Another AirAsia victim identified

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 01 Januari 2015 | 20.01

The search resumes for the AirAsia plane wreck as coffins carrying the remains of more victims arrive at hospital for identification. Paul Chapman reports.

ANOTHER victim of the ill-fated AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has been identified following an autopsy, The Star Online reports.

Hayati Lutfiah Hamid from Sidoharjo, East Java, was identified on Thursday "based on her finger prints and personal belongings", Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) East Java head Budiyono said.

The personal belongings were an identity card, a necklace and a bracelet with her name engraved on, as confirmed by the family members.

Hayati was travelling to Singapore with her 10-year-old daughter Naura Kanita Rosada Suseno, her husband Djoko Suseno and mother-in-law Soemanik Saeran. She is among eight people whose remains have been recovered from the crash site.

National Search And Rescue Agency personnel carry the body of a victim on board the ill-fated AirAsia Flight 8501, from a helicopter upon arrival at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia. Picture: AP Source: AP

Mr Budiyono said the second body could not be idetnifed at this time, because the data provided by family members did not match the victim.

"The only thing we can tell you is that he has long hair, a mole the size of 4mmx4mm on the left side of his upper lip and his height is around 145cm to 150cm," Mr Budiyono said.

As the search for bodies and wreckage from Flight QZ8501 resumed, air safety officials said it could take a week to find the black box flight recorders.

According to The Star Online, Toos Sanitiyoso, an air safety investigator with the National Committee for Transportation Safety, said he hoped the black box flight data and voice recorders could be found within a week, suggesting there was still doubt over the plane's location.

"The main thing is to find the main area of the wreckage and then the black box," he told reporters.

Crash theory

THE discovery of several fully clothed bodies from the crashed AirAsia plane support the theory it probably broke up upon impact with the water, after suffering "aerodynamic stall".

Flight experts said the plane probably hit severe turbulence, leading the pilots to fly so steeply or slowly that insufficient air was flowing over the wings.

The aircraft would then have become dead weight.

Experts say the plane probably broke up on impact with water. Picture: AP. Source: AP

A former British Airways pilot says the passenger jet would have either glided down or spun out of control and possibly entered the water upside down.

"If it is upside down in shallow water, that would suggest the aircraft became disoriented," Stephen Buzdygan told London's The Telegraph.

"I would suggest that there was some sort of upset to the aircraft — severe downdrafts or clear air turbulence. They have had some sort of upset and not been able to control it."

Midway through a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday morning, the pilots communicated worries about bad weather. They sought permission to climb above threatening clouds but were denied because of heavy air traffic.

Four minutes later, the Airbus A320-200 — with 162 on board — disappeared from radar without a distress signal.

The wreckage was located on Tuesday in the Java Sea off Borneo.

Indonesian police carry parts of a plane found floating on the water near the site where AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared, at Kumai port in Pangkalan Bun. Picture: AP Source: AP

Mr Buzdygan said: "I have flown through thunderstorms there and it is not pleasant. The vertical air drafts can impose enormous stress on the aircraft".

Most aviations experts including Geoffrey Thomas, editor of airlineratings.com, believe the plane experienced an aerodynamic stall after attempting to fly too steeply or too slowly.

"I have a radar plot which shows him at 36,000 feet and climbing at a speed of 353 knots, which is approximately 100 knots too slow ... if the radar return is correct, he appears to be going too slow for the altitude he is flying at," he said.

"Essentially, the plane is flying too slow to the altitude and the thin air, and the wings won't support it at that speed and you get a stall, an aerodynamic stall."

Unconfirmed reports that one of the deceased passengers plucked from the water was wearing a life jacket support the stall theory.

An Indonesian Navy helicopter carrying two bodies from AirAsia flight QZ8501 recovered from the Java Sea prepares to land at Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan. Picture: AFP. Source: AFP

Relatives provide DNA

So far seven bodies have been retrieved. Two are already in Surabaya, and four corpses — inside simple white boxes decorated with plastic flowers — were loaded onto a transport carrier in Pangkalan Bun yesterday morning.

The coffins — numbered 001 and 002 — contained a woman wearing blue jeans and a boy. They were sent from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya for autopsies on Wednesday and were expected to be handed over to relatives on Thursday.

Of the other five victims recovered, three are male and two are female, including a flight attendant still in uniform.

In Indonesia's second-biggest city, where the plane had taken off for Singapore early on Sunday, drained and emotional relatives of the 162 people on board gathered at a crisis centre to hand over documents and medical records.

Among them was Hadi Widjaja, 60, who was preparing a Muslim funeral for his son Andreas and daughter-in-law Enny Wahyuni.

"I am anxious to know if the rescuers have found their bodies. The president has said that they will do the best they can to find them," Widjaja told AFP. "But if they really cannot find them, I will scatter flowers in the sea here as a way to say goodbye."

Police in Surabaya said they had taken DNA from 30 immediate family members to assist with the identification of bodies, which is set to take place at a hospital in Surabaya.

Area Galih Gegara, 8, the son of AirAsia flight QZ8501 pilot Irianto. Picture: Nine News. Source: Supplied

Family and friends grave

Heartbreaking stories are emerging from the victim's families, including that the son of AirAsia pilot Irianto has so far been shielded from the tragic news.

The veteran pilot's relatives have told eight-year-old Arya Galih Gegana that "daddy is at work".

"I told Galih that his father will not be coming straight home because he has another job to do," Budi Sutiono, the pilot's 55-year-old brother and the boy's uncle, told The Telegraph.

"Pilots are often away from home on work so when we told him he accepted it. But he keeps asking us and he keeps crying because he misses his father."

Meanwhile many family members remain at the Surabaya airport crisis centre where some, like 15-year-old Chiara Natasha, are now alone.

Her entire family was travelling on board QZ8501 to visit her in Singapore to celebrate the New Year.

Rev. Philip Mantofa, whose Mawar Sharon Church lost about 40 members in the disaster, held a prayer service for the families gathered in a waiting room at the Surabaya airport on

Wednesday.

"Help us, God, to move forward, even though we are surrounded by darkness," he said.

Distraught family members anxiously waited to identify their loved ones, holding candles and praying for the victims. Picture: Tatan Syuflana/ Source: AP

Ongoing search

A much-needed break in the weather yesterday gave search and rescue teams a window to "fight with full force" to find the remaining victims, with four aircraft dispatched to the Karimata Strait area just after sunrise.

Authorities were also rushing to locate the plane's fuselage after it crashed into the Java Sea five days ago, with dozens of navy frogmen and search-and-rescue divers yesterday preparing to explore the wreckage.

Indonesian navy personnel inspect their gear on Basarnas ship for a search operation for victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 at Kumai Port in Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia. Picture: AP Source: AP

Vice Air Marshal Sunarbowo Sandi, search and rescue co-ordinator in Pangkalan Bun, said bodies possibly remained trapped in the fuselage.

"So it's a race now against time and weather," he said.

Some of the items recovered so far include a life jacket, an emergency exit window, children's shoes, a blue suitcase and backpacks filled with food.

The plane is believed to be in relatively shallow waters of around 25-32 metres.

Surabaya residents pray for victims of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash on December 31, 2014 in Surabaya, Indonesia. Picture: Getty Images. Source: Getty Images


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