Special church service held for AirAsia Flight 8105 victims

World Today

An engine of an AirAsia aircraft with 120 passengers onboard cut out during taxiing before takeoff from Juanda International Airport in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, and passengers were forced to disembark. The plane, scheduled to fly to Bandung, also on Java, at 9pm local time Saturday, was taxiing for a couple of minutes when suddenly one of its engines cut out with a loud noise. Most of those passengers refused to get back aboard, after the problem was resolved. The incident was at the same Jakarta airport where Flight 8105 had taken-off.

Meanwhile, bad weather hampered AirAsia Flight 8105 search efforts in the Java Sea once again, as relatives continue to wait for more answers in Surabaya. Divers were not able to able to get confirmation of the four large objects detected by sonar on Saturday and believed to be parts of AirAsia Flight 8501. But a fifth “large object” had been spotted and more bodies were pulled from the water. CCTV America’s Barnaby Lo reported from Surabaya, Indonesia.

Special church service held for AirAsia Flight 8105 victims

An engine of an AirAsia aircraft with 120 passengers onboard cut out during taxiing before takeoff from Juanda International Airport in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, and passengers were forced to disembark. The plane, scheduled to fly to Bandung, also on Java, at 9pm local time Saturday, was taxiing for a couple of minutes when suddenly one of its engines cut out with a loud noise. Most of those passengers refused to get back aboard, after the problem was resolved. The incident was at the same Jakarta airport where Flight 8105 had taken-off. Meanwhile, bad weather hampered AirAsia Flight 8105 search efforts in the Java Sea once again, as relatives continue to wait for more answers in Surabaya. Divers were not able to able to get confirmation of the four large objects detected by sonar on Saturday and believed to be parts of AirAsia Flight 8501. But a fifth "large object" had been spotted and more bodies were pulled from the water. CCTV America's Barnaby Lo reported from Surabaya, Indonesia.

With over 200 million Muslims spread across 13,000 islands, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Christians are few and far between, but the Mawar Sharon church in Surabaya may have lost more than 40 of its members in an instant. On Sunday, it held a special service for members who were on board an AirAsia flight to Singapore that crashed into the Java Sea last week.

Not all 46 members of this church who were on board AirAsia Flight 8501 necessarily knew each other. They came from different parts of Surabaya and attended satellite churches in their respective communities, but they were bound by their religion and their fate.

Their families continued to wait with the search for the plane’s wreckage, and its passengers and crew now entered a second week. But no matter how long it takes, they said they’ll keep waiting to be reunited with their loved ones.

“No matter what, at this moment, their faith is just hang on to it until the end. No one knows at this moment. So that’s why when we accompany them. We would like to just get together with them, and here it is the reality,” Lianggono Tejo Bunarto, the pastor, said.

Bad weather and sea conditions continued to hamper the search for more debris and bodies from the AirAsia aircraft. Divers were finally able to go underwater on Sunday to verify the discovery of large objects believed to be parts of the plane, but not for long.

“We were still slowed down by poor weather. Some rescuers tried to dive but were hampered by visibility and underwater currents that forced us to suspend operations, as the safety of our rescuers during operations is an important concern,” Bambang Soelistyo, the head of National Search and Rescue Agency, said.

If the weather continued to refuse to cooperate, officials said the task was only going to get more difficult. Despite this, they vowed to keep looking until all 162 passengers and crew are returned to their families, and until they are able to assemble the pieces that will tell the story of Flight 8501.


Friends and families remember loved ones lost on Flight 8105

CCTV America’s James Chau reported from Jakarta, and he spoke with travelers at that airport, who were friends of the victims of the AirAsia crash.

Friends and families remember loved ones lost on Flight 8105

CCTV America's James Chau reported from Jakarta, and he spoke with travelers at that airport, who were friends of the victims of the AirAsia crash.

At the Jakarta’s main airport one week after Flight 8105, thunder, lightning and unrelenting rain greeted thousands of passengers boarding their planes. While all of them had the victims of AirAsia crash on their minds, a few also had them in their hearts.

“Some of my friends were on that plane. I heard it from the news and the Internet. I feel sorry for them. I send them my condolences,” Pingky Lookman, a friend of Flight 8105 victim, said.

If loss could be measured in numbers alone, the tragedy could hardly be greater for Lookman and his fiance Angela Senjaya.

They both worshiped at the Mawar Sharon Church in Surabaya, which lost 46 of its members on the ill-fated flight. That was more than a quarter of the passengers on board.

Many passengers at Jakarta airport were headed to Singapore for the holidays, and now they feared for their own safety.

“I would be lying if I say I am not afraid, but I just pray. I always pray when I am traveling. I will always pray for the salvation of the souls on the plane. I don’t know what could happen on the plane, but miracles still exist,” Senjaya said.

Senjaya’s deep faith and her willingness to accept what cannot be changed, is mirrored by the families of Surabaya who in the past week have responded to their losses with dignity and grace.

At the Jakarta airport, there was another friend of Flight 8105 victim , Olivia Sujono, who knew Kevin Soetjipto, the Monash University student whose body was one of the first to be recovered and identified. For his friends, there was still no closure.

“Every time we hear about the news and we continue following the news on AirAsia. We are always talking with my nephew, and he is always updating with his classmates on who else was on the plane, the victims. So, we are a little bit shocked. It must be a big shock for the family,” Olivia Sujono said.

As passengers said goodbye to their loved ones. Many of them said that they have concerns for their safety that they didn’t have before Flight 8105. Their stories showed that this is a human tragedy. It wasn’t about 162 victims, but about 162 people who meant something special to somebody else.


Seth Kaplan from Airline Weekly Corporation on airline security

Seth Kaplan, a managing partner at Airline Weekly Corporation, spoke to CCTV America on more about the AirAsia and airline safety.

Seth Kaplan from Airline Weekly Corporation on airline security

Seth Kaplan, a managing partner at Airline Weekly Corporation, spoke to CCTV America on more about the AirAsia and airline safety.