Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Search Area Expanded for AirAsia QZ8501

Tail of crashed plane foundJanuary 7 at 06:12 AM
Searchers have been scanning the sea from helicopters and ships

The tail of crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been found in the Java Sea, the head of Indonesia's search and rescue has said.

The tail houses the "black boxes" - the voice and flight data recorders - which could give investigators clues as to the cause of the crash.

The aircraft was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore on 28 December with 162 people on board when it disappeared from radar.


Tail of missing AirAsia plane discovered in Java Sea

Indonesia’s search and rescue chief says divers and an unmanned underwater vehicle have spotted the tail of the missing AirAsia plane in the Java Sea, the first confirmed sighting of any wreckage 11 days after Flight 8501 disappeared with 162 people on board.

Henry Bambang Soelistyo told reporters Wednesday that searchers were able to get a photograph of the debris.

The find is particularly important because the all-important cockpit voice and flight data recorders, or black boxes, are located in the aircraft’s tail.

Divers join AirAsia wreck hunt, but no sign of black box

Search teams including divers took advantage of a let-up in bad weather on Tuesday to try to reach the wreckage of an AirAsia jet, but nine days after the plane crashed officials said there was still no sign of the crucial black box flight recorders.

Indonesian officials believe they may have located the tail and parts of the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200 at the bottom of the Java Sea, but strong currents, high winds and big waves have hindered attempts to investigate the debris.

Flight QZ8501 plunged into the water off Borneo island on Dec. 28, about 40 minutes into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors among the 162 people on board.

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AirAsia Flight 8501' black boxes may be 'buried in seabed'

Fluctuating weather conditions and choppy seas continued to complicate the multinational search efforts to locate more bodies and black box of the ill-fated AirAsia Flight 8501 as divers struggled to scour the Java Sea for more remains from the crashed plane. Meanwhile, in first punishments in the wake of crash, all officials who were involved with AirAsia Flight 8501's alleged schedule violation, would be suspended, said reports.

According to Indonesian search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo, the search teams were expanding the priority search area on Tuesday as the weather had improved. Also, underwater devices were deployed to help divers locate the plane parts effectively.

The weather on Tuesday appeared to be "pretty good" though there were chances that it might get uglier during the later part of the day, said Indonesia Air Force Lt Col Jhonson Supriadi.

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Time Running Out to Recover Floating Bodies
Indonesian Armed Forces Chief Moeldoko visited ships searching waters near the crash site of AirAsia Flight 8501 on Tuesday, as officials said time was running out to recover any bodies still floating at sea

Local news reports said earlier that passengers’ family members were expected to join Mr. Moeldoko’s entourage for a ceremony at sea, but a search-and-recovery official said relatives weren't part of Tuesday’s expedition. It couldn’t be independently confirmed who traveled with Mr. Moeldoko to the crash site.

The official said Indonesian helicopters were on standby and not searching this afternoon because of the high-level visit, while two of three U.S. helicopters involved in the search operation were used to ferry the visitors out to sea.

Meanwhile, searchers found two more bodies and were expected to bring them to Pangkalan Bun later this afternoon. Flight 8501 was carrying 162 people, most of whom were Indonesian. After more than a week of searching, a multinational team has recovered about three dozen bodies floating in an expanding zone of debris.

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AirAsia flight QZ8501 search area expanded

Indonesian officials have expanded their search area as the hunt for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 goes on.

The flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the sea on 28 December - 37 bodies have been recovered out of 162 people on board. Officials believe they may have located the tail, which holds the “black boxes”, and parts from the fuselage. But poor weather has repeatedly delayed efforts to reach and identify the debris and bring it to land.

It is still not known what caused the crash and despite a massive search the main part of the plane has not been found.

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Search Area Expanded for AirAsia Flight Victims, Data Recorders
A military ship is seen from Indonesian Air Force NAS 332 Super Puma helicopter during a search operation for the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, off Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

The head of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency said the search area for the wreckage and victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 is being expanded, as the hunt for the plane's "black boxes," or flight data recorders, continues.

Henry Bambang Soelistyo made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday, saying authorities are opening up a "second priority" search area in the Java Sea off Indonesia. The plane went down into the sea more than a week ago during a storm, though no official cause has been determined. "All underwater devices have started to be revealed in the search location priority. The divers have also dived lower in the search area," he said.

