Air Search For Missing AirAsia Jet With 155 On-Board Is Suspended

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,Washington Post reports.

Flight QZ8501 — an Airbus A320-200 jet — was bound for Singapore but lost contact at 6:17 a.m. local time (6:17 p.m. Saturday in Washington).

NewsWireNGR earlier reported that an AirAsia flight carrying 155 people from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday, officials in the region and the low-cost airline said.

The flight QZ 8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 6:17 am local time (about 6: 17 pm (Saturday)Nigerian time), Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said.

READ COMPLETE STORY OF THE MISSING PLANE

The break in communications occurred 42 minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian city of Surabaya and roughly an hour before its scheduled landing at Changi Airport, Indonesian authorities said.

AirAsia said in a statement that the plane’s pilot had requested to deviate from the submitted flight plan because of weather before communication was lost.

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.

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