'Papa, come home': Relatives of AirAsia passengers wait in agony
JAKARTA, Indonesia — With the search suspended on Monday evening, and after hours of no updates, the relatives of the 162 passengers and crew members on board the AirAsia jet that went missing early on Sunday, December 28, are growing weary.
“Papa, come home. I still need you. Bring back my father. Papa, come home, Pa. Papa has to be found. Papa must come home,” Angela Anggi Ranastianis, the 22 year-old daughter of Indonesian pilot Irianto, posted on her Path account, as quoted by news portal liputan6.com.
Irianto was piloting AirAsia flight QZ 8501, which was on a routine flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when it went missing early Sunday.
AirAsia QZ 8501: Emergency information (as of 2:30 pm +0800 GMT)
The plane had on board 155 passengers, 2 pilots, and 5 cabin crew.
“Last contact was with the Jakarta tower. Pilot requested permission to avoid clouds and fly to 38,000 feet,” Indonesian Transport Ministry official Djoko Murdjatmodjo said at the Soekarno-Hatta International airport on Sunday morning, a few hours after the plane went missing.
"The plane is in good condition but the weather is not so good," he added.
Irianto is an experienced pilot with 6,100 flying hours behind him. His co-pilot, Frenchman Remi Emmanuel Plesel, has 2,275 flying hours.
Irianto has two children, Angela and Arya Galih Gegana. He was in the city of Yogyakarta last week to attend his younger sibling’s funeral, according to his niece Aulia Sari.
“When they heard the news about the AirAsia flight piloted by her father, (Angela) was hysterical,” Aulia said in a blog post.
Other relatives and friends took to social media to say they knew someone on board, or to ask for prayers.
//baitewe about air asia teman saya masuk daftar penumpang hilang air asia. Sedih saya.— Kim Holmes  (@KimHolmesLK) December 28, 2014
Terakhir ketemu 2 bln lalu. Kini teman saya sekeluarga berada di Air Asia QZ 8501. Dear God, would you rescue all of the passengers please?— Debo (@deborahdewi) December 28, 2014
Mohon bantu dalam doa, teman kita Cindy Clarissa XS-3/9 dan alumni Dempo, Edward Febriantus, tercatat mengikuti penerbangan Air Asia QZ8501— Dempoers (@_dempo) December 28, 2014
Sambung doa utk teman kami Wismoyo Ario.. Awak kabin Air Asia QZ 8501 SUB-SIN, Deeply pray.. pic.twitter.com/sUKtkSFtmo— R T H (@Rifqi_Tri_Harjo) December 28, 2014
At the Juanda Airport in Surabaya, where flight QZ 8501 took off before going missing, hundreds of relatives are waiting for news. At least 70 of the passengers on board are residents of Surabaya, a major Indonesian city and gateway to eastern Indonesia.
Search efforts were hampered by bad weather and halted at 5:30pm local time. They will resume early on Monday, December 29. – Rappler.com