Recovery teams have been struggling to reach what they believe to be the plane’s tail section, where the flight data recorders are located.

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Insurers see 'no problems' with claims despite confusion over route permits

Insurers have begun processing claims in the crash of an Indonesia AirAsia aircraft last month and hope to identify the beneficiaries by the end of January, an official from Indonesia's financial regulator said on Tuesday. Speculation about insurance payments surfaced after Indonesia's transport ministry said the airline only had permission to fly the plane's Surabaya-Singapore route on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The flight which crashed took off on Sunday, December 28.

Firdaus Djaelani, non-bank financial institutions supervisor at the Indonesian financial services authority, told reporters that the incident remained "claimable" despite the confusion over the route permit. "AirAsia didn't fall because it was a Sunday," he said, adding that initial investigations showed that weather appeared to have been a factor. "Whatever the reason, the airline has to be responsible for its passengers." The "money has been prepared", he added. Indonesia AirAsia, 49% owned by Malaysia-based AirAsia, has made little comment on the route permissioning, but said it would fully cooperate with investigations.

The next of kin of each passenger will get up to 1.25 billion rupiah ($98,853) from the airline's insurers, PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia and Asuransi Sinar Mas, Djaelani said. Allianz SE, the lead reinsurance firm, has declined comment on the extent of its exposure, or to identify others exposed to the crash of the Airbus A320-200. Some passengers may have taken an additional insurance policy via the airline from PT Asuransi Dayin Mitra, Djaelani added. Elizabeth Quendangen, technical deputy director at Asuransi Dayin Mitra, said the additional payout could be up to 750 million rupiah for each passenger.

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Families of victims offered compensation

AirAsia Indonesia has offered some families of those who perished on its Flight 8501 an initial compensation of about US$24,000 for each victim, said several family members. But most families are confused about the legality of the offer and have been reluctant to accept it.

Imam Sampoerno lost his daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren on Flight QZ8501. He has heard about AirAsia's offer to compensate families financially, but is unclear about the wording and legality of the compensation letter. He has yet to receive an official offer of compensation.

According to Indonesian Transport Ministry regulations, families are eligible to receive an insurance payment of almost US$100,000. Mr Imam is worried that AirAsia will only fork out the initial sum of almost US$24,000 - a quarter of the full amount.

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AirAsia victim told family she’d ‘spend time alone at sea’
The coffin of Meiji Thejakusuma, a victim of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, is brought into the Adi Yasa funeral home in Surabaya

A woman who perished in the AirAsia disaster told her relatives at the airport she was going to “spend time alone at sea” for her birthday — chilling words that have left her family reeling.

Meiji Thejakusuma, a fashion store owner, uttered the eerily prescient words before she boarded Flight QZ8501, which mysteriously went down in the Java Sea on Dec. 28 with 162 people aboard, the Daily Mail reported.

Thejakusuma planned to mark her 45th birthday on Jan. 3 with a luxury cruise to Malaysia and Thailand. Instead, her body was recovered at sea and returned to her grief-stricken family in Surabaya, Indonesia.

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4 air traffic control workers sacked after flight schedule blunder
Staff who failed to sport the doomed plane was flying the wrong schedule have reportedly been dismissed following an official review into safety proceedings

Four air traffic controllers have been sacked after a review found they were responsible for 'failing to check the approved flight schedule' for AirAsia QZ8501.

The doomed plane, on which 162 people lost their lives, was flying an unauthorised route, Indonesia's transport ministry said on Saturday.

Pilots were travelling from Surabaya to Singapore but were using the summer schedule - as opposed to the winter one - which allows them to fly on different days.

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Black box located 'not far' from where large objects were found, says search ops chief

The chief of Indonesia's search and rescue agency Basarnas expressed optimism on Sunday that the black box of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 was located "not far" from five large objects the search operation had spotted in the Java Sea.

"Blackbox should not be far from the five significant objects we found," Mr Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo told a media briefing at the agency's headquarters in Jakarta late on Sunday.

Officials had believed they were close to a major breakthrough after pinpointing five large objects on the sea floor thought to be parts of the Airbus A320-200 jet this weekend.

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Focus turns to airline's alleged missteps
Recovery at sea: Indonesian Navy divers and underwater demolition unit sailors transport body bags holding the remains of bodies from Air Asia Flight QZ8501 to the KRI Banda Aceh landing platform dock, at sea

As more than 30 bodies from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 were recovered from the Karimata Strait this weekend, leaked official documents have given rise to allegations that AirAsia Indonesia violated procedures that lead to the disaster.

