DEVELOPING TIMELINE: Latest Verified Updates Of Crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.

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AirAsia to face legal suits by ten families following the crash of Flight QZ8501

A US-based aviation lawyer said today that they are representing 10 families in a lawsuit against AirAsia and Airbus over an aircraft malfunction following the crash of Flight QZ8501 last year. Floyd Wisner of Wisner Law Firm, said although preliminary investigations found that weather was a factor, the Airbus suffered a malfunction of the fly-by-wire system.

“Airbus and its supplier manufacturers are aware of problems that cause the fly-by-wire protection to malfunction, yet they appear to have done nothing about it, despite many incidents,” he said in a statement.

Wisner also slammed AirAsia for offering families only half the amount of compensation being paid to families of other recent air disasters.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the US state of Illinois, states that “at the time the accident aircraft left the control of defendant Airbus, it was defectively and unreasonably dangerous,” and names Honeywell International, Motorola Inc and other suppliers along with Airbus as defendants.

18 MAR: R.I.P. QZ8501: The search officially ends with 56 victims still missing

A crew member of Indonesian Navy CN-235 airplane looks out of the window during a search operation which will all come to an end on 17 February.

Image via ABC News

The Indonesian search and rescue teams called off the search for AirAsia QZ85O1 on Tuesday ending the hunt for victims from last year’s plane crash, an official said, with 56 people still unaccounted for.

The search was scaled back dramatically recently, with foreign vessels withdrawing as well as the Indonesian military, which had provided the bulk of personnel and equipment. Indonesia’s civilian search and rescue agency continued the hunt, but on a smaller scale and their teams only occasionally finding more bodies and wreckage. The total victims found is 106.

The decision to end the hunt came after AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes signalled last week that operations were drawing to a close. He said that the operation had been “successful” but added that it could not “go on indefinitely”.

He added “It’s important for us that the families agreed on this and that’s why I give them credit that they didn’t keep insisting that we go on forever.” The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee has so far shed little light on what caused the flight to crash, or what occurred in the moments before the tragedy

A crew member of Indonesian Navy CN-235 airplane prays before the search operation for the missing AirAsia flight 8501 at the airport in Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Island, Indonesia, Dec. 30, 2014.

Image via ABC News

28 DEC: No Bodies Found During Successful Retrieval Of The Last Of QZ8501 Fuselage

Indonesia has retrieved the final major part of the fuselage of an AirAsia jet that crashed into the Java Sea in December, killing all 162 people on board, officials said Saturday.

The mangled wreckage, the largest part of the plane retrieved, was pulled from the sea Friday and loaded onto a ship, national search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo told AFP. "We have retrieved on Friday the last and large part of the AirAsia fuselage with a wing still intact," Mr Soelistyo told AFP. No bodies were found during the course of the operation.

Some 103 bodies have been recovered since the plane went down in stormy weather while flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

“The combined rescue team from SKK Migas (Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Special Task Force – ed), Basarnas and DiversClub are moving from the rescue spot, transporting the jet fuselage which has been loaded onto Crest Onyx,” said the Chief of National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Marshal FH Bambang Soelistyo in a press conference on Saturday morning (28/2)

Body Of Lone Malaysian Passenger Onboard QZ8501 Has Been Identified

Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim.

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The body of the only Malaysian passenger, Sii Chung Huei, in the AirAsia QZ8501 crash in the Java Sea last Dec 28, was identified by Indonesian authorities today.

Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said the body was found a few days ago but was only confirmed today as that of Sii today after the DNA testing was done.

The body had been sent to Bhayangkara Hospital in Surabaya after it was found by the Indonesian search team.

“The embassy here will arrange for Sii’s remains to be handed over to his family members tomorrow in Surabaya before the remains will be flown back to Sarawak on a Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft on Wednesday,” Zahrain said when contacted, here, Monday.

9 FEB: Body Believed To Be One Of QZ8501 Pilots Has Been Retrieved

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Indonesian search and rescue officials evacuated one of two bodies from the cockpit of the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 late on Friday (Feb 6) afternoon.

The pilots’ heavily decomposed bodies still had their airline uniforms on and were strapped to their seats. The cockpit was located 20 metres away from the fuselage on the seabed of the Java Sea.

"It is likely the body of the French co-pilot, wearing uniform with three stripes on (the) shoulder," he told AFP, adding that the body is still being held onboard the Pacitan warship before being taken to land.

A formal confirmation will be given after the Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team finish identifying the body, which is in poor condition, Supriyadi said.

4 FEB: QZ8501 Crash Investigators Refute Claims That Captain Left His Seat

Indonesian air crash investigators said they had not so far found evidence that the pilot of an Indonesia AirAsia jet had left his seat, or that power to an automated control system was shut off, shortly before the aircraft plunged into the sea.

Two sources familiar with the investigation had told Reuters that Captain Iriyanto was out of his seat carrying out the unusual procedure of pulling the circuit-breaker on a flight computer when his co-pilot apparently lost control of the Airbus A320.

"Up until today, there is no indication yet that the captain left his seat as reported by Reuters," Ertata Lananggalih, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), said.

Meanwhile, The Total Number Of Bodies Recovered So Far Is At 90

Six more bodies have been recovered from wreckage of AirAsia QZ8501.

This brings the total number of bodies retrieved so far to 90, according to reports from the Associated Press and Xinhua news agency in China.

29 JAN: Flight QZ8501 Took Off In Good Conditions But Things Could've Gone Wrong In A Span Of Minutes

Image via @cnni/Twitter

Before AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashed, the co-pilot was flying the plane as the more experienced pilot monitored the flight. And things may have gone wrong in a span of just three minutes and 20 seconds, triggering a stall warning that sounded until it crashed into the Java Sea.

Mardjono said the cockpit voice and flight data recorders showed that the plane had been cruising at a stable altitude before the crash. The aircraft was in sound condition when it took off, and all crew members were properly certified, he said.

“The plane was flying before the incident within the limits of weight and balance envelope,” Mardjono said. “While the flight crew had valid licences and medical certificates.”

NTSC chief Tatang Kurniadi told the same Jakarta news conference that Indonesia had submitted its preliminary report on the crash to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) yesterday, as required under global aviation rules.

