The formation of ice caused by extreme bad weather may have caused the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501, Indonesia’s weather officials said yesterday in the first official word from Jakarta on the reasons behind Southeast Asia’s latest aviation tragedy.
According to a 14-page report issued by Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), a preliminary analysis of weather data suggested that the aircraft had flown into storm clouds, which had caused icing and damage to the engines.
“The most probable weather phenomenon is that icing caused the plane engines to be damaged,” Singapore daily The Straits Times quoted the report as saying.
Weather charts issued before the flight showed “worrying conditions” along the plane’s scheduled route, the report added, while satellite images suggested peak temperatures of -80 to -85 degrees Celsius. Such conditions meant there would have been grains of ice in the clouds.
The meteorological analysis, authored by BMKG’s head of research and development professor Edvin Aldrian, however, was not conclusive.
“This is just one analysis of what likely happened based on available meteorological data, and is not the final determination on the cause of the incident,” BMKG was quoted as saying.
Flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea early Sunday morning while flying from Surabaya to Singapore. There were 155 passengers on board, including 16 children and one infant.
The passengers comprise of 149 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Singaporean, one Malaysian and one Briton.
As of last night, 30 bodies had been recovered although the recovery of the wreckage was ongoing.
Russia is the latest nation to get involved in the search efforts, joining Indonesian and Singaporean vessels scouring the crash area. – January 3, 2015.