‘Unbelievably’ steep climb recorded before AirAsia crash, report says

31 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

AirAsia flight QZ8501: Plane crash in Java Sea.

The first two bodies from the AirAsia plane that crashed off the coast of Borneo have arrived in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, where relatives have gathered to await news of their loved ones. Stormy weather has hindered the efforts of rescuers to recover the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, even as a seventh body was pulled from the Java Sea Wednesday. Rescuers believe they have found the plane on the sea floor off Borneo, after sonar detected a large, dark object beneath waters near where debris and bodies were found on the surface.

Heavy rain, wind, and thick clouds have prevented divers from carrying out their recovery operations and largely grounded helicopters, though ships were still scouring the area. Sixty-seven divers were on standby, waiting to examine the shattered fuselage of the Airbus A320-200 resting at a depth of up to 160 feet and recover the black boxes that may hold the key as to why the passenger jet went down, searchers said. In a statement, the airline read it “regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th December 2014.” An Aerial view of the waters near Bangka Island being searched for debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in a navy fixed wing patrol craft near Bangka Island, Indonesia.

Relatives of doomed flight’s passengers howled and collapsed in horror Tuesday as TV footage of a half-naked floating corpse crushed their hopes for a miracle. Families who lost loved ones aboard the jetliner endured another excruciating day of waiting Wednesday as bad weather hindered efforts to recover any more bodies and sent wreckage drifting far from the crash site. “Help us, God, to move forward, even though we are surrounded by darkness,” the Rev. Conditions are less than ideal, with thunderstorms in the area creating rough seas, with reports at least six inches of rain are expected to be dumped throughout the night. Another victim was wearing a life jacket, which may raise questions about whether the passengers may have known that the plane was going down, despite the lack of a distress call from the pilots. “One individual with a life jacket doesn’t tell much,” Greg Waldron, the Asia managing editor for industry publication Flightglobal, told The Wall Street Journal. “It could be a person who thought that the plane was going down and put the life jacket on.

Authorities in Surabaya were making preparations to receive and identify bodies, including arranging 130 ambulances to take victims to a police hospital and collecting DNA from relatives. Relatives, many of whom collapsed in grief when they saw the first grim television pictures confirming their fears on Tuesday, held prayers at a crisis centre at Surabaya airport. The airliner’s disappearance halfway through a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore early Sunday triggered an international search for the aircraft involving dozens of planes, ships and helicopters from numerous countries.

I can’t really put this into words.” Yohannes, who goes by a single name, was waiting at the airport with his wife for news about her brother, passenger Herumantu Tanus. Malaysia-based AirAsia’s loss comes on top of the still-unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March with 239 people aboard, and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July over Ukraine, which killed all 298 passengers and crew. Among them is Haidar Fauzie, 60, whose daughter Khairunnisa was a flight attendant on the doomed plane. “From the start, we already knew the risk associated with being a stewardess,” he said Tuesday. “She is beautiful and smart.

A Chinese frigate was also on the way, while Singapore said it was sending two underwater beacon detectors to try to detect pings from the plane’s all-important cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Three airline disasters involving Malaysian-affiliated carriers in less than a year have dented confidence in the country‘s aviation industry and spooked travellers. Dozens of elite military divers were expected to help locate the remainder of the victims from the postcard-pretty aqua waters where the Airbus went down. One middle-aged man collapsed and was rushed from the room on a stretcher. “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances,” said Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia, in AirAsia’s statement. “We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501.

The AirAsia group, including affiliates in Thailand, the Philippines and India, had not suffered a crash since its Malaysian budget operations began in 2002. The two devices could hold the answers to what happened in the six-minute stretch after the pilot asked for permission to change his flight path — and the plane disappeared from the radar. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.” Meanwhile AirAsia’s Group Executive Officer, Tony Fernandes added he was “absolutely devastated” amid news he was “rushing” to Surabaya to be among the grieving families.

However, Surabaya airport general manager Trikora Hardjo later said the trip was canceled after authorities suggested they stay to avoid slowing down the operation. It was 13-year-old Adrian Fernando’s first trip to the city-state and was supposed to be a fun vacation with his aunt, uncle and cousin before he went back to school. “He is my only son,” said mother Linca Gonimasela, 39, who could not join them because of work. “At first, he didn’t want to go, but later on he was persuaded to join them for the New Year holiday.” A number of Indonesian cities have opted to cancel or tone down their planned New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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