AirAsia Flight 8501 Disappears; Third Malaysian Air Disaster of 2014

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AirAsia Flight 8501, originating from Surabaya, Indonesia, with 162 passengers and crew on board disappeared from radar nearly mid-way into its flight after encountering a wall of severe and volatile thunderstorms somewhere over the Java Sea.  

 

The last know contact, at 7:12am local time (+12hoursDST), was 45minutes into the 110minute flight, when the pilot requested permission to ascend to 38,000 feet due to cloud cover.  At 7:16am the plane was still visible on radar.

At 7:18 AirAsia Flight 8501 went missing from radar and looses contact with Jakarta Air Traffic Control. Schedule to arrive at 8:37am, local time, QZ 8501 failed to make contact with Singapore ATF and Indonesia Search and Rescue Agency receives notification at 8:30am the Airbus is missing.

The last known position, between Tanjung Pandan, Sumatra and Pontianak, Kalimantan Island has not been confirmed and the search has been halted for Sunday and will resume Monday.

AirAsia carried 162 passengers. The passenger breakdown provided included predominately Asian citizens counting 144 Indonesians, 3 South Koreans, 1 Malaysian, 1 Singaporean, and 1 French citizen. A flight crew of seven there were 16 children, 1 infant and a British National has been confirmed as also on board.

The Airbus A320-216, only six years in operation, mainatined a daily flight schedule, seven days a week from Surabaya to Singapore, and was a popular low cost island hopping flight substitute to other more costly options and generated many new never before flyers with its affordable alternative.  

Stories posted on the social media utility Facebook and other circulating rumors indicting the AirAsia 8501 has been located, found or any confirmed details involving cause are false.

AirAsia recently celebrated thirteen years of operation.

AAFlight 8501, following on the heels of MH17, shot down by Russian separatists in the Ukraine and MH370, that simply vanished and sparked an international search to which has never concluded, becomes the third Malaysian Air transportation disaster in 2014, making it one of the worst years in Aviation history for the tiny Pacific island nation.

AirAsia is actively updating its Facebook page with official news and releases: https://www.facebook.com/AirAsia

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