The first allegation came to light in a leaked document that was originally sent by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan on Wednesday, revealing that the pilots of the flight had not received a required weather report from the agency.

"AirAsia took the [BMKG] weather report at 7 am," on Dec 28, the day of the crash, BMKG head Andi E. Sakya said. The time was after the plane's departure from Surabaya's Juanda International Airport at 5.35 am.

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Recovery bid for Air Asia jet’s fuselage hampered by weather
Soldiers carry a coffin containing a victim of the AirAsia crash to a hospital in Surabaya, Indonesia

Searchers halted efforts to reach the submerged fuselage of the crashed AirAsia jet on Sunday because of poor visibility in the murky Java Sea.

One week after the airliner went down on its flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, recovery crews have located several large objects on the seafloor that are believed to be the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200. The flight ran into a thunderstorm but the exact cause of the crash won’t be known until the flight recorders can be retrieved from the wreckage.

Officials earlier Sunday sent 21 Indonesian navy divers equipped with cameras and sonar beacons into the water with the aim of reaching the largest object, which survey vessels had measured at about 60 feet long.

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Flight attendant's young life cut short

On New Year's day, the two hottest stories in The Star Online were on Khai­runnisa Haidar (pic), the stewardess on Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that crashed into the Java Sea on its way from Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday.

According to Outbrain (a company that tracks website traffic), among the top three stories in The Star's news website on that day were: "I will accompany Khairunnisa's family home, says (AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony) Fernandes" and "She (Khairunnisa) died doing what she loved".

From the Facebook comments on the two news articles, you'll get an insight on why both stories were hot. For example, on the report that Fernandes will accompany Khairunnisa's family to her Palembang hometown once her body has been positively identified, Facebook user Reetha Rae Deepest commented: "Condolences to Nisa family... salute to the kind-hearted CEO of AirAsia... very rare but you are one...".

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Bad weather frustrates AirAsia search divers
Dark clouds fill the sky during the search in the Java Sea for passengers on board AirAsia flight QZ8501. Photograph: Reuters/Beawiharta

The main focus of the search is about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Borneo island, where five large objects believed to be parts of the plane – the largest about 18 metres (59 feet) long – have been pinpointed by ships using sonar.

“Based on past experience, the black box is not far from the plane debris we have found,” Soelistyo said. But he added that none of the searching ships had detected any “pings”, the locator signals the black box should transmit after a crash.

Until investigators can examine the black box recorders the cause of the crash remains a mystery, but the area is known for intense seasonal storms. BMKG, Indonesia’s meteorological agency, has said bad weather may have caused ice to form on the aircraft’s engines.

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Crash plane 'shouldn't have flown'
A body is unloaded from a US Navy helicopter on to the USS Sampson (AP)

Indonesian authorities have grounded AirAsia flights from Surabaya to Singapore, saying the plane which crashed into the Java Sea should not have flown on the day of the tragedy.

The country's Transport Ministry said the budget airline did not have a permit to fly on Sundays. AirAsia said it was reviewing the suspension.

Meanwhile, after nearly a week of searching for the victims of Flight 8501, rescue teams battling monsoon rains pulled many more bodies from the sea, some still strapped to their seats. Of the 30 recovered so far, 21 bodies were found yesterday, many of them by a US Navy ship.

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Ice to blame for AirAsia crash?
Families members of passengers aboard the ill-fated AirAsia QZ8501 plane that crashed. Credit: AFP

Weather was the "triggering factor" in the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 with icing likely causing engine damage, Indonesia's meteorological agency said as divers prepared to search the plane wreckage Sunday.

The Airbus A320-200 crashed during a storm en route from Indonesia's second city Surabaya to Singapore, and relief workers are hunting for flight data recorders to determine the cause of the crash.

An initial report on the website of BMKG, Indonesia's meteorological agency, suggests the weather at the time the plane went down sparked the disaster after it appeared to fly into storm clouds.

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Fifth large object found on seabed

Indonesia's search and rescue teams on Sunday located a fifth large object on the seabed believed to be of the missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 plane. National Search and Rescue Agency head Bambang Soelistyo said the object - 9.8 metres long, 1.1 metres wide and 0.4 metre high - has been located on the seabed.

