Category Archives: AirAsia (Indonesia)

Is AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501 a repeat of Northwest Airlines flight NW 705?

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) vanished from radar screens over the Java Sea on December 28 on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members on board. Tragically there were no survivors.

Investigators have ruled out any act of terrorism. The same group has stated it was unlikely an explosion brought down the airliner. According to the preliminary reports, there were no sounds of gunfire or explosions on cockpit voice recorder. Analysis of the flight data recorder of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) operating flight QZ 8501 showed the A320 climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunging and suddenly disappearing from radar. The A320 was climbing at a steep ascent of 6,000 feet a minute (a normal climb rate is 1,000 to 2,000 feet a minute) before it suddenly dived and crashed in the Java Sea. This is not a normal climb rate. The crew had asked air traffic control for a higher altitude due to severe thunderstorms in the area. The request was denied due to other air traffic in the area.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Was flight QZ 8501 trapped in the updraft of a severe thunderstorm and then it stalled and fell to the sea?

It has happened before with devastating results. Dial the clock back to February 12, 1963 over Florida’s Everglades. While the crashes of ValuJet Airlines flight 592 and Eastern Airlines flight 401 are more well known, there was a third crash in the Everglades that is very similar to the tragedy of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501. Both involved flying into severe thunderstorms.

Northwest Airlines (Northwest Orient Airlines) flight NW 705 was a regularly scheduled flight from Miami International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. After takeoff from MIA the flight crew operating Boeing 720-051B N724US (msn 18354) encountered an approaching cold front with large thunderstorms. The crew tried their best to avoid the approaching line of thunderstorms.

The accident (from Wikipedia quoting the official accident report):

Prior to departing from Miami, the flight crew questioned the ground controller at the airport about the departure routes being used, and he replied that most flights were departing “either through a southwest climb or a southeast climb and then back over the top of it.”

After the jet lifted off from runway 27L, it made a left turn based on radar vectors from Miami Departure Control, to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. Another flight had followed the same guidance shortly before the jet took off.

While maintaining 5,000 feet and a heading of 300 degrees, Flight 705 contacted controllers and requested clearance to climb to a higher altitude. After a discussion between the flight and the radar departure controller about the storm activity, and while clearance to climb was being coordinated with the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center, the flight advised “Ah-h we’re in the clear now. We can see it out ahead … looks pretty bad.”

At 13:43, Flight 705 was cleared to climb to flight level 250. They responded, “OK ahhh, we’ll make a left turn about thirty degrees here and climb…” The controller asked if 270 degrees was their selected climbout heading, and they replied that this would take them “… out in the open again…” Controllers accordingly granted the jet clearance. Following some discussion about the severity of the turbulence, which was described as moderate to heavy, the flight advised, “OK, you better run the rest of them off the other way then.”

At 13:45, control of Flight 705 was transferred to Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. There were communication difficulties, although after the jet was provided with a different frequency to tune to, the flight crew established contact with Miami ARTCC. Several minutes after contact was established, the jet’s altitude began increasing with a rate of climb gradually increasing to approximately 9,000 feet per minute. Following this rapid ascent the rate of climb decreased through zero when the altitude peaked momentarily at just above 19,000 feet. During this time the jet’s airspeed decreased from 270 to 215 knots and as the peak altitude was approached, the vertical accelerations changed rapidly from 1G to about -2G.

In the next seven seconds the negative acceleration continued to increase at a slower rate, with several fluctuations, to a mean value of about -2.8G, the jet began diving towards the ground with increasing rapidity. As the descent continued with rapidly increasing airspeed, the acceleration trace went from the high negative peak to 1.5G, where it reversed again.

Below 10,000 feet the forward fuselage broke up due to the forces of the dive. The main failures in both wings and horizontal stabilizers were in a downward direction, and virtually symmetrical. The forward fuselage broke upward and the vertical stabilizer failed to the left. All four engines generally separated before the debris of the aircraft fell in unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west-southwest of Miami International Airport.

The accident was investigated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which later became the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

Synopsis of the CAB Aircraft Accident Report:

Northwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 720B, N724US, operating as Flight 705, crashed in an unpopulated area of the Everglades National Park, 37 miles west—southwest of Miami International Airport at approximately 1350 e. s. t., on February 12, 1963. All 35 passengers and the crew of eight were fatally injured.

Flight 705 departed Miami at 1335 e.s.t. Circuitous routing was utilized during the climbout in an effort to avoid areas of anticipated turbulence associated with thunderstorm activity. At 1347 e.s.t., in response to a request for their position and altitude, the flight advised, “We’re just out of seventeen five (17,500 feet) and stand by on the DME one.” This was the last known transmission from the flight. Shortly thereafter the aircraft entered a steep dive, during which the design limits were exceeded and the aircraft disintegrated in flight.

