December 30, 2014 – Rescue personnel have started retrieving some of the dead bodies aboard flight QZ8502 that disappeared from the radar just an hour after departure from Juanda International Airport on Sunday morning.
The plane which was heading to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia had 162 people on board. Indonesia’s BASARNAS chief says three bodies, two females and a male have been recovered from the area so far while search is ongoing.
The plane plunged into Java Sea between Belitung island and Pontianak. It was however tracked four minutes after flight pilot, Captain Iriyanto, stopped responding to ATC.
We gathered that Iriyanto had requested at 6:12am Indonesia time to veer left (approved) and ascend to 38,000 feet from 32,000 feet. After Indonesia’s ATC informed the pilot at 6:14am Indonesia time of a revised height of 34,000 feet (because flight QZ8502 was cruising at 38,000 feet altitude), there was no response. The plane was then officially declared missing at 7:55am Indonesia time on Sunday.
The debris of the plane was found in the Karimata Strait in South East Belitung, about 10km away from where the plane was last seen on the radar.
Chief Executive Officer, Tony Fernades said he is absolutely devastated by the development. “This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”
Chief of Indonesia Police Medical Centre, Brigadier –General Arthur Tampi told reporters that dead bodies found in the search area will be sent to Surabaya for identification.