What is still not known about AirAsia jet

2015-01-06 16:02
AirAsia Airbus A320-200 passenger jets on the tarmac at low cost terminal KLIA2 in Sepang,  Malaysia. (Vincent Thian, AP)

AirAsia Airbus A320-200 passenger jets on the tarmac at low cost terminal KLIA2 in Sepang, Malaysia. (Vincent Thian, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jakarta - AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board, halfway into a 28 December flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. Dozens of bodies have been recovered, and search teams have detected what is believed to be the plane's wreckage, but many questions remain unanswered. Here are some of them:

What caused the plane to go down?

The pilot told air traffic control he was approaching threatening clouds and asked to climb above them, from 9 750 m to 11 580 m. But with six other planes in the same airspace, permission was denied. When the tower tried to make contact four minutes later, there was no response, and the Airbus A320 was gone from the radar. The investigation will hinge on the discovery of the black boxes and the wreckage itself.

Where are the black boxes?

With high surf preventing the deployment of ships that drag "ping" locators, no signals have been detected from the aircraft's all-important cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Both will provide essential information, including the plane's vertical and horizontal speeds along with engine temperature and final conversations between the captain and co-pilot. The black boxes' ping-emitting beacons still have around 20 days before their batteries go dead.

Where are the bodies and debris?

A massive international search effort involving planes, ships and helicopters continues despite heavy rain, high waves and strong currents. So far, only around three dozen bodies have been recovered, some still strapped into their seats. Sonar has identified what is believed to be five large parts of the plane on the seabed, but rough conditions along with mud and silt have kept divers from getting a clear visual on it.

Was the plane authorised to fly?

Indonesia has launched an investigation into AirAsia's operating practices after alleging the low-cost carrier did not have permits to fly from Surabaya to Singapore on Sundays, the day the plane crashed. All of the carrier's flights on that route have since been cancelled. The Transportation Ministry also has suspended officials who allowed the plane to fly without authorisation, including the Surabaya airport's operator and officials in the control tower. AirAsia has declined to comment until the evaluation is completed.

Read more on:    airasia  |  malaysia  |  indonesia  |  airasia qz8501

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.