26 JAN: No Luck For Indonesian Salvage Team During Second Attempt At Lifting QZ8501 Fuselage

Image via The Star Online

The Indonesian admiral in charge of operations to recover AirAsia flight QZ8501 has told the BBC the fuselage may be too fragile to be lifted.

Rear Admiral Widodo's comments came after a renewed attempt to raise the wreckage from seabed failed when it kept breaking into pieces.

"We managed to float (the fuselage) and we were about to move it to the tugboat when the rope snapped due to an extreme change in the weather," Rear Admiral Widodo, who goes by one name, told AFP.

One body came out of the fuselage before it fell back to the seabed. A total of 70 bodies have been found so far, search and rescue official S. B. Supriyadi said.

The First Attempt At Retrieving The Fuselage On Saturday Also Proved Unsuccessful

A previous effort to the raise the wreckage on Saturday was also foiled when sharp parts of the debris sliced through a strap connecting the fuselage to a giant balloon, the search agency said.

23 JAN: Another Six Bodies Recovered But Still No Luck With The QZ8501 Fuselage

Indonesian divers on Thursday (Jan 22) recovered six bodies, some still belted into their seats, near the main section of an AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea last month, but failed again to reach the fuselage.

“We have found six bodies, four of whom were females and two males, all adults,” S.B. Supriyadi, a rescue agency official coordinating the search, told AFP. He said they were found among debris, with some still strapped into their seats, not far from the jet’s main section.

So far, 59 bodies have been recovered from Flight QZ8501, which plunged into the Java Sea with 162 people on board, while en route from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, to Singapore. Rescuers are still struggling to lift the fuselage and what appears to be the plane’s cockpit from the seabed at a depth of 30m.

DAY 26: Warning Alarms Were "Screaming" Before The Plane's Fatal Crash

Warning alarms in AirAsia flight QZ8501 were "screaming" as the pilots desperately tried to stabilise the plane just before it plunged into the Java Sea last month, a crash investigator said on Wednesday.

The noise of several alarms - including one that indicated the plane was stalling - can be heard going off in recordings from the black box in the Airbus A320-200's cockpit, the investigator told AFP, requesting anonymity.

"The warning alarms, we can say, were screaming, while in the background they (the pilot and co-pilot) were busy trying to recover," the investigator said, adding the warnings were going off "for some time".

The investigator, from Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), added that the pilots' voices were drowned out by the sound of the alarms.

DAY 25: Data Shows AirAsia Flight Experienced A Spike In Speed That Is "Beyond Normal"

“The plane suddenly went up at a speed above the normal limit that it was able to climb to. Then it stalled,” he told reporters. “There’s a possibility of airplane malfunction; a possibility of the human factor,” Mr Utomo said.

“In the final minutes, the plane climbed at a speed which was beyond normal,” Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told reporters, citing radar data.

Earlier at a parliamentary hearing, he said radar data showed the Airbus A320-200 appeared at one point to be climbing at a rate of 1,800m (6,000ft) a minute before the crash.

“I think it is rare even for a fighter jet to be able to climb 6,000 feet per minute,” he said. “For a commercial flight, climbing around 1,000 to 2,000 (feet) is maybe already considered extraordinary, because it is not meant to climb that fast.”

The latest data shows the AirAsia plane, an Airbus A320, was climbing at a rate that was twice as fast as it "could and should do on its own," CNN Aviation Analyst Mary Schiavo said. "I think that means there was a tremendous amount of winds and weather," she said.

If the plane was climbing at 6,000 feet per minute, Schiavo said, numerous alarms would have sounded in the cockpit. But if the aircraft got caught in an updraft, she said, the pilots might not have been aware at first of why it was climbing so quickly when they weren't inputting that into the controls.

"The pilots would have had control of the plane," she said, "but may not have even realized what was occurring because of the confusing readings from the aircraft."

DAY 24: Half Of Cockpit Recording Transcribed, Investigators Found No Evidence Of Terrorism

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Indonesian investigators said on Monday they had found no evidence so far that terrorism was involved in the crash of an AirAsia passenger jet last month that killed all 162 people on board.

Andreas Hananto told Reuters that his team of 10 investigators at the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) had found "no threats" in the cockpit voice recordings to indicate foul play during AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

"In that critical situation, the recording indicates that the pilot was busy with the handling of the plane."

We didn't hear any sounds of gunfire or explosions. For the time being ... we can eliminate the possibility of terrorism.

"We didn't hear any voice of other persons other than the pilots," said Nurcahyo Utomo, another investigator from Indonesia's Transportation Safety Committee. "We didn't hear any sounds of gunfire or explosions. For the time being, based on that, we can eliminate the possibility of terrorism." He also said nothing heard on the audio recording so far suggested pilot suicide played a role in the crash.

Investigators have only transcribed half of the cockpit voice recording and that would require more analysis as well.

DAY 23: Two More Bodies Recovered, Bringing Total Remains Retrieved To 53

Two more bodies have been recovered, bringing the number of recovered remains to 53, with 45 identified.

AirAsia, in a statement yesterday, Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has confirmed finding 53 bodies, of which 45 had been identified.

Six are still in the process of identification and two more have yet to reach Hospital Bhayangkara.

The statement said the Disaster Victim Identification Department of the Indonesian police was currently gathering more DNA proof to determine the identities of the six unidentified bodies.

DAY 20: Singapore Armed Forces Bows Out From QZ8501 Search Operation

Singapore Armed Forces's last ship in Indonesia has left the Java Sea for home, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on his Facebook page on Friday.

"With the flight data and cockpit voice recorders recovered and the fuselage located, the BASARNAS (Indonesian search authority) Chief Bambang Soelistyo has informed other countries that Indonesia would have its own resources for subsequent efforts, and thanked us for all our help," wrote Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in a Facebook post on Friday (Jan 16).

"After 20 days of this search mission, MV Swift Rescue, SAF’s last ship there, has left the Java Sea for home. This marks a formal end to SAF’s involvement in the search for the AirAsia plane and its passengers."