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the unfavorable interaction of severe vertical drafts and large longitudinal control displacements resulting in a longitudinal upset from which a successful recovery was not made.

The FAA later added in its Lessons Learned section this summation:

As the investigation of Northwest Flight 705 proceeded, other jet transports became involved in similar upsets. These pitch upset events were collectively referred to as “Jet Upsets.” This terminology was used because the phenomena appeared to be unique to the new generation of swept wing jet transports which began to enter service a few years earlier. The investigation of Northwest Flight 705, and associated similar pitch upset incidents, led to changes in operating procedures and design requirements for jet transports, as well as improved forecasting and dissemination of hazardous weather information to Air Traffic Control and Flight Crews. These actions proved effective in substantially reducing the occurrence of this type of pitch upset events.

Was QZ 8501 a repeat of NW 705?

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 720-051B N737US (msn 18793) is pictured at New York (JFK).

Northwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

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Flight Data Recorder of AirAsia QZ 8501 is located, on its way to Jakarta for analysis

The flight data recorder of crashed AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) flight QZ 8501 operated with the pictured Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) has been located under the wing. The device was retrieved and is good condition and has been sent to Jakarta for analysis according to the The Straits Times quoting BASARNAS, the lead search and rescue agency of Indonesia. The cockpit voice recorder has also been located in the wreckage underwater in the Java Sea but has not yet been recovered.

AirAsia issued this statement yesterday:

AirAsia Indonesia wishes to inform the latest development on the SAR operation of flight QZ 8501 lead by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia.

Good weather and clear visibility have allowed for SAR operations to continue with the focus remaining on the search and recovery of the passengers in the primary search area.

SAR vessels and sea divers also approached the area where the pings were detected, suspected to be the location of the aircraft’s black box. No additional remain recoveries were reported today.

In Surabaya, the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they were able to identify three more remains, 1 Indonesian known as Vera Chandra Kho (female) and 2 South Koreans, identified as Kyung Hwa Lee (female) and Seongbeom Park (male).

To date, BASARNAS has confirmed to have recovered a total of 48 remains of which 32 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 16 remains are still being identified.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. PK-AXC is pictured arriving at Singapore before the tragic crash.

The tail section of AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC is found (flight QZ 8501)

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) tail section from flight QZ 8501 from the pictured Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) which was operated on a  flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members has been located by divers in the Java Sea. In addition, a section of the fuselage with the aircraft’s PK-AXC registration marks has also been located in the Java Sea. It is now hoped the flight data recorders (not black boxes) will be located near the located tail section.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of the AirAsia Group, stated on his Twitter account; “I am led to believe the tail section has been found. If right part of tail section then the black box should be there.”

Read the full report from NBC News: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC at Singapore before the tragic accident.

Video: First images of the tail and registration markings:

The latest update on AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501, 39 bodies recovered

AirAsia black logo

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) has issued this update on the search for flight QZ 8501:

AirAsia Indonesia wishes to provide an update regarding the latest development on the tenth day of search and rescue operation of QZ 8501 lead by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia.

The SAR operations continued around the focused area where the aircraft is most likely located. More than 40 vessels and 20 helicopters were deployed and focused to find the exact location of the plane’s wreckage as well as the black box.

The weather was cloudy with light rain and waves at 2–3 meters. However, the underwater current is still strong around 4-5 knots and the visibility is still limited for the sea divers to identify more findings from under the sea.

Indonesian National Armed Forces Commander, General Moeldoko visited the military base at Pangkalan Bun this afternoon, to inspect the search and evacuation operation which is still running today.

This evening, BASARNAS also confirmed to recover two more remains from the focused search area. The two remains are still in Pangkalan Bun, waiting to be transported to Surabaya for further identification process.

Meanwhile, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they have identified 3 more remains of QZ 8501 passengers as: Indra Yulianto (male), Hindarto Halim (male), Jou Brian Youvito (male). AirAsia Indonesia officially handed over the remains to the respective families at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya this afternoon.

To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered a total of 39 remains of which 16 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 23 remains are still being identified.

AirAsia would like to take this opportunity to urge the public seeking progress on the search and evacuation and identification process of QZ 8501 passengers to refer solely to official information from BASARNAS and DVI POLRI.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ 8501.

