For the second time in less than a year, an Asian plane has lost contact with flight towers. AirAsia Flight 8501, flying Airbus 320-200, was carrying 155 passengers and 7 crew members on board while heading from Indonesia to Singapore Sunday morning local time. It lost contact with Surabaya airport 42 minutes after its 5:35 am Indonesian time takeoff (5:35 pm Easter time Saturday).
According to Pix11, before losing contact, the aircraft requested a different route because of bad weather. It is monsoon season, and the weather was possibly thick with dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning. The plane was last heard from over the Java Sea between the island of Belitung and Borneo- a heavily traveled shipping channel with shallow waters, according to Indonesian authorities who are leading the search and rescue operations.
Of the people on board, 155 are Indonesian, 3 are South Korean, 1 is British, 1 is French, 1 is Malaysian, and 1 is Singaporean. 17 children, including one infant, are among the passengers. AirAsia has always had a great safety record, so this all is a first for them.
At the airport in Surabaya, loved ones gathered and wept as they waited for any word on the passengers.
The search as been suspended for the night, but the plane is being searched for in a popular shipping channel, so the large ships can’t return back to shore so they will keep their search lights on throughout the night in hopes of uncovering this mystery.
The last plane that vanished was Malaysia flight 370 on March 8th, which still hasn’t been found.