Nine ships have been sent to the area to continue the search, Soelistyo was quoted as saying by Xinhua. The latest finding has made the total number of located objects to five, as four others were found on Saturday. The biggest one among them measures 18 meters long. The Airbus A320-200 aircraft with 155 passengers and seven crew members aboard went missing soon after taking off from Surabaya Dec 28 en-route to Singapore's Changi airport. The debris were spotted last Tuesday.

It is believed to have crashed in the Java Sea, near Karimata Strait, some 153 km from Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan province in Borneo island. Earlier in the day, a pinger locator was deployed to find the black box of the plane.

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Divers being sent down to examine AirAsia wreck
Debris found by searchers in the hunt for a missing AirAsia flight. (AFP)

Divers are preparing to examine the wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501 as the weather improves.

They hope to retrieve the rest of the bodies and find clues to what caused the plane to crash in stormy weather a week ago.

The breakthrough in the hunt for the Airbus A320 came after sonar equipment aboard search ships detected four massive objects on the ocean floor in the Java Sea, and Indonesian officials said they were confident they belong to the plane.

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'Crashed AirAsia jet's pilots did not get weather report'
AirAsia Indonesia allegedly violated standard procedures which resulted in the pilots of the airline's doomed plane not receiving a required weather report before takeoff

AirAsia Indonesia allegedly violated standard procedures which resulted in the pilots of the airline's doomed plane not receiving a required weather report before takeoff, a media report has said citing leaked official documents.

The Jakarta Post reported that the leaked documents have given rise to allegations that AirAsia Indonesia violated procedures that lead to the crash of the Flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people in the Java Sea.

The first allegation came to light in a leaked document that was originally sent by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan on Wednesday, showing that the pilots of the flight had not received a required weather report from the agency. "AirAsia took the (BMKG) weather report at 7 AM," on December 28, the day of the crash, BMKG head Andi E Sakya said.

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'Pinger locator' sent to AirAsia crash site
AirAsia QZ8501: Focus turns to airline's alleged missteps
Ice may have caused AirAsia crash: govt agency
Weather 'triggering factor' in AirAsia crash: Govt agency
AirAsia QZ8501: Bad weather hinders search for black box
Aviation expert baffled at AirAsia route suspension
Search and rescue operations underway
'Pinger locator' sent to AirAsia crash site
More AirAsia wreckage found but weather frustrates divers
AirAsia QZ8501: Search and rescue chief says 5th object found in crash
Ice may have caused AirAsia crash: govt agency
AirAsia QZ8501: Weather offers "window of opportunity" in search
Singapore naval team dropped all New Year plans to join search mission
155 passengers and 7 crew onboard
Son of QZ8501 pilot doesn't know dad is gone