2 large objects found in the search for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501, Indonesia: The airline was prohibited from flying the route

AirAsia black logo

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) missing flight QZ 8501 remains missing as far as the main portion of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648). However two large objects have been detected with sonar equipment on the floor of the Java Sea. One object was 31 feet by 15 feet and 20 inches high. 30 bodies have now recovered.

Read the full report from CBS News: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry of Indonesia claims AirAsia Indonesia was not authorized to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route. AirAsia Indonesia has stopped flying the route as the investigation continues.

Read the full report by The Guardian: CLICK HERE

On January 2 AirAsia issued this statement:

The Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today confirmed that the remains of three more passengers on board QZ 8501 were identified as Grayson Herbert Linaksita (male), Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi (female), and Kevin Alexander Sutjipto (male).

The handover of the remains from AirAsia to the families took place earlier today at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya.

Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi was one of the flight attendants on board QZ 8501, and has been with AirAsia Indonesia since January 28, 2013. Khairunisa was well known for her professionalism as well as dedication at work.

Group CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes together with Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of AirAsia Berhad, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and CEO of AirAsia Indonesia, Sunu Widyatmoko flew to Palembang today to officially handover the remain of Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi to her family and attended her burial.

To date, DVI POLRI team has identified four remains of QZ 8501 passengers. A total of twenty two remains of QZ 8501 passengers have been recovered.

AirAsia would like to take this opportunity to urge the public seeking for progress on the search and evacuation of QZ 8501 passengers to refer solely to official information from the National Search and Rescue Agency.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ 8501.

Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available.

Map: The most probable area for the final location of flight QZ 8501 (from Darren/AirAsia):

AirASia QZ 8501 Map

 

The first victim of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ 8501 is identified

AirAsia black logo

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) missing flight QZ 8501 has yielded its first identified victim. 162 passengers and crew member were on board the ill-fated flight from Surabaya to Singapore. The body of Hayati Lutfiah Hamid has been confirmed by fingerprints according to F. World.

Searchers continue to look on the Java Sea bed for the main wreckage of the Airbus A320-200.

On earlier reports that the fuselage may have been located (rough seas are hampering the effort), AirAsia Group CEO said on Twitter:

“I am hoping that the latest information is correct and aircraft has been found. Please all hope together. This is so important.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AirAsia Indonesia issued this statement yesterday:

AirAsia Indonesia wishes to update that The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia and other relevant authorities continue to search and recover the passengers of QZ 8501 in the Karimata Strait area.

Earlier today, Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and AirAsia management visited the military base in Pangkalan Bun to meet with key stakeholders of the SAR operations. Fernandes met with Deputy Governor of Central Kalimantan, Achmad Diran; Deputy of Potential Search And Rescue (SAR), Marsekal Muda TNI Sunarbowo Sandi; Joint Operation Chief Territory II, Marsekal Muda TNI Abdul Muis; Joint Operation Chief Territory I, Marsekal Muda TNI Agus Dwi Putranto; Central Kalimantan Police Chief, Brigadier General Hermanu and Deputy of Operation Search And Rescue (SAR), Marsekal Pertama TNI Supriyadi.

Fernandas said: “I continue to be humbled and touched by the incredible efforts and professionalism put forth by BASARNAS, Army, Navy, Air Force and Police of Indonesia. The search and rescue operations were unfortunately hampered by bad weather today but I am hopeful they will be able to resume the search tomorrow.”

To date, BASARNAS has confirmed to have recovered a total of seven remains, which were transported to the military base in Pangkalan Bun, Borneo. Two of the seven remains were transported to Bayangkara Hospital in Surabaya for identification by Disaster Victim Identification of Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI).

AirAsia’s main focus remains on the wellbeing of the families affected by this tragedy.

Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available. An emergency call centre has been established and available for families seeking information.

Sonar may have detected the wreckage of AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (part of the AirAsia Group) (Jakarta) missing flight QZ 8501 may have been located. Indonesian searchers battled bad weather today in the Java Sea. The searchers are using sonar and may located the fuselage of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC possibly with the remaining passengers on board. Divers are trying to reach the possible wreckage but rough seas are hampering the attempts.

The debris found yesterday has been confirmed to be from the missing flight. Ten bodies has been recovered that were floating in the water. There were 162 passengers and crew members on the ill-fated flight.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters he hoped there was “at least some closure” for families according to CNN.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AirAsia issued this statement yesterday:

AirAsia Indonesia 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 QZ 8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th December 2014.

The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun.

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, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.

At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ 8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

AirAsia Indonesia will be inviting family members to Surabaya, where a dedicated team of care providers will be assigned to each family to ensure that all of their needs are met. Counsellors, religious and spiritual personnel have also been invited to the family center to provide any necessary services.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) taxies at Singapore before the accident.