It has been more than 40 hours since AirAsia Flight QZ8501 went missing Sunday. Several nations have joined the search operation in the Java Sea, which has so far yielded suspicious objects and an oil slick, but none confirmed to be from the flight.
CCTV America’s Barnaby Lo reported this story from the island of Belitung, Indonesia.
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Barely a year after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, relatives of the passengers and crew of AirAsia Flight 8501 waited for news at the airport in the Indonesian city of Surabaya.
“We are very surprised and very sad. Our grandchild was going to Singapore for a holiday but the accident happened,” said a relative.
AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes flew in from Malaysia in an effort to appease the relatives and Indonesian officials vowed to bring closure to the incident.
“It is of course not easy to operate in the sea, especially in the bad weather like this, but the President’s instruction to all our people to do the best, and fast and (there is) no limit to find the plane and the passengers of course,” Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said.
Flight 8501 was believed to have last made contact with air traffic control not far from the island of Belitung. But some believe that it may have crashed into the sea and sunk to the bottom.
On Monday, 30 ships and 15 aircrafts from several countries scoured the Java Sea for any sign of Flight 8501. There were reports of an oil slick and suspicious objects were spotted from the air, but Indonesian officials have been careful not to make an immediate connection to the missing plane.
Kalla said that all information will be checked and monitored and search forces have not yet found enough evidence to confirm that the flight crashed.
But even as officials have refrained from speculating, they concede that the hope of finding any survivor is fading fast.
Former pilot Captain Mark Weiss on the missing flight
For more about the missing AirAsia jet, CCTV America talked with Captain Mark Weiss. He is a former American Airlines pilot and a member of The Spectrum Group.
Former pilot Captain Mark Weiss on the missing flightFor more about the missing AirAsia jet, CCTV America talked with Captain Mark Weiss. He is a former American Airlines pilot and a member of The Spectrum Group.
Seth Kaplan from Airline Weekly on airline security
For more on the missing jetliner, CCTV America talked to Seth Kaplan, a managing partner at Airline Weekly.