Weather Slows AirAsia Search



Nine bodies have been recovered so far from the wreckage of the AirAsia jet that crashed in the Java Sea as bad weather continues to hamper the search for more bodies and the A320’s fuselage, Bloomberg reported Thursday morning.Sonar imaging had identified an object about 150 feet beneath the ocean surface which officials at first said might be the fuselage, but they have been unable to confirm it. No locator signals have been detected from the aircraft, and the flight and data recorders have not been found. Searchers areawaiting underwater metal detection equipment from Singapore to continue the search, and the inclement weather is forecast to last through Monday, Bloomberg reported.

The Airbus disappeared Sunday with 162 people on board while en routeto Singapore from Surabaya, Indonesia.The crew had just asked for a weather diversion and a climb from 32,000 to 38,000 feet (the route change was approved, the climb was not) at 6:18 a.m. local time on Sunday, when voice, then radar, then ADS-B signals from the aircraft stopped. Cloud tops in the area at the time were higher than 40,000 feet. The captain in command of the flight, a citizen of Indonesia, had a total of 20,537 flying hours, of which 6,100 hours were with AirAsia on the A320, according to AirAsia. The first officer, who has been identified in news reports as a French citizen, had a total of 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia.

An official fromAirNav Indonesia, which operates the country’s air navigation, told Bloombergan”abnormal situation occurred” but it’s not apparent what happened.”For sure, the aircraft was experiencing an abnormal situation,” Wisnu Darjono, a director at AirNav told Bloomberg. “Abnormal situations can be up, down, turbulence, helter-skelter. But we can’t say how. Abnormality in an airplane can be due to the weather, human error or something else.”