By Jumu’ah Abiodun with agency reports
The search for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 continues, a day after it went missing with 162 people on board on its way to Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia.
The black co-pilot of the missing flight appeared with Nigeria name but claim to be of French nationality, Remi Emmanuel Plesel.
History, Updates On Missing Plane
The Air Asia Indonesia plane was delivered in 2008, has flown 13,600 times, completing 23,000 hours, and underwent its last maintenance in November.
The Airbus A320-200, disappeared early on Sunday, 28th December, 2014, with Captain Iriyanto as pilot, who has had more than 20,500 flight hours, almost 7,000 of them with AirAsia.
The head of Indonesia’s search-and-rescue agency has suggested the plane could be at the bottom of the sea, but no trace of it has yet been found.
Officials in Surabaya, from where the plane took off, said search teams were only just reaching the area of the Java Sea where the plane is believed to be.
The pilots had requested a course change because of bad weather but did not send any distress call before the plane disappeared from radar screens.
“Based on the co-ordinate given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” Bambang Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told a news conference in Jakarta.
The search for the plane, near Belitung Island, was largely suspended as night fell on Sunday, 28th December, 2014.
Although some ships continued the hunt overnight, the main search planes and vessels, from several nations, only resumed on Monday, 29th December, 2014.
Soelistyo said Indonesia was providing 12 ships, three helicopters and five military aircraft.
Malaysia was to deploy a C-130 plane, along with three ships, with Singapore lending a C-130 and Australia also providing help.
AirAsia’s share price fell seven percent in morning trading on Monday, 29th December, 2014, in Kuala Lumpur.