He added that this marks a formal end to SAF's involvement in the search for the AirAsia plane and its passengers. Dr Ng thanked and commended all SAF servicemen and women for a job well done. He also offered the condolences of the SAF and fellow Singaporeans to all the victims of the tragic accident.

DAY 19: Having Located The Fuselage, Divers Are Hoping To Find More Bodies

Indonesian divers on Thursday descended to the main body of an AirAsia jet that crashed last month, hoping to recover the bulk of the disaster's victims, a day after it was finally located by a navy ship.

"They will first assess how many bodies are still trapped inside the fuselage," he said, adding that about 100 more divers would join the effort after the initial assessment.

"Hopefully we can retrieve all the victims as soon as possible."

If bodies are found in the fuselage, divers will need to determine whether the entire wreckage can be lifted by using large balloons or if bodies need to be retrieved separately.

"We will wait for the calculation results from the divers on which one is faster. If it's faster to lift (bodies), we lift one by one," Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters in the town of Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort.

DAY 18: The Body And Fuselage Of AirAsia's QZ8501 Have Been Located

The main fuselage of the downed AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 has been found by a Republic of Singapore Navy vessel, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Wednesday (Jan 14).

"Chief of Navy RADM Lai Chung Han just informed me that one of SAF’s ships, the MV Swift Rescue, has located the fuselage of the AirAsia plane in the Java Sea. Images taken by the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) show part of the wing and words on the fuselage. We have informed BASARNAS, the Indonesian search authority who can now begin recovery operations. The accident is a tragic event resulting in the loss of many lives. I hope that with the fuselage located, some form of closure can come to the families of the victims to ease their grief."

- Ng Eng Hen (Defence Minister of Singapore)

DAY 17: Tony Fernandes Sends Out A Heartfelt Message To AirAsia Customers

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AIRASIA boss Tony Fernandes has sent a personal message thanking customers of the airline, pledging that the airline will overcome the crisis from the crash of flight QZ8501.

Tony in an email acknowledged how the past few weeks have been the most difficult since the start of AirAsia’s 13 years ago and assured customers that the company is committed in reviewing and improving its products and services.

Tony who concluded the email with #togetherwestand asked all its customers to pray for the family members who lost their loved ones in the crash.

"Together with my 17,000 AirAsia Allstars, we ask that you join us in praying for the family members and loved ones of those on board QZ8501," said Tony.

See the message in full here:

10:15AM: The Cockpit Voice Recorder Successfully Retrieved From The Wreck

Image via @STcom/Twitter

Divers on Tuesday retrieved the black box cockpit voice recorder from the wreck of an AirAsia passenger jet, Indonesian news channel MetroTV said quoting a transport ministry official.

The black box was found near the location where the flight data recorder was retrieved on Monday.

QZ8501's cockpit voice recorder has been found – a day after the flight data recorder was retrieved – and is now on an Indonesian navy ship, according to Indonesia's Transport Minister.

The cockpit voice recorder - part of a plane's black box - records communications between the pilot and his co-pilot, crew and air traffic control.

Crash investigators in Jakarta are ready to analyse the black box flight data recorder that could throw light on Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, after divers recovered it "in good condition" yesterday.

Now that they have the flight data recorder, crash investigators can start work by downloading the data. However, analysis could take up to a month. "To open it (FDR) takes only two to three days. But the process of analysing it will take a longer time. We will also need input from Airbus," Mr Tatang told reporters.

DAY 16: First Photos Of The QZ8501 Black Box Have Been Released

2:10PM: Divers Recover Flight Data Recorder While Cockpit Voice Recorder Has Been Located

Divers in Indonesia recovered one of two black boxes from AirAsia Flight 8501 on Monday, two days after the aircraft’s mangled tail section was pulled from the sea and loaded onto a ship.

Divers retrieved one of the black boxes Monday from the AirAsia plane that plummeted more than two weeks ago into the Java Sea, a major breakthrough in the slow-moving hunt to recover bodies and wreckage.

The flight data recorder was found under part of the plane's wing and brought to the surface early in the morning, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, head of the national search and rescue agency.

The second black box with the cockpit voice recorder has been located, based on pings from its emergency transmitter, but not yet retrieved, Madjono Siswosuwarno, the main investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee, told Reuters.

10:10AM: Search Crew Attempts To Retrieve Black Box In A Race Against Time

Image via @BBCBreaking

The black box is currently wedged between pieces of wreckage making it difficult for divers to retrieve, and due to time constraints, retrieval will take place on Monday morning, said Mr Budiono. The search crew will attempt to retrieve the black box by moving parts of wreckage to loosen it from where it is currently stuck, and if that fails, the same balloon method used to lift the tail of the plane will be employed.

To facilitate recovery efforts, a marker buoy has been installed at the site where the black box is, added Mr Budiono.

The search to find the black boxes is a race against time as the devices' batteries are designed to transmit signals for up to 30 days. The plane crashed on Dec 28.

The homing beacon emitted by one of the recorders appeared to be about a kilometre from where the tail section was found, based on the signal detected by Indonesian ship KN Jadayat.

DAY 15: AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Black Box 'May Have Been Found'

The black box holding the key to explaining why an AirAsia flight carrying 162 people plunged into the Java Sea “may have been found”, the company’s chief executive said on Sunday.

Two weeks after the budget airline's Airbus 320 crashed while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, Tony Fernandes wrote on Twitter: “We are led to believe black box may have been found. Still not confirmed. But strong info coming," he added.

Separately, an Indonesian search official said a sonar scan had detected a large object under the water that is thought to be the plane’s main fuselage.

"They suspect it is the body of the plane. There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane," Supriyadi, from Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"A team of divers has already been sent to prove this data. The diving operation has started," he said.

Forty-eight bodies have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo and searchers are still hunting for the plane's fuselage, which could contain more bodies.

"If it is the body of the plane then we will first evacuate the victims. Secondly we will search for the black box," Supriyadi said.

DAY 13: Royal Malaysian Army Recovers Two More Bodies

Japanese helicopter crew flew in an additional two bodies to Pangkalan Bun, bringing the total body count to 44, according to reporter Jack Board.

