How other planes survived storm

Written By komlim puldel on Senin, 29 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Search ... an Indonesia Search and Rescue officer inspects the operational air navigation map. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

AirAsia Flight 8501 may have been affected by turbulent, cumulonimbus clouds in its path. WSJs Ramy Inocencio speaks with Hong Kong Obervatorys Cheung Ping about the weather when radar contact was lost.

JUST like MH17 was in the wrong place at the wrong time, events on the morning of December 27 seemed to conspire against flight QZ8501.

The AirAsia Indonesia flight was among several in the vicinity of severe weather when it ran into strife, 42-minutes into a trip from Surabaya to Singapore.

An Emirates A380 flying from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur landed without incident, as did another AirAsia Indonesia flight from Denpasar to Singapore.

But when the pilots on QZ8501 requested a change in flight path to avoid bad weather, they were refused permission by Air Traffic Control because of other aircraft in that space.

LOST CONTROL: The pilot who was flying missing AirAsia flight QZ8501

BRIDE-TO-BE: 'My fiance and his family were on that flight'

Radar image showing planes around AirAsia flight QZ8501 when it went missing. Picture: News Corp Australia Source: Supplied

QZ8501 was also disadvantaged by a delay in any alarm being raised about its disappearance from the primary radar.

Air Traffic Controllers in Jakarta took 30-minutes to inform those in Singapore of the problem.

It then took several more hours for a search to get underway largely due to bad weather.

By the numbers ... the search for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 continues. Picture: News Corp Australia Source: News Corp Australia

Australian aviation security expert Captain Des Ross said the fact no distress call was made by the pilots suggested they were simply too busy trying to fly the aircraft.

"The first priority of the pilots is to fly the aircraft and ensure the safety of the people on board," said Capt Ross.

"The first priority is to find a solution to whatever the problem is. It's possible they may have also suffered an electrical failure and the radio was no longer working."

What he found most baffling was the lack of any information from the electronic locator transmitter that automatically signals an aircraft's whereabouts in the event of a crash.

"These little locator transmitters are normally pretty reliable devices and yet we haven't heard anything about it," said Capt Ross.

Officials have confirmed an object spotted during a sea search is not from the missing AirAsia plane.

Asked about the ELT at a press conference yesterday, Indonesian Transport Safety Committee chief Tatang Kurniadi said the device could be broken, or the plane could have crashed into mountains and the signal was blocked.

Strategic Aviation Solutions' owner Neil Hansford said there was no way the flight could have crashed on land without people knowing.

"It was carrying a lot of fuel on board, there would have been an almighty explosion," said Mr Hansford. "It would have shaken the locals out of the trees."

Air search ... an Indonesian Air Force C-130 plane scans the horizon during a search operation for the missing AirAsia plane. Picture: AP Photo/Dita Alangkara Source: AP

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