It was not a very happy weekend for people who had family members on board AirAsia Flight 8501. This is a flight that went missing Sunday, Dec. 28, and was carrying more than 162 people. Although the Indonesian government tried everything in its power to find the plane, it eventually had to call off the search. Now the Indonesian government says that it has restarted the search for the plane and has high hopes of finding it.
According to air traffic control officials, contact was lost with the plane in the early morning of Dec. 28 after the plane took off from Surabaya, Indonesia. The air traffic controllers say that the last contact they had with the plane was just before the pilot called in to say that he was taking the plane to a higher altitude in order to avoid bad weather.
Indonesia asked neighboring countries to help in the search. The government had already started the search on Sunday, but as night fell, Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that there is no way the government would be able to find debris at night. Everyone had looked for around 10 hours at this point.
There were a lot of people on board this flight. According to reports, 155 Indonesians were on board. The remaining passengers included three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one French person, as well as one traveller from the United Kingdom. There were also five crew members on board and two pilots. The French man was the plane’s co-pilot. Out of all of the passengers, 17 of them were children.
Right now, the government is focusing on a search that is 270 miles off the Indonesian island of Bangka. This island is known for its pepper cultivation and tin mining. The search could be widened depending on how the search goes today, Dec. 29.
This is the first time that any kind of significant incident like this has happened for AirAsia. It does, however, follow the loss of two Malaysia Airlines planes that went missing earlier in the year. It isn’t yet known if there is any connection between all of the missing planes. However, workers in the travel industry want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.