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AirAsia Plane Goes Missing Over Indonesia With 162 People On Board

Illustration for article titled AirAsia Plane Goes Missing Over Indonesia With 162 People On Board

We just couldn't escape 2014 without just one more unfortunate airline tragedy. The Associated Press reports that a Singapore-bound AirAsia plane, Flight 8501, lost communication with ground control while flying over the Java Sea, an hour before it was supposed to land.

Jakarta's air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus 320-200 around 11:24pm GMT (or 7:24pm EST). On board was a crew of seven and 155 passengers of French, South Korean, Malaysian, and (predominantly) Indonesian. Later, AirAsia confirmed via Facebook that the plane deviated from its course due to weather search. Rescue operations are already underway at the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority, according to the airline.

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Unlike the mysterious cause behind MH370's disappearance and the regrettably violent actions that brought down MH17, the most likely cause (though unconfirmed) is severe weather. Just take a look at this hellish weather map at the time of the disappearance:

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Other unconfirmed reports mention that wreckage has been recovered from the plane, but AirAsia has made no comment on the rumor as of yet.

Update: The search for the missing plane has been suspended due to darkness and will resume on Monday.

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Image via Mehdi Nazarinia/Wikipedia

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DISCUSSION

Braniff747SP

I'll cross apply what I posted on Jalopnik.

—————

This isn't looking good. Manifest is already out, if anyone is interested.

I'll preempt the crazy rush that generally comes around these parts by saying that no oneknows what has happened. Yes, there are reports of very bad weather in the area — and there are reports of a very steep climb in altitude paired with low airspeed (a la AF447) but none of those are substantiated.

This has been a horrible year for the Malaysian airline industry.

And no, that doesn't mean that Malaysian airlines are unsafe overall.

Edited to add: bad weather, certainly, has been substantiated. I meant to indicate that bad weather in itself means next to nothing at this point and can't be isolated as the cause or even as a contributing factor (although I'd wage that the latter is very likely).

Edit 2: Still in the grey, for God's sake? I've been on Gizmodo for years. Jesus Christ.