AirAsia Plane With 162 People (Including 17 Children) is Missing

Another Asian airliner has gone missing: AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost
contact with air traffic control at 7:24 a.m. local time on Sunday,
AirAsia reported about four hours after the plane disappeared en route
to Singapore.

Sunday’s missing AirAsia flight was traveling between Surabaya, in
Indonesia, and Singapore. There were 155 passengers and seven crew on
board the Airbus A320-200, officials have said.

An AirAsia official told the media on Sunday that the plane had
requested “an unusual route” before air traffic control lost contact
with QZ8501 over the Java Sea. However, an Indonesia Transport Ministry
spokesperson later clarified that the pilot’s request was permission to
change altitude due to bad weather, Steve Herman reported for the Voice
of America.

“At the present time we unfortunately have no further information,”
according to AirAsia’s statement. “At this time, search and rescue
operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and
assisting the rescue service.”

In March 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with air
traffic control when it was about several hundred miles north of
Singapore. Rescuers still have been unable to find any traces of flight
MH370, or its 239 passengers and crew, despite an unprecedented search
effort.

In April 2014, or one month after MH370 went missing, AirAsia’s CEO
was forced to apologize after the company’s in-flight magazine suggested
that AirAsia’s own well-trained pilots would never lose a plane.

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