Missing AirAsia flight asked to 'deviate' due to bad weather
JAKARTA, Indonesia (UPDATED) – The Indonesian Transportation Ministry said on Sunday, December 28, that the missing AirAsia flight QZ 8501 had asked to "deviate" 6,000 feet to climb to 38,000 feet due to bad weather.
AirAsia flight QZ 8501 on a routine flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore went missing early Sunday, the airline said, with a total of 162 people on board.
The plane had on board 155 passengers, 2 pilots, and 5 cabin crew, according to the airline. (READ: AirAsia QZ8501: Emergency information)
“Last contact was with the Jakarta tower, pilot requested permission to avoid clouds and fly to 38,000 feet,” Transport Ministry official Djoko Murdjatmodjo said at the Soekarno-Hatta International airport.
"The plane is in good condition but the weather is not so good," he said, addressing reports of severe storms in the area where the jet went missing.
In another press conference at at Juanda Airport in Surabaya, Transportation Minister Ignasius Johan said the plane's last position "was detected near Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, not far from the coast line.”
"The search effort is being carried out by the Indonesian military, Basarnas (Indonesian search and rescue team), and the Singapore SAR team," he said. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com