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AirAsia A320 disappears; was bad weather the cause?

(EconomyNext) – The search for an AirAsia A320 that disappeared in bad weather shortly after taking off from Indonesia has resumed Monday, while relatives of 162 people on board wait anxiously for information.

The plane lost contact with Indonesian air traffic controllers after taking off from Surabaya, on route to Singapore over the Java Sea between the islands of Belitung and Borneo.

AirAsia Indonesia, a unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia said there were 155 passengers on board including 17 children and one infant. There were two pilots, four cabin crew and engineer.

The captain in command had 20,537 flying hours of which 6,100 flying hours were with AirAsia Indonesia on the Airbus A320. The first office officer had a clocked up 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia, the airline said.

The pilot had asked permission to fly to a higher level to avoid bad weather, which had been denied due to heavy air traffic. Pilots try to climb over storm clouds to avoid bad weather.

Though authorities are not speculating on any possible causes, bad weather could cause ice to form over plane’s control surfaces making it difficult for pilots to control it, according to aviation analysts.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had issued note on the A320 earlier this year after the flight computer of an Airbus A320 ordered the plane to push the nose down, believing the aircraft was about to stall. A plane that loses airspeed can stall.

The incident had been triggered after indicators iced up in bad weather.

Earlier this year a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared and is thought to have flown to waters near Australia. The aircraft has not been found.





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