AirAsia Wreckage Reveals Latest Plane Crash Mystery
Update: sure enough, the story has changed. Per the Reuters update:
Tatang Zaenudin, an official with Indonesia's search and rescue agency, said earlier that one of the bodies had been found wearing a life jacket.
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In a year full of airplane crash mysteries, starting with the still undiscovered Malaysia flight MH-370, going through that 'other' Malaysian flight, MH-17, where the debate of just who shot it down will also never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, it was only fitting that in closing the year, the wreckage of AirAsia flight QZ8501 which now has been confirmed to have crashed this past weekend 40 minutes into its flight from Surabaya to Singapore, should provide the latest unexplained mystery.
First a quick update on the rescue effort: as Reuters reported earlier today, the wreckage appears to have been uncovered after rescuers said they have found the plane on the sea floor off Borneo, where sonar detected a large, dark obj
But he later said no victim had been recovered with a life jacket on.
"We found a body at 8.20 a.m. and a life jacket at 10.32 a.m. so there was a time difference. This is the latest information we have," he told Reuters.ect beneath waters near where debris and bodies were found on the surface.
Ships and planes had been scouring the Java Sea for Flight QZ8501 since Sunday, when it lost contact during bad weather about 40 minutes into its flight from Surabaya to Singapore.
Seven bodies have been recovered from the sea, some fully clothed, which could indicate the Airbus A320-200 was intact when it hit the water. That would support a theory that it suffered an aerodynamic stall.
So far nothing surprising. And yet what is strange is that also from Reuters we learn that "a body recovered on Wednesday from the crashed AirAsia plane was wearing a life jacket, an Indonesian search and rescue official said, raising new questions about how the disaster unfolded.
"This morning, we recovered a total of four bodies and one of them was wearing a life jacket," Tatang Zaenudin, an official with the search and rescue agency, told Reuters.
He declined to speculate on what the find might mean. AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told reporters there had been no confirmation yet of the sonar image, nor of the discovery of the body wearing a life jacket.
Why is this surprising? Because as Reuters also conveniently notes, the fact that one person put on a life jacket suggests those on board had time before the aircraft hit the water, or before it sank. And yet the pilots did not issue a distress signal. The plane disappeared after it asked for permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather."
A pilot who works for a Gulf carrier said the life jacket indicated the cause of the crash was not "catastrophic failure". Instead, the plane could have stalled and then come down, possibly because its instruments iced up and gave the pilots inaccurate readings.
"There was time. It means the thing didn't just fall out of the sky," said the pilot, who declined to be identified.
He said it could take a minute for a plane to come down from 30,000 feet and the pilots could have experienced "tunnel vision ... too overloaded" to send a distress call.
So... a plunging plane with over 160 people on board, a very experienced pilot, in fact a former air force fighter pilot with 6,100 flying hours under his belt, a sturdy Airbus 320 with hardly any crashes or fatalities in its history, one that last underwent maintenance just a month ago in mid-November... and then suddenly everything goes to hell, the pilots lose control and are somehow "too overloaded" to send a distress call?
Hardly; in fact the story makes no sense at all, which brings us to the latest unexplained airplane crash mystery.
Which is why we expect this story to be promptly revised as this type of loose end is hardly acceptable to those who enjoy controlling a laminar, free-flowing narrative