The Royal Malaysian Navy said on Friday that it had handed over the two bodies recovered by its ships to Indonesia's search and rescue agency BASARNAS.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Search Team Prepares Lifting Balloons In Case Of Extraction Of Wreckage

Indonesian search teams loaded lifting balloons on to helicopters on Friday ahead of an operation to raise the tail section of an AirAsia jet off the sea bed, raising hopes the black boxes can be found to reveal the cause of the disaster.

DAY 12: SAR Operation Intensifies After Receiving A Brief Ping From The Black Box

Indonesia hopes to retrieve the black box on Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Thursday, after a brief lull in the bad weather allowed divers to positively identify the tail of the Airbus A320-200 plane where the voice and flight data recorders are housed.

The search sectors have been adjusted. The tail of QZ8501 was found in "Most Probable Area 2, said Malaysia's Chief of Navy Abdul Aziz Jaafar. The search for the black box has been intensified, he added.

Indonesian armed forces chief General Moeldoko said the recovery operation for the aircraft tail is substantial as the black box is located there. Transmission was detected from the black box's signals near the tail on Wednesday, but it was later lost.

DAY 11: First Photos Released Of AirAsia Plane Wreckage At The Bottom Of The Sea

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“Today we successfully discovered the part of the plane that became the main aim since yesterday,” Soelistyo said. “I can ensure that this is part of the tail with theAirAsia mark on it.”

He stressed the top priority remained recovering further bodies along with the black boxes.

1:40PM: Chief Of BASARNAS Confirms Tail Of Plane QZ8501 Has Been Found

“We have successfully obtained part of the plane that has been our target. The tail portion has been confirmed found,” search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told reporters in Jakarta.

The confirmation came after divers took a photo of an object 10m long, 5m wide and 3m high, which had the word "AirAsia" on it, reported news portal

“This is a photo of the AirAsia plane which is intact. So I can confirm that this is the tail,” quoted Mr Soelistyo as saying on Wednesday.

10:30AM: Better Weather Conditions Allow Search Team To Resume Operations

The search operation has resumed with conducive early weather conditions, according to Channel NewsAsia reporter Jack Board, who is at Pangkalan Bun.

Search sectors for Wednesday have been adjusted, with the establishment of two new sectors, said Malaysia Chief of Navy Abdul Aziz Jaafar.

Just Yesterday, 6 Jan, AirAsia Released A Statement Announcing The Status Of The Search Operation

The SAR operations continued around the focused area where the aircraft is most likely located. More than 40 vessels and 20 helicopters were deployed and focused to find the exact location of the plane’s wreckage as well as the black box.

The weather was cloudy with light rain and waves at 2–3 meters. However, the underwater current is still strong around 4-5 knots and the visibility is still limited for the sea divers to identify more findings from under the sea.

Indonesian National Armed Forces Commander, General Moeldoko visited the military base at Pangkalan Bun this afternoon, to inspect the search and evacuation operation which is still running today.

Also In The Statement, AirAsia Confirmed 39 Bodies Have Been Recovered So Far, With 16 Already Identified

This evening, BASARNAS also confirmed to recover two more remains from the focused search area. The two remains are still in Pangkalan Bun, waiting to be transported to Surabaya for further identification process.
Meanwhile, the Disaster Victim Identification Police Department Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they have identified 3 more remains of QZ 8501 passengers as: Indra Yulianto (male), Hindarto Halim (male), Jou Brian Youvito (male). AirAsia Indonesia officially handed over the remains to the respective families at Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya this afternoon.

To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered a total of 39 remains of which 16 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 23 remains are still being identified.

DAY 10: AirAsia Offers RM84,700 Initial Compensation To Families Of QZ8501 Passengers

AirAsia has offered preliminary compensation of US$24,000 (RM84,700) to families of those aboard Flight QZ8501 that crashed last month.

US news network CNN reported yesterday several family members as saying that according to a letter from the Malaysia-based budget carrier to the families of the crash victims, the compensation was meant for “financial hardships” during the search for the plane and it was not a confirmation that those aboard the Indonesia AirAsia jet were dead.

CNN reported that while some families had signed the letter, others had requested revisions to the wording of the draft letter.

The letter of compensation, which Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claimed to have seen, was dated Jan 2 and said the "initial compensation is part of the overall" compensation that would be given to the family. The letter was on AirAsia stationery, with AirAsia Indonesia Chief Executive Sunu Widyatmoko's name, but not his signature, the report noted.

Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 is required to pay compensation to the victim's next of kin, according to an Indonesian official.

"An airline must pay compensation," Acting Air Transportation director-general Djoko Murdjatmodjo said on Monday. "The obligation to pay compensation lies with the airline," he said in response to a question on insurance payment by Indonesia AirAsia.

DAY 9: QZ8501 Search Team Recovered 34 Bodies So Far With 9 Identified

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Search teams have recovered four more bodies from the Java Sea as the hunt to find the main wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501 enters a second week.

Search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said 34 bodies have now been found, as well as five large objects.

But bad weather has forced divers to suspend their bid to find the plane's fuselage, where most of the bodies are believed to be trapped.

34 bodies have been recovered, with nine identified. Experts from Singapore, South Korea and Australia are helping in the identification process. Five major parts of the Airbus A320-200 have been found off the island of Borneo, and search efforts are now focused on locating the tail of the plane, where the black box is.

The Indonesian disaster victim identification team has identified 9 of the 34 bodies recovered from AirAsia flight QZ8501, including those of The Meiji Thejakusuma and her 10-year-old daughter Stevie Gunawan.

DAY 8: Officials Searching For QZ8501 Wreckage Send Divers To Ocean Floor To Seek Clues And Bodies

Indonesian Navy personnel carry a plastic bag containing the dead body of a passenger of AirAsia Flight 8501 at sea off the coast of Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia

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With the weather improving, divers prepared Sunday to examine wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501 in hopes of retrieving the rest of the bodies and finding clues to what caused the plane to crash in stormy weather a week ago.

The breakthrough in the hunt for the Airbus A320 came after sonar equipment aboard search ships detected four massive objects on the ocean floor in the Java Sea, and Indonesian officials said they were confident they belong to the plane.

