On Sunday December 28th, the AirAsia jet carrying 162 passengers lost contact with air-traffic controllers. It was en route to Singapore at the time, and as of this writing, has still not been found. This was the third disaster after a Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared over the Indian Ocean, and another Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine. This brings the likely death toll up to nearly 700 this year alone.
The chief of Indonesia’s National Committee for Transportation Safety said that poor weather was likely a major factor in missing this plane. Several sources say that just before it lost contact, the pilot was asking for “unusual” routing to Singapore. They requested permission to raise their altitude but by the time the ATC returned contact, there was no contact to have been had. This could possibly be as a result of inclement weather, or perhaps other factors, such as saving fuel.
Experts say that after the third day, it will become incredibly unlikely to find the plane, especially if it landed in the ocean. This may become a second mysterious disappearance for the year for an airliner, bringing into question different policies for tracking aircraft around the world. And although weather may have been a factor, no other plane in the region suffered from anything similar, which also makes us curious as to what happened to this aircraft.
United States Rear Admiral John Kirby said that the U.S. was in talks with the Indonesian government to provide air, land, and subsurface detection to attempt to locate the aircraft. In addition to everything that’s happened, the shares of AirAsia have plummeted 8% as of last note.