AirAsia QZ8501 Crash Findings Expected Tomorrow

November 30, 2015 – Details surrounding the circumstances on the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501 is expected to be released tomorrow.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) is ready to publicly share the final investigation report after it was postponed several times. Aviation analysts hope the recommendations from the report can help improve aviation safety in the country.

Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control en route from Surabaya to Singapore on Dec 28 last year. The Airbus A320-200 crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 passengers and crew on board.

Initial investigations showed that the aircraft began climbing sharply, ascending nearly 2,000 metres in less than a minute, as pilots attempt to avoid severe storms. The plane then fell rapidly, and disappeared off the radar.

Aviation analysts expect the report to shed light into why the aircraft took such flight measures.

Gerry Soejatman, managing consultant at Communicavia, said, “A good quality accident report will be on the depth of the analysis – to what extent will they study on why this happened, why did they did this instead of something else. We have heard of reports, of leaks, of the pilots pulling the circuit breaker, which is not part of the procedure.

“We’ve also heard leaked reports with regards to the rudder malfunction of the aircraft. A good quality report will have a deep look into that, and what happened to the rudder … was the repair that was done one or two days before the flight in accordance to the manufacturer’s guidelines?”

A preliminary report was concluded in January this year, but was not made available to the public. It includes analysis of the information from the data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.

The National Transportation Safety Committee had said that the final report will be released within a year.

Mr Gerry said: “For a total fatality accident report, for the final report to be published within one year, that’s actually very, very quick. We look at other accidents that took two or three years for the final report to come out.

“The NTSC has their own self-imposed deadline to get it done within one year. Of course, that is fine if you don’t have a lot of accidents. But unfortunately for Indonesia this year, if we look at the third quarter and the final quarter, we’ve had four accidents.”

Indonesia’s Transport Minister had said that parties involved in the investigation – including plane manufacturer Airbus and AirAsia – must accept the committee’s findings.

The International Civil Aviation Organization had also stated the investigation should aim at preventing future accidents, not apportioning blame or liability.

Aviation analysts say an important part of the final investigation report is on the committee’s recommendations.

Dudi Sudibyo, senior editor of aviation magazine Angkasa, said: “When recommendations come, and are put forward, who oversees this? How is it implemented? There is also one important thing the authorities will have to do – not to make the same mistake.”

He added that the authorities would have to implement the recommendations, as well as evaluate and make a simulation of an aircraft in a storm and how to “cope with it, how to come out of it”.

For the families of the 162 passengers and crew of the ill-fated AirAsia aircraft, the final report may give some closure.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one family member who lost several loved ones in that flight, said he has accepted their deaths, and whatever the outcome of the investigation report, he would not be taking actions against any of the parties.

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