The biggest piece, measuring 18 meters (59 feet) long and 5.4 meters (18 feet) wide, appeared to be part of the jet's body, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

Strong currents and big waves that had prevented divers from entering waters eased on Sunday. About 90 divers from Indonesia and Russia were being deployed to recover more bodies that officials believe are still strapped in their seats, said National Searh and Rescue deputy chief Tatang Zainudin.

"We hope lower waves will give us a better result today," Zainudin said. "We are racing with time and weather in running this mission."

There were 162 people aboard the plane, but after a week of searching, only 30 bodies have been found floating in the choppy waters.

Indonesian police stand on the deck of the National Search And Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) ship during a search operation for the victims of AirAsia flight 8501 in the Java Sea on Saturday

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DAY 7: Officials Investigating AirAsia Crash Find 2 Large Objects On Sea Floor

Indonesian military officers examine a piece of wreckage from AirAsia flight QZ8501, at the military base in Pangkalan Bun, the town with the nearest airstrip to the crash site, on January 2, 2015.

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Indonesian officials were hopeful Saturday they were honing in on the wreckage of AirAsia Flight 8501 after sonar equipment detected two large objects on the ocean floor, one week after the plane went down in stormy weather.

Teams equipped with a remote-operated vehicle were battling high waves and strong currents as they tried to capture images of the find for confirmation, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency.

The objects were detected early Friday by an Indonesian navy ship, and by midnight, searchers had zoomed in with a Geological Survey ship to take dimensions.

One was measured at 9.4 meters by 4.8 meters (31 feet by 15 feet) and a half-meter (20 inches) high, Soelistyo told a news conference. The second, found nearby, was 7.2 meters (24 feet) by a half meter (20 inches).

"I'm confident this is part of the AirAsia plane," Soelistyo told reporters.

7:55PM: Thirty Bodies Recovered So Far Despite Challenging Search Operations

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BASARNAS says 30 bodies have been recovered - 10 bodies are en route to Surabaya, four are at Pangkalan Bun, eight are on board naval ships, and eight are in Surabaya. Waves reached as high as 5m today, making search operations challenging.

Indonesia's General Moeldoko says a total of 65 ships, 14 planes and 19 helicopters have been deployed in the multinational search operations for the AirAsia plane.

7:18PM: Window Panel Recovered While Tail Of QZ8501 Has Been Sighted

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Singapore naval vessel RSS Supreme today recovered what is believed to be a window panel of the AirAsia jet.

RSS Supreme recovered a piece of an aircraft this morning, likely to be a window panel. They have informed the Indonesian search authorities and will be handing over the item.

The tail of the plane has been sighted at a depth of 29 metres, according to Colonel Yayan Sofiyan, the commander of Indonesia's navy ship Bung Tomo. He revealed this to MetroTV in a phone interview from the deck of the ship.

3:52PM: Three More Bodies Have Been Identified And Names Revealed In Press Conference

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Eight bodies have been received so far in Surabaya, say Surabaya police at a press conference. Three bodies have been identified through dental records, fingerprints and medical records, reports Sumisha Naidu.

Three more bodies have been identified - Grayson Hebert, Kevin Alexander Soetjipto (sic) and stewardness Khairunisa Haidar.

1:04PM: Day Six Of Search Moves Underwater With Help From French Crash Investigation Team

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A multinational team of black box search specialists is joining the international effort to find the AirAsia flight that crashed en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

Debris from the plane has been brought to shore but the fuselage is still missing. The search for AirAsia flight QZ8510 which crashed into the sea on Sunday is to move underwater on Friday, with the arrival of specialist equipment.

A French crash investigation team will use sensitive acoustic detection devices to try locate the plane's "black box" flight recorder.

The French crash investigation agency will deploy its specialist black box search team and equipment at the search area for Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

"During the morning of January 2nd, local time, a ship will be taking the investigators to the search area, with detection equipment including hydrophones, in order to try to locate the acoustic beacons from the two flight recorders," BEA said in a statement.

Heavy seas stopped divers reaching the possible wreck of the AirAsia Indonesia jet off Borneo on Thursday and an aviation official said it could be a week before the black box flight recorders were found.

11:20AM: Sixteen Bodies Found So Far And The First One Has Been Identified

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Sixteen bodies have been found, and 10 bodies have been evacuated, says search agency BASARNAS. Eight of the bodies are already in Surabaya, and two of them are in Pangkalan Bun. More bodies are expected today, says BASARNAS.

A passenger aboard AirAsia Flight 8501 became the first victim of the crash to be returned to her family today, one of many painful reunions to come, as search crews struggled against wind and heavy rain to find more than 150 people still missing.

Hayati Lutfiah Hamid's identity was confirmed by fingerprints and other means, said Col. Budiyono of East Java's Disaster Victim Identification Unit.

Her body, in a dark polished casket topped with flowers, was handed over to her family at a brief ceremony at a police hospital in Surabaya, the Indonesian city where the plane had taken off. A family member cried as she put both hands on the coffin.

30 DEC, 5.53PM: Two Bodies From QZ8501 Have Arrived To Awaiting Relatives In Surabaya

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The first two bodies from the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash have arrived back in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, where relatives are waiting for them.

3:25PM: DNA Samples Are Collected From Family Members To Assist In Identification

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As evacuation operations for the people on board the ill-fated Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 enters the second day, DNA samples from immediate family members have been taken for identification purposes.

“We have started taking statements and DNA samples from the immediate family members of some of the 162 people on board the aircraft,” Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Commander Budiyono told a press conference at Juanda International Airport here, Wednesday.

In all, 93 families have given DNA samples to assist in the identification process as of 9.30am on Wednesday, added the police chief at a press conference outside the crisis centre for relatives at Juanda International airport.

He said the authorities already have profile information such as medical records and other documents for the DVI process.

“From 93 passengers (which have given them their details), 15 are complete with DNA samples,” he said.

“A total of 130 ambulance have also been prepared with 150 slots at the mortuary to accommodate the investigations,” he added.

2:25PM: Two Out of Seven Bodies Are En Route To Pangkalan Bun

Two bodies have been brought to Pangkalan Bun on central Kalimantan on Wednesday and another five are still out at sea, said Indonesian officials.

Bad weather is preventing the bodies from being brought back to land, they said.

