AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Pilot Asked to ‘Deviate’ Due to Weather

AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Pilot Asked to ‘Deviate’ Due to Weather

Air Asia Indonesia said the pilot of flight QZ8501 that went missing between Indonesia and Singapore early Sunday had requested “deviation” from its flight plan because of bad weather.

“The aircraft… was requesting deviation due to enroute weather,” the Malaysia-based carrier said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

“Communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC).”

Meantime, Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at the Transport Ministry, told a news conference on Sunday that the plane had been flying at 32,000 feet and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet to avoid clouds.

He said the aircraft was between the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pandan and the town of Pontianak, in West Kalimantan on Borneo island, when it went missing,

"At 6.12 am, the pilot asked Jakarta tower to be allowed to move up to 38,000 feet from 32,000 feet and to fly around a bad cloud. The tower lost contact at 6.17am," Murjatmodjo told a media briefing at Indonesia’s main international airport, the Soekarno-Hatta, outside Jakarta.

"The status as per now is ‘lost contact’ at a location about 100 nautical miles east - a bit south - of Tanjung Pandan, Belitung island. Between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, Kalimantan."

The flight was scheduled to land at Changi Airport in Singapore at 8.30am on Sunday.



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