The search for the missing AirAsia flight is continuing. Officials have now decided to expand the search due to seeing debris in other waters. Families of the missing passengers have joined together at Juanda International Airport in Indonesia, while they await news of their loved ones.
The search mission for the AirAsia flight had to be called off last night due to poor visability and weather. However, officials promised to restart the search the very next morning. Initially focused on a specific four sectors of the Java Sea, it has now been expanded. Seven sectors will now be checked, according to a press release from the National Search and Rescue Agency in Indonesia. This search area has been determined due to the data received at the time of losing contact with the plane, along with other data like the weather conditions.
There were 162 people on board at the time of the plane going missing. The AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was travelling from Indonesia to Singapore, and lost contact at 06:24 local time yesterday. Reports include that the pilots had previously asked for a new route due to poor weather. However, other reports indicate that there were no distress calls made throughout the two hours that the plane was in the air.
No wreckage was found during the day until the search had to be called off. As the weather and visibility closed in, officials had no choice but to suspend the search. The search for the AirAsia flight has now continued with 10 boats, 12 ships and two helicopters searching over the waters. A variety of aircrafts are also involved, including two Hercules planes from the Indonesian Air Force and two Puma aircrafts. Two warships have also been deployed by the Indonesian Navy. The Australian Defence Force has also chosen to help, offering an AP-3C Orian Aircraft to aid in the search.
Many experts currently believe that the plane is on the ocean’s bed at this time. It would be challenging to get it back if this is the case, due to the depth of the waters and the lack of “submersible” equipment, according to the National Search and Rescue Agency head Bamband Soelistyo.
No Emergency Locator Transmitter signal has yet been recorded, which should have occurred by now. This is partly the reason for expanding the search.
The incident will spark memories of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft disappearance earlier this year. Flight MH370 just disappeared from the sky, and there are still no leads on the case. While many suspect that it is at the bottom of the ocean somewhere, there are still many suspecting that it has been landed on an island somewhere and individuals are being held as part of a terrorist attempt.
Officials instantly made it clear that the missing AirAsia flight was not another Malaysia Airlines mystery. Reports were shared after a short unexplained delay, with people sharing as much information as possible. The poor weather also supports the idea that the aircraft has fallen out of the sky and crash-landed somewhere in the ocean. The search for the AirAsia flight continues during daylight, expanding the search to seven sectors of the Java Sea, rather than four.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Aero Icarus