(Reuters) – Indonesia called off until first light a search for an AirAsia plane with 162 people on board that went missing on Sunday after pilots asked to change course to avoid bad weather during a flight from Indonesia’s Surabaya city to Singapore.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus 320-200 carrying 155 passengers and seven crew, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. (2317 GMT on Saturday). No distress signal had been sent, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, an Indonesian transport ministry official.
On board were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain, plus a French pilot, the airline said in a statement, correcting earlier information.
Tatang Kurniadi, head of Indonesia’s National Committee of Safety Transportation, expressed hope of locating the aircraft quickly and said it was too early to detect any of the so-called electronic pings from its black box recorder.
“We are using our capacity to search on sea and land. Hopefully we can find the location of the plane as soon as possible,” he told a news conference.
“What I need to emphasize is until now, we have not found out how the plane fell or what kind of emergency it was.”.. see more