Missing AirAsia Airbus Was Delivered in 2008

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PARIS—The AirAsia aircraft that went missing on Sunday on its way to

Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia was delivered to its operator in

2008 and had recorded 23,000 flight hours on 13,600 flights,

manufacturer Airbus said in a statement.

AirAsia said the aircraft had undergone its last scheduled maintenance

on November 16.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus 320-200 with 162 people

aboard, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m.

(2317 GMT), officials said. The pilots had asked to change course to

avoid bad weather.

Favored by low-cost airlines

More than 6,000 A320-200s are in service. They are designed to be used

intensively on short routes and are favored, along with the competing

Boeing 737, by the low-cost airlines that run such routes.

Earlier in December, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

ordered a change in procedure for all A320 jets after computers

onboard a similar A321 aircraft thought it was about to stall and

pushed the nose downwards – which is the standard way of preventing an

upset – just as pilots were trying to level off after climbing to

their intended cruise height.

The incident happened after certain sensors iced up in bad weather. It

is thought to be the only one of its kind since the A320 entered

service in 1988, but resulted in a special bulletin to operators from

Airbus, which was later made compulsory by EASA.

In the worst scenario, pilots would not be able to stop the automatic

reaction, which could result in loss of control of the airplane, EASA


So far there is no indication what may have caused the AirAsia jet to

go missing.

Commercial web tracking data suggested Flight QZ8501 had been in level

flight for some time when it disappeared from radar, rather than at

the top of the climb when the reported anomaly – although rare – is

most likely to take place.

Declines to comment

An Airbus spokesman declined to comment on the EASA directive, saying

it was too early to speculate ahead of any investigation.

France's BEA crash investigation agency, which assists in the

investigation of any air crash involving an Airbus aircraft because

the company is France-based, said it was sending two officials to

Jakarta accompanied by two experts from Airbus.

The aircraft's engines were made by French-American venture CFM

International, co-owned by General Electric and Safran.

The U.S.-based National Transportation Safety Board, which could also

take part in any investigation, said it was monitoring the search for

the plane and stood ready to assist Indonesia if needed.

Credit: Reuters

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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