It is good to hear the journalists being corrected here, because this incident does not yet seem to resemble the Air France or Malaysia Airlines events. Perhaps the journalists did not closely follow the excruciating Air France 447 search–YEARS spent scouring the Atlantic for the wreckage–long after initial debris and was found. So early in this investigation, journalists should be warning the world that EVERYTHING is speculation at this point.
What is not speculation?
- The pilots requested to deviate around bad weather, right before contact ceased.
- The last radio contact was at 06:16 local time.
- Transponder contact was lost at 06:18 local time.
- The captain had a total of 20,537 flying hours, 6100 hours of which were for Indonesia Air Asia.
- The first officer had 2,275 hours with Indonesia Air Asia.
- The crew was mostly French, so the BEA will be investigating. (Countries which have nationals aboard normally participate in the investigation.) The passengers’ list of nationalities has changed several times but currently the passengers aboard were allocated as follows: 155 Indonesian, 3 S. Korean, 1 Malaysian, 1 French, 1 British and 1 Singaporean. Some may hold multiple citizenships.
- A number of countries are contributing to the investigation, including Indonesia, Singapore, and the BEA. The USA and Australia have also offered to assist. 12 Indonesian navy ships, five planes, three helicopters and a number of warships were talking part, along with ships and planes from Singapore and Malaysia.
- Indonesia’s Ministry of Transport published the load sheet. (See below.)
The search is being hindered by weather, visibility and the fact that it is currently night-time. Unlike Air France 447, the plane was being tracked by a local navy base so it was not completely off radar; unlike MH370, the area it seems to have disappeared seems to be known in real time and not hours after the fact. We have not yet heard if the beacon is audible, but IT IS STILL TOO EARLY To MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. Let’s let the investigation tell the story, rather than rampant theorizing. The Java sea where the plane lost contact is shallower than where Malaysia Airlines flight 370 appears to have gone down. Unlike MH370, nothing by INMARSAT is being tracked aboard the missing Airbus.
Let’s wait and see what the investigation finds, and in the meantime, pray for the families of those aboard.