Monday, December 29, 2014

Updated/ 29 Dec 2014: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 missing

Updated/ 29 Dec 2014: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 missing

5.13pm: One of the four fishing boats that were searching the waters around Nangka Island has returned to Manggar, the base of search operations. Fishermen and police on board told reporters they did not find anything related to the flight.

5.10pm: Channel NewsAsia reports - Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said in a news conference that Indonesia is aware of reports on "wreckage" found in the Java Sea by Australian aircraft but cannot confirm until further analysis is conducted.
He says there is no time frame on the search and locate mission and anything found will be treated with utmost importance. Indonesia hopes there will be survivors but is "prepared for the worst", he said.
30 ships and 15 aircraft from various countries are taking part in the search operation and fishermen are being asked to help. Indonesia now mulling offers of help from the UK and France.
Separately, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes saying the airline company has not begun thinking about compensation as the search is still underway. No changes will be made to operations until the search and investigations are complete.
4.26pm: Singapore navy vessels, RSS Supreme and RSS Valour, have arrived at the QZ8501 search area, says Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Facebook.

4.03pm: At a press conference today, Mr Steven Teo, Senior Investigator at Air Accident Investigation Bureau of Singapore, explains how locator beacons are used:

"Typically, flight recorders are affixed in an underwater locator beacon, which is this cylindrical device here. So the intent for this ULB is when it's submerged into the water, it will start to emit an acoustic signal. How we detect this signal is by using a hydrophone -- something like an underwater microphone."
"An operator will submerge the hydrophone underwater, and will rotate it 360 degrees. Another operator will use headsets and listen for the signal. The theory is that as the hydrophone rotates towards the blackbox directly, the sound will get louder. If it starts to get softer, we know we have passed it."
"The operator will try to ascertain the direction. Once this has been determined, we will input  the coordinates into a software. This will be repeated twice to determine the location the flight's ULB will highly likely be in."
"With this information, we will forward them to our Indonesian counterparts, who will then follow up. These follow up actions may include sending divers to the location we determined to physically look for the flight data recorder."
3.32pm: AP Reports: Indonesian official says that an Australian Orion aircraft has detected suspicious objects near Nangka island, 1,120km from the location where the plane lost contact.
"However, we cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane," said the official. "We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions."
3.05pm: Malaysia has deployed three navy vessels and more aircraft to join in the search, according to Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

2.20pm: AirAsia says it plans to retire the callsign QZ8501.
2.08pm: Indonesia accepts Singapore's offer of specialist teams and underwater locator equipment.

12.27pm: China's foreign ministry says government offering help in search for missing flight. So far, other countries who have pledged support are Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.
12:00pm: AirAsia shares lose more than 7% in morning trading in Kula Lumpur, after QZ8501 incident.
11:33am: Various media are beginning to cite Indonesian rescue officials saying that QZ8501 has crashed into the sea.
"Based on our coordinates, we predict that the plane is on the sea, for now it could be in the bottom of the sea," Soelistyo, head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, told reporters.
11:30am: Changi Airport Group spokesperson: "Some of the QZ8501 passengers' next-of-kin have returned to the holding area at around 8am this morning, awaiting further updates from the authorities. Counsellors deployed by the authorities are also providing them with emotional support."

11:10am: Major press conference to be held by search mission commanders in Belitung Island.

10:15am: CNN reports that families of passengers on missing flight meet behind closed doors with CEO Tony Fernandes.
9.53am: South Korea announces it will join search for missing AirAsia plane.
8.40am: Indonesian authorities are seen briefing search-and-rescue personnel before the mission takes place. Three areas will be searched around the islands and seas north and east of Belitung Island:
1. Nangka island, where fishermen reportedly heard a crash.
2. Lung island, where fishermen reportedly saw a plane going down.
3. Serutu island, where fishermen reportedly saw dead bodies.

8.15am: TODAY is on site at Manggar, East Belitung Island. Indonesian military & fisherman are seen working together at a search and rescue base in preparation for the search mission.

8.11am: Australia Defence Force despatches a AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol craft from Darwin to help in search.
8:00am: Indonesia rescue agency says search will focus on 270 nautical miles radius off Belitung Island in Java sea
7.30am: Search for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 resumes.
7.00am: Second RSAF C-130 sets off from Singapore to join the search for QZ8501.



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