The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) has launched an international search and rescue mission after AirAsia Indonesia’s flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 AM local time, Sunday.
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 was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew and one engineer on board.
Twelve navy ships, a number of warships, as well as ships and planes from Singapore and Malaysia, are taking part in the search and rescue operation.
Bambang Soelistyo, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief, said: ”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. That’s the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search”
World Maritime News Staff