The bodies will be put in sealed bags and coffins and transported by plane to Surabaya later Wednesday.

1:41PM: Another Body Has Been Recovered, Totaling To Seven Bodies So Far

Another body has been recovered on the fourth day of the search and recovery effort of AirAsia flight QZ8501 bringing the total to seven bodies so far.

Basarnas, Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said a Malaysian ship found one more body floating in the ocean, separated from the main fuselage, at 10.20am local time. It was of an unidentified male, bringing to seven the number of bodies recovered. None has yet made it back to Surabaya airport.

12:11PM: Location Of Aircraft Has Been Confirmed By Indonesian Authorities

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Indonesian searchers using sonar equipment have located wreckage from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 at the bottom of the Java Sea, a search and rescue official told CNN on Wednesday. At the moment, they still don't know if it's in one piece or broken up, said the official, Hernato, who goes by one name.

A sonar image appears to show the body of an aircraft upside down on the ocean floor in 24-30 metres of water, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing Indonesia's search and rescue agency BASARNAS.

11.07AM: Search Operation Has Been Suspended Due To Stormy Weather

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Stormy weather has forced Indonesian rescuers to suspend their search for the bodies of those on board AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501, AFP reports.

“We are experiencing bad weather now. Rains and winds prevented us from resuming the search operation this morning,” air force rescue coordinator SB Supriyadi said on Wednesday.

Soelistyo told reporters on Wednesday that the retrieval process of bodies and debris had been hampered by bad weather.

"We are in a wait and see. Weather is bad currently. High tides and heavy rains. Every element is now in their position ready to make a move when weather improves," he said.

“As soon as the weather is clear, the bodies will be brought to Pangkalan Bun,” the town with the nearest airstrip to the crash site, said Soelistyo.

9AM: Six Bodies Have Been Recovered Alongside Luggage

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Divers, ships and aircraft began a new search in the waters off Indonesia Wednesday, a day after spotting the first signs of debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501. Six bodies from the flight have been recovered so far, including one flight attendant, Indonesian search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said Wednesday.

Now search teams are homing in on the area near where the debris was found, looking for bodies and parts of the plane, including its so-called black boxes. Those could help investigators determine what went wrong on the flight, which lost contact with air traffic controllers on Sunday with 162 people aboard.

Sonar equipment is searching the bottom of the sea, 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet) below the water's surface, according to SB Supriyadi, the search agency's director of operations. Dozens of ambulances were lined up in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, ready to carry any bodies recovered.

12:30AM: Only 3 Bodies Pulled Out In QZ8501 Search, Not 40, Indonesian Navy Clarifies

Relatives comfort each other at Juanda International Airport on December 30.

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Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief said Tuesday that just three bodies had been recovered so far in the search for the Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 plane which crashed in the Java Sea, after another official said 40 had been found.

"Today we evacuated three bodies and they are now in the warship Bung Tomo," Bambang Soelistyo told a news conference in Jakarta, adding that they were two females and one male.

Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir told AFP earlier that according to naval radio a warship had recovered more than 40 bodies from the sea. But he later said that report was a miscommunication by his staff.

30 DEC, 7:23PM: PM Najib Offers His Condolences To Family Members Of Victims Onboard QZ8501

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) has extended his heartfelt condolences to families and loved ones of victims aboard the downed Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501.

"I hope that search efforts continue in case of survivors. If there are no survivors, I hope that families stay strong in this trying time," he said during speaking the launch of the Wanita Umno/BN Flood Cleanup Squad.

6:00PM: More Than 40 Bodies Recovered From Java Sea, Some Holding Hands

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An Indonesian warship recovered more than 40 bodies from the sea on Tuesday in the search for the AirAsia jet, a navy spokesman told AFP.

“Based on the navy radio, it has been reported that the warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now,” Mr Manahan Simorangkir said.

Meanwhile, say some of the bodies retrieved are found with their hands held together.

5:24PM: AirAsia's Tony Fernandes Is Heading To Surabaya, Offers Whatever Support Needed

AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes issued a heartfelt apology to family members of those on board QZ8501 flight, after news broke on Tuesday that the debris found floating at sea belonged to the missing plane.

4:59PM: Six Bodies From Missing Flight QZ8501 Have Been Retrieved So Far

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Indonesian Metro TV reported that they have found six bodies.

Several bodies found floating in waters where the Indonesian AirAsia flight went missing have been retrieved.

Officials who got off a helicopter in Pangkalan Bun, Surabaya confirmed this.

Six bodies were discovered about an hour and a half flight away from Surabaya.

"The debris is red and white," Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting director-general of air transportation at the transportation ministry, told reporters. "We are checking if it's debris from the aircraft. It's probably from the body of the aircraft."

Relatives of passengers on the plane watching the pictures were visibly shocked.

4:13PM: Three Bodies From Flight QZ8501 Have Been Retrieved And Brought To A Navy Ship

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Indonesian officials coming off a helicopter on Borneo island Tuesday said they spotted several bodies floating in waters near where the missing AirAsia flight was last seen. Images on local television showed at least one bloated corpse.

The bodies, swollen but intact, were brought to an Indonesian navy ship, National Search and Rescue Director SB Supriyadi told reporters in the nearest town, Pangkalan Bun. The corpses did not have life jackets on.

3:50PM: BASARNAS Chief Confirms Debris Found Were Indeed From Missing Flight QZ8501

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Debris spotted Tuesday during an aerial search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 is from the missing plane, Indonesia’s director general of civil aviation told AFP.

"For the time being it can be confirmed that it’s the AirAsia plane and the transport minister will depart soon to Pangkalan Bun,” Mr Djoko Murjatmodjo said.

“Based on the observation by search and rescue personnel, significant things have been found such as a passenger door and cargo door. It’s in the sea, 100 miles (160km) south-west of Pangkalan Bun,” he said, referring to the town in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.

JAKARTA (AFP/REUTERS) - Debris spotted on Tuesday during an aerial search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 is temporarily confirmed to be from the missing plane, Indonesia’s director-general of civil aviation told AFP.

