the night due to unworkable conditions.

The fishing boats and official vessels that were sent out by Indonesia’s national search and rescue authority, along with helicopters and Hercules aircraft from Singapore, will resume their efforts at sunrise on Monday morning.

There is an unconfirmed report of wreckage spotted east of Belitung Island in the Java Sea, 100 miles from where the plane was last tracked.

The Air Asia flight QZ8501 departed Surabaya, in Indonesia, on Sunday at 5.30am local time, and was scheduled to land at Changi Airport, in Singapore, at 8.30am (Singapore local time).

However, it lost contact with air traffic control as it flew over Indonesia at about 6.16am local time, a short time after the pilot asked to deviate from the flight path due to ‘bad weather’.

The scenes of anguish were reminiscent of those in March 2014, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with air traffic control several hundred miles north of Singapore. No trace of the craft has been found.

The pilot of the plane has been named as Captain Iriyanto, while the co-pilot is believed to be Frenchman Remi Emmanual Plesel.  A picture of the pilot has been posted on social media by his daughter Angela Ranastianis. His nephew praised Capt Irianto as ‘a very caring person’

Agony of relatives waiting to hear what became of their loved ones among 162 people – including 17 children – aboard AirAsia flight that vanished off coast of Indonesia has increased even as search for the missing passengers was called off last night.

However, reports have it that:

  • The AirAsia flight QZ8501 departed Indonesia early on Sunday morning 
  • It was scheduled to land at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Sunday morning
  • Pilot contacted Jakarta Air Traffic Control at 6.12am – lost contact at 6.17am
  • There were a total of 155 passengers on board and seven crew members
  • Nationalities of the passengers and crew include one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, one British, three South Korean and 155 Indonesian
  • Search and rescue operations now halted until tomorrow due to darkness
  • Unconfirmed reports of wreckage in Java Sea, 100 miles from last sighting
  • British national named as Chi Man Choi, who was travelling with daughter.

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