Full Coverage:
Wall Street Journal: Time Running Out to Recover Floating Bodies Divers go down to AirAsia wreckage as weather clears
BDlive: Divers join AirAsia wreck search as bad weather relents
Irish Independent: AirAsia crash removed from Wikipedia sites
Getty Images: Recovery Operation Continues For AirAsia QZ8501 Wreckage
swissinfo: Divers join AirAsia wreck hunt, but no sign of black box
Philippine Star: Strong currents mean expanded search area for AirAsia plane
Hamilton Spectator: AirAsia CEO sets an example for others 4 air traffic control workers sacked after flight schedule blunder
Irish Independent: recovery team shift search area as bad weather continues
Independent Online: Divers join AirAsia wreck search
Zee News: AirAsia 8501' black boxes may be 'buried in seabed': Official
Financial Express: Search to continue with waves forecast 2-3m
Citizen News: AirAsia Flight Search Area Expanded
Hindustan Times: What's still not known about AirAsia jet and why it crashed
ecns: Malaysia assists Indonesia in identifying flight QZ8501 victims
Arirang News: Search vessel finds what could be tail of AirAsia Flight 8501
Rakyat Post: Russian team finds large pieces of debris from flight QZ8501 Strong currents force expanded search area for AirAsia plane
Week UK: AirAsia flight QZ8501: search team 'may have found black boxes'
AOL News: Search Teams Recover More Debris as More International Help
Voice of America: Search Area Expanded for AirAsia Flight Victims
Winnipeg Free Press: Currents carrying debris eastward
Newser: What's still not known about AirAsia Flight 8501 and why it crashed
TTG Digital: Search area to find missing AirAsia plane expanded
Fox News: Strong currents force Indonesia to expand search area for wreckage
malaysiandigest: Divers Counting On Clear Weather As Search Continues
ANTARA: AirAsia black box not yet located by Russian rescue team
ANTARA: All SAR forces and equipment already deployed on location
CBS News: Better weather allowing plane crash search to continue
Fox News: Good weather allows divers to resume search for victims and fuselage
Star Online: AirAsia QZ8501: Search moves eastwards
Irish Times: Bad weather frustrates AirAsia search divers
Times of India: Divers resume search for victims and fuselage of AirAsia jet
News 10NBC: 3 more bodies recovered as weather slows search for victims
Travel Weekly: AirAsia flight turns back from runway
Tribune-Review: Storms slow search for AirAsia plane crash victims in Java Sea
Japan Times: Prayers held as weather blocks divers from AirAsia site
Nigerian Tribune: AirAsia: More bodies, plane parts found on 8th day of search
Scotsman: Air Asia Flight 8501 crash families share sorrow
Malay Mail: AirAsia boss downplays latest flight incident, says engine 'not stalled'
Sky News: AirAsia plane turned back on power failure
SBS: AirAsia jet turns back on power failure
Hindustan Times: AirAsia plane crash: 4 bodies, 5th object found amid bad weather Black Box Flight Recorders Focus Of Search
SFGate: Recovery bid for Air Asia jet's fuselage hampered by weather
Yahoo: Latest AirAsia flight incident 'not stalled engine', says Tony Fernandes
Rappler: AirAsia's Fernandes: Latest flight incident 'not stalled engine'
Times LIVE: 'Weather triggered' plane crash
Daily Star: Ice likely caused AirAsia crash: officials
Straits Times: AirAsia Pilots didn't get required weather report before takeoff
TODAYonline: TODAY's brief, Mon, Jan 5
Maritime Executive: 80 Divers Deployed in AirAsia Crash Search
Arirang News: Search continues despite foul weather; 3 more bodies recovered
Channel News Asia: Pangkalan Bun students forego holiday to help with search
Wall Street Journal: AirAsia Passengers Remembered in Surabaya Churches
CHANNELS TELEVISION: More Bodies, Plane Parts Found On 8th Day Of Search
BUSINESS TIMES: More AirAsia wreckage found
Channel News Asia: Indonesia church mourns members lost on ill-fated AirAsia flight
Straits Times: Black box located 'not far' from where large objects were
Ahram Online: Ice likely caused AirAsia crash, Indonesia says
News24: Prayers held as divers wait to check AirAsia site
Economic Times: 'Crashed AirAsia jet's pilots did not get weather report'
Channel News Asia: QZ8501 search: More bodies, more debris found
Getty Images: Recovery Operation Continues For AirAsia QZ8501 Wreckage
Bloomberg: Indonesia Probes All Airlines for Route Violations After Crash
Newsday: Bad weather prevents searchers reaching what is believed to be AirAsia
The Epoch Times: Exhausted AirAsia Victim's Families Cry & Sing in Tiny Chapel
Sunday World : 3 more bodies recovered by rescue teams a week after AirAsia
WPTZ: Possible tornado hits northern Mississippi
La Crosse Tribune: Prayers held as divers thwarted from AirAsia site
InterAksyon: Weather frustrates divers as more AirAsia wreckage found
Focus News: AirAsia QZ8501: Search teams find more bodies
Kansas City Star: AP News in Brief at 5:58 am EST
Sharonherald: Officials confident AirAsia wreckage has been located
Jakarta Post: Three bodies arrive in Pangkalan Bun
Economic Times: Weather 'triggering factor' behind AirAsia crash
Global Times: Another body, debris arrive in AirAsia search center
Gant Daily: AirAsia crash: Airline wasn't licensed to fly Sunday route, say officials
ErieTVNews: AirAsia: More bodies and plane parts found on 8th day of search
ANTARA: Bad weather hampers AirAsia QZ8501 search
BBC News: AirAsia QZ8501: Debris spotted floating in the Java Sea
GlobalPost: More AirAsia wreckage found but weather frustrates divers
Business Insider: Crashed Due To Ice Chunks In The Engine, Weather Experts
Lexington: Prayers one week after AirAsia crash, as weather delays divers