3:30PM: Public Awaits Confirmation Of Possible Sighting Of People Near Debris Found

1.58PM: Objects Resembling Emergency Slide And Plane Door Spotted In QZ8501 Search Zone

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1.02PM: Indonesia AirAsia Taking Relatives In Chartered Plane To QZ8501 Search Zone

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11.54AM: Relatives Of Passengers And Crew Onboard QZ8501 To Turn Up At Surabaya Crisis Centre

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About 100 next-of-kin of those on board QZ8501 are expected to turn up at the crisis centre in Surabaya, reports Channel 8 News, adding that Singapore, Jakarta and Surabaya are preparing to hold a video conference for the missing plane.

Indonesian officials are seeking to be straight with relatives of passengers on board AirAsia flight QZ8501.

10.56AM: Search Area Expands On Day Three Of Operation In Locating Missing Flight QZ8501

Countries around Asia on Tuesday stepped up the search for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people that is presumed to have crashed in shallow waters off the Indonesian coast, with Washington also sending a warship to help find the missing jet. Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told local television the search area between the islands of Sumatra and Borneo would be expanded.

More planes will be in the air and more ships on the sea Tuesday hunting for AirAsia Flight 8501 in a widening search off Indonesia that has dragged into a third day without any solid leads.

At least 30 ships, 15 aircraft and seven helicopters were looking for the jet carrying 162 people, said Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo.

He said the search area would be expanded to land areas, with four military helicopters dispatched just after sunrise near Pangkalan Bun on the western part of Borneo island and to smaller islands of Bangka and Belitung.

"Until now, we have not yet found any signal or indication of the plane's whereabouts," Soelistyo told The Associated Press, adding fishermen from Belitung island were also helping.

10.06AM: Two Jets Sent To Investigate Reports Of Smoke On An Island

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Dr Max Ruland, Director of Operations for the search and rescue mission, confirmed to CBS News that two Cessna jets have been dispatched to check on reports of smoke on an island in the search zone, which is larger than the state of California.

The smoke report is the latest lead in a multinational search effort for the missing plane concentrated over the Java Sea.

Any sighting of smoke in the search is not necessarily linked to the missing plane, and should be treated with caution at this stage. Aviation journalist John Walton offered an alternative explanation for the smoke sighting:

29 DEC: Objects Spotted In Sea In QZ8501 Search Zone Was False Alarm

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla says the object spotted at sea during the search operation is not from QZ8501, reports AFP. Earlier, there were reports that an Australian search plane had found objects in waters 700 miles off the last known location of QZ8501.

"It has been checked and no sufficient evidence was found to confirm what was reported," Kalla told a press conference at Surabaya airport from where the ill-fated plane departed.

5.30PM: Indonesia Unable To Confirm Sighting Of Objects While Search For QZ8501 Comes Up Empty

Two of the four boats that took part in search efforts around Pulau Nangka and Pulau Pesumut today have returned after six hours, with nothing found so far, our digital producer Xabryna Kek reports.

5.19PM: Australian Plane Spots Objects Near Pulau Nangka While Searching For Missing Flight QZ8501

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An Indonesian official says objects have been spotted in the sea by a search plane hunting for the missing AirAsia jet.

Jakarta's Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto says he was informed Monday that an Australian Orion aircraft had detected suspicious objects near Nangka island, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Pangkalan Bun, near central Kalimantan, or 700 miles (1,120 kilometers) from the location where the plane lost contact.

"However, we cannot be sure whether it is part of the missing AirAsia plane," Putranto said.

"We are now moving in that direction, which is in cloudy conditions."

2.50PM: Decision To Discontinue Flight Code QZ8501 Hangs In the Air

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Indonesia AirAsia is planning to retire its QZ8501 flight code following the disappearance of its aircraft en route to Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday.

Its chief executive officer, Sunu Widyatmoko said however the process may take time before it could take effect.

“We have forwarded our suggestion to the headquarters, but we are still waiting for the approval and coordination from the headquarters,” he said.

The continued use of the flight code caused confusion this morning when Singapore TV station Channel News Asia put up a Facebook post stating that Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 “landed safely” today at Changi airport.

Facebook users quickly criticised the news outlet for the misleading information, saying it did not make clear that the airline code has not been retired pending the discovery of the missing plane.

2.20PM: The Only Malaysian Onboard Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Has Been Identified

The Malaysian on board missing Indonesia Air Asia flight QZ8501 is believed to be Sii Chung Huei from Sarawak.

According to media reports on Sunday that Sii was supposed to travel with a colleague, but the latter chose to take a different flight.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak today confirmed that Sii Chung Huei, the only Malaysian on board the missing AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 is the husband of Assoc Prof Annie Wong Muk Ngiik.

In a statement issued here today, UiTM Sarawak rector, Prof Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali said Wong was their senior lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Management.

Earlier, Hong Kong media identified the identity of the Malaysian passenger as 56-year-old Sii who worked for a timber company in Surabaya. He was said to be travelling home to Sarawak via Singapore. It was understood that Sii was originally from Bintulu who later moved to Sibu and then to Kuching.

12.15PM: Indonesia Search Chief Speculates Missing Flight QZ8501 Is At The Bottom Of The Sea

Indonesia was searching the Java Sea on Monday for the AirAsia plane that went missing on Sunday during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

"Based on our coordinate estimation, initial estimation is in the water," Soelistyo, head of Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said of the missing plane's likely location.

The AirAsia plane which went missing with 162 people on board en route for Singapore is likely at the bottom of the sea, Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) chief said Monday (Dec 29).

"Based on the coordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea," Bambang Soelistyo told a press conference.

"That's the preliminary suspicion and it can develop based on the evaluation of the result of our search."

10.15AM: The Search For AirAsia's QZ8501 Continues After Disappearing For More Than 24 Hours

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The search for missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 resumed on Monday, a day after the commercial jet disappeared in Indonesian airspace with 162 people aboard.

"We have resumed the search for the missing AirAsia plane at 6am. We are heading to east Belitung island," Tatang Zainuddin, deputy operations chief of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), told AFP.

Five aircraft will be sent to search for the plane, including two C-130 military transport aircraft and a Boeing 737, Indonesian air force spokesman Hadi Cahyanto told AFP.

