After almost 72 hours since it lost contact with the air traffic control tower and following massive sea search, at last the authorities have found the debris of the plane which has been confirmed as that belonging to the Air Asia plane. The unfortunate thing was the video of the debris and what looked like a body was streamed live causing shock and distress to the relatives waiting at the airports in Singapore and Surabaya.
Autonomic tears welled up my eyes as sorrow surged through my soul. My heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the passengers and crew members of the ill-fated AirBus.
On the other hand I am relieved that the aircraft is found within days and before the new year 2015 as this situation has prevented the prolonged anguish of the relatives like those of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The conditions surrounding the crash and the underwater terrain are noted to be favourable to a fast and successful search. So far there is no report of any survivor.
With the discovery of the aircraft wreckage and likely recovery of its all important black box, the whole world would like to know why and how this plane went down and what happened in the cockpit moments before it crashed into the sea. The full and transparent investigation, leaving no stones unturned will not only provide some sort of closure for the grieving relatives but would definitely contribute to the body of knowledge on how to make future air travels safer.
Pertinent questions like why the plane still travelled in such a bad weather and why the pilot did not turn back, hopefully could be answered. Interest would focus on the policy and standard operating procedures (SOP) in such instances. As Air Asia is a budget airline, people do wonder whether cost considerations (time and financial) override good sense. International and independent investigators should be convened to look at the human and machine factors. Unless this is done, we should think twice about flying in such an airline.
Interestingly, due to its relatively early recovery, there is no time and no need for any conspiracy theory which was and still is rampant on the disappearance of MH 370. There appears to be no hidden human hand in QZ 8501’s incidence unlike MH370 that has refused to be found despite massive multi-national search and rescue efforts over the last 9 months. We will never learn from MH370 except to make it mandatory for all commercial planes to be fitted with an external tracking system disallowing any internal manipulation like what had occurred in the missing Boeing (believed to have crashed somewhere in the remote and deep South Indian ocean).
Admittedly the air disasters involving the three Malaysian-affiliated carriers have not only taken more than 700 lives in a space of nine months in 2014 but they have somehow pierced the confidence of our aviation industry and spooked air travellers the world over.
I certainly don’t want to see any more loss of lives in this manner in the remaining years of my life time.