Tuesday, 30 December 2014

AirAsia 8501: Human error or weather?

AirAsia is a low cost airlines that is privately owned and is honorably mentioned as one of the least accident prone low cost airlines crisscrossing Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, India and Pacific Islands. It's popularity has grown since its first launch in 1993 by Tony Fernandes current CEO. AirAsia is also one of very few low cost airlines operating in Asia. It is as the media describes, "the Easy Jet of Asia"

Are Pilots pressured to fly in bad weather?

AirAsia is the latest and second Malaysia based airline to disappear under freakish circumstances. Once again, Malaysian aviation authorities are scrambling to find out what caused and how could flight 8501 go missing on a short distance trip from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore. The distance from Singapore to Indonesia is only two hours away from each other and flight path is somewhat parallel to coast of Malaysia and Indonesia. The question remains how can a medium size airplane with 162 passengers go missing not only off the radar but above the skies without anyone seeing it?

Desperate search for missing AirAsia flight

The airbus 320 design is a huge plane not on the same scale as Titanic but large enough to raise eyebrows and have observers scratching their heads if it suddenly vanished out of thin air. In a similar route to Malaysian flight 370, the pilot relayed his next move to the control tower before the flight disappeared off radar. In this case, QZ 8501 was attempting to ascend to some 30,000 feet to avoid clouds as a huge storm was gathering overhead. In most storm prone flying, travelers and pilots use their common sense and judgement when deciding to fly. Some pilots choose to cancel flights to avoid uncontrollable weather or thunder clouds that AirAsia faced. However, many pilots will manage with light rain or minimum thunderstorms to fly to their next destinations. Perhaps thinking that the flight could beat the centuries old monsoon clouds, the AirAsia pilot took the chance to stir the plane towards Singapore.

In depth  diagram of Airbus 320. The 320 is used by Delta, United, US Airways and Malaysian Airlines 

The search is now on for missing QZ8501. Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, U.S. and several neighboring countries are searching the route, coasts and the forests for any signs of the plane. There was some reports that smoke had been spotted in nearby Borneo. Many family members are hoping that somehow their relatives survived. Now Indonesian investigators are saying that there appears to be airplane emergency exit doors and life vest debris found in the East Java Sea. Now the task to recover possible debris begins with caution.

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