"Two planes have already left. Three more will follow suit. It is cloudy in some parts but still bright," Cahyanto said. "We are focusing the search area in the waters on the eastern and northern part of Belitung island."

Singapore had offered two C-130 planes for search-and-locate operations, and the first of two planes left at around 4.32pm on Sunday. The first plane carried out the search for two hours before leaving at 8.30pm after Indonesian authorities called off the search for the night.

In addition, Singapore also sent RSS Supreme, a Formidable-class frigate, and the RSS Valour, a missile corvette, late on Sunday night to join the search efforts.

28 DEC: Search Suspended For The Day With No Sign Of The Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501

As night fell in Asia, Indonesian officials said they had spotted no sign of the plane in the area over the Java Sea but had to stop their search, hampered by bad weather and darkness.

Flight QZ8501’s disappearance comes on the heels of two other major airplane disasters this year — all with a Malaysia connection. AirAsia is a budget airline based in Malaysia, although the plane that lost contact belonged to AirAsia’s Indonesian affiliate.

Reports Of The Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Having Crashed Are NOT True

A relative of AirAsia flight QZ 8501 passengers weep as she waits for the latest updates.

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Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai asked Malaysians to remain calm and not listen to unverified news reports.

When asked to comment on reported news that the missing Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 had been found crashed in Belintung, Liow confirmed the reports to be false. "There is plenty of speculation that they have found the plane. At this point in time (5pm) that is not true. We are still looking for the plane," he said.

Members of the public, especially social media users, have been advised to not spread unofficial news about the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said any news received must be officially confirmed by AirAsia.

"What we know is that an AirAsia flight which took off from Surabaya and scheduled to land in Singapore has been reported missing today. So, we cannot speculate anything at this moment. I have asked the Information Department to set up a media centre at a location of AirAsia's preference so that information received is real and confirmed," he told reporters after visiting the children of Nur Hayati Sulong, 37, who perished in a boat tragedy at Kampung Geliga Che Akob, Kemaman, last Wednesday.

Joint SAR Operations Are Being Deployed By Indonesia And Singapore

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Singapore's military planes and vessels are on standby to help with the search-and-rescue operation for the missing AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday that the Air Force's C130s and Navy ships are on standby.

He added that he had spoken to Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu: "Offered our thoughts and prayers for passengers and crew of Air Asia flight QZ8501. I told him that our SAF planes and ships were already on standby. If he needed their services or any other assistance, the SAF is ready to help. DM Ryamizard thanked me for Singapore's concern."

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong Has Offered Help To Locate Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501

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2.35PM: Indonesian Embassy Officials Have Been Spotted Arriving At Changi Airport

2.15PM: No Distress Signal Was Sent As Confirmed By An Official From The Indonesian Transport Ministry

No distress signal had been sent, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Indonesian transport ministry.

"We don't dare to presume what has happened except that it has lost contact." Djoko Murjatmodjo, Indonesia's acting director general of transportation, told reporters. He said the last contact between pilot and the air traffic control was at 6.13 a.m. "when he asked to hinder cloud by turning left and go higher to 34,000 feet."

He said there was no distress signal from Flight QZ8501.

2.10PM: The Malaysian Government Will Help In Search For Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501

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The Malaysian Government will assist AirAsia to help find Flight QZ8501, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) on Sunday.

“I haven’t received much information at this time and I can only confirm that the plane is missing.

“The Government will help AirAsia to find the missing plane,” he said this to reporters in Lipis, Pahang, according to a local daily.

2.00PM: Family Members Of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Makes Their Way To Changi Airport

1.50PM: UNCONFIRMED: Airplane Wreckage Has Reportedly Been Found, Though Not Verified By AirAsia

5:33 GMT:
Airplane wreckage has reportedly been found east of Belitung Island in Indonesia, according to CCTV. The information has not yet been confirmed by Air Asia.

05:33 GMT:
The last position of missing Air Asia Indonesia flight QZ8501 is believed to be somewhere between Belitung island and Kalimantan in Indonesia.

"We are coordinating with rescue team and looking for its position. We believe it is somewhere between Tanjung Pandan, a town on Belitung island, and Kalimantan," Indonesia's air transportation director-general Djoko Murjatmodjo sais, according to AFP.

1.40PM: AirAsia Releases An Updated Statement On Their Facebook Page Verifying The 162 Passengers And Crew Onboard

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer on board.

The captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours

There were 155 passengers on board, with 138 adults, 16 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew.

Nationalities of passengers and crew onboard are as below:
1 Singapore
1 Malaysia
3 South Korean
157 Indonesia

Search And Rescue Operations Are Being Carried Out By The Indonesia Of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted under the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.

In The Updated Statement, AirAsia Confirmed The Flight Plan Route Was Changed Due To Weather

The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC).

The aircraft had undergone its last scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014.

1.30PM: UNCONFIRMED: Passenger Manifest Of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Has Been Released

The unconfirmed passenger manifest can be found here

1.25PM: Obama Has Been Notified Of The Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Meanwhile, AirAsia's Tony Fernandes Said They Are Releasing Another Statement Soon

12.00PM: An AirAsia flight travelling from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control. There were 162 people onboard, the BBC reported via Indonesian media.

The aircraft, flight number QZ8501, lost contact with air traffic control just after 07:24am local time. This is the flight route of the missing flight.

A transportation ministry official said the flight had seven crew and 155 passengers (total 162), and lost contact when it was believed to be over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands

The plane, an Airbus 320-200, had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, said Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa. Meanwhile, AirAsia issued a formal statement on the missing flight:

AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning.

At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.

At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service.

AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre that is available for family or friends of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801.

AirAsia will release further information as soon as it becomes available. Updated information will also be posted on the AirAsia website,

Following the report, AirAsia has now established an Emergency Call Centre for family or friends of those who may be onboard

Singapore Air Force and navy have been activated to assist AirAsia flight QZ8501 search and rescue, BBC reported

The company said that search and rescue operations were under way for the missing plane.

Meanwhile, AirAsia has changed its logo colour to grey from red on its Facebook pages after QZ8501 went missing

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This is a developing timeline! The SAYS team is currently sourcing verified information to give you the full story. More to come.