Objects spotted, but not confirmed as Flight 8501

 

airfrance447recorder

As search crews scoured the Indonesian waters where an AirAsia jet carrying 162 people is believed to have gone down, officials predicted a tragic ending to the region’s latest aviation mystery.

An Indonesian helicopter saw two oily spots in the search area on Monday afternoon, and an Australian search plane spotted objects hundreds of miles away, but it was too early to know whether either was connected to the missing aircraft.

AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished on Sunday morning in airspace thick with storm clouds on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

After the search expanded on Monday, Jakarta’s Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto said an Australian Orion aircraft had detected “suspicious” objects near Nangka island, about 160 kilometres southwest of Pangkalan Bun, near central Kalimantan, 1,120 kilometres from the location where the plane lost contact.

“However, we cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane,” Putranto said. “We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions.”

Air Force spokesman Rear Marshal Hadi Tjahnanto told MetroTV that an Indonesian helicopter in the eastern part of Belitung island spotted two oily spots on the sea about 105 nautical miles east of Tanjung Pandan – much closer to the point of last contact.

He said samples of the oil would be collected and analysed to see if they are connected to the missing plane.

Several naval vessels and helicopters are part of the SAR effort, and I’m somewhat surprised none of them are hearing the black box “ping”.   It seems ridiculous that anyone can track the location of their cell phone almost instantly, but a multi  million dollar aircraft drops under the waves and we’re all deaf dumb and blind.

 

– AP


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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