While the search operations continued, the scenes of bodies, life jackets, wreckage, etc being recovered from the site where AirAsia QZ8510 crashed, were disheartening. A pilot from the rescue team who discovered the flight’s debris said that bodies that were recovered from the site were holding hands.
Describing the scene, Lieutenant Airman Tri Wobowo, who co-piloted the C130 Hercules aircraft said, “There were seven to eight people. Three of them again hold hands,” he was quoted by the Independent.
Along with the bodies, the pilot also described the luggage, buoys and pieces of the aircraft – in the red, black and white of AirAsia – that were seen at the site.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control early on Sunday during bad weather. The plane was carrying mostly Indonesians. No survivors have been found.
It was travelling at 32,000 feet (9,753 metres) and had asked to fly at 38,000 feet. When air traffic controllers granted permission for a rise to 34,000 feet a few minutes later, they received no response from the aircraft.
Online discussion among pilots has centered on unconfirmed secondary radar data from Malaysia that suggested the aircraft was climbing at a speed of 353 knots, about 100 knots too slow, and that it might have stalled.
AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes has described the crash as his “worst nightmare”. Three airline disasters involving Malaysian-affiliated carriers in less than a year have dented confidence in the country’s aviation industry and spooked travellers across the region.