AirAsia QZ8501 Surabaya – Singapore Missing

Travis is my first new contributor to the blog, who will be writing a post every Wednesday to start. The idea behind adding guest contributors is to add different perspectives to the blog. Travis has a unique approach towards travel, given that he travels almost exclusively with his wife and young children, which is in stark contrast to my travels, which are usually alone.

Travis is currently on a month-long trip to Southeast Asia with his wife, 3.5 year old son Squirt and 2.5 year old daughter Squeaker.


An AirAsia flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing.  There are reported to be 162 on-board.  It’s last known position was just off the southern coast of Borneo.

AirAsia
AirAsia

Events like this are scary for everyone, no matter where in the world you are located.  However, they hit a little close to home when they either happen in your neck of the woods, or a neck of the woods where you are currently traveling or have recently traveled.

My family arrived in Brunei just yesterday on Malaysia Airlines.  The last known position of this plane is just a few hundred miles south of here, as reported by Flightradar24.  Moreover, we flew AirAsia from Jakarta to Singapore at the start of our month-long Southeast Asian Adventure a few weeks ago.  A little close to home indeed.

Flight path and last known position for AirAsia QZ8501
Flight path and last known position for AirAsia QZ8501 (Flightradar24)

The manifest, as currently reported, shows no Americans on-board, though given how early media reports can be erroneous, I’m sure we have a few friends and family back home worried just the same.  Which reminds me that we should do a better job of informing family members of when and where we are flying.

Speculation is that weather may have had something to do with the disappearance.  Indeed, the weather in Brunei has been more stormy than that which we have experienced on the rest of our trip.  Electrical storms moved through the area last evening and again this morning, although I generally would have assumed it was mostly normal for the region.

Finally, it’s certainly been a rough year for commercial aviation in this part of the world.  Technically this flight was operated by AirAsia Indonesia, a subsidiary which is 49% owned by the corporate parent AirAsia, which is itself a Malaysian carrier.  Still, when most people hear AirAsia, they probably associate it with Malaysia.

I certainly hope that there is good news regarding this incident.  Until then, I’ll pray for both those on board, their families, the rescuers, and everyone else involved.

Comments

  1. Auch definitively not a good year for Malaysian carriers, even if this one was from Indonesia.

    Safe travels Travis

  2. Ray

    Doubtful that you can get a refund based on this incident.

    We’ll be flying too — back to Jakarta via KUL in a few days. Obviously we don’t know the story yet, but I generally view these as isolated incidents and tend not to worry much. Air travel is still incredibly safe, much safer than driving (not that that’s an option in this case.)

  3. “Events like this are scary for everyone, no matter where in the world you are located.”

    People who understand statistics are not scared. People who can accept the reality of death are not scared. In other words the adults among us not scared. Maybe you should only speak for yourself the next time you’re about to claim the whole world is scared due to your own irrational fears.

  4. Dax — I don’t know about you, but the thought of being in a plane crash — especially over the open ocean as in this case — scares the crap out of me even if I know it’s virtually impossible that I will ever be in such an event. It’s those events with infinitesimal probabilities yet ultimately high consequences that can be difficult for the human mind to process. I’m glad that you are able to easily abstract it all away.

  5. To me, what’s worse than being in a plane crash is your loved ones dying in one. But yes, many of these are isolated incidents, I read that it’s more likely you’ll die driving to the airport than die in a crash. The reason we’re more scared of these is mainly because basically every plane crash are widely reported in the media, while car crashes are often only mentioned when there is something extremely huge or noteworthy.

  6. @Dax…. Wow …effectively calling the author writing a poignant piece a child for finding air crashes scary. With your negativity re Etihad residence on the last post also, I can only imagine what a pleasant, happy, positive person you are.

  7. Statistics don’t mean crap when you’re on the plane going down.

    I was surprised to hear the Navy Seal who killed OBL say exactly what I have thought of more than once about what happens when you fall out of the sky. When does the end come? Scary thoughts from one the bravest heroes of our time. If he can think such things and be frightened, we can too, oh except you Dax, or I mean most enlightened one.

  8. I was on EY474 Abu Dhabi-Jakarta today, and read the news via the in flight wifi while my flight was flying at that moment in the area between Singapore and Jakarta.
    Was also very cloudy there at 10km height.

    I’m not easily scared when flying, but I was happy today when my flight finally landed safe in Jakarta!

  9. So once again, I’m guessing that ‘The planes that fly by themselves aided by human input’ suffered a probable pitot tubes blocking/malfunction resulting in strange readings causing a chain of effects. More than ever, if it’s not Boeing ain’t going!

  10. “I don’t know about you, but the thought of being in a plane crash — especially over the open ocean as in this case — scares the crap out of me even if I know it’s virtually impossible that I will ever be in such an event.”

    That’s perfectly fine if it scares you but next time think twice before ascribing your personal concerns to everyone. Everyone is a word that should be used very sparingly because it almost never applies to concepts of the mind.

    “The reason we’re more scared of these is mainly because basically every plane crash are widely reported in the media, while car crashes are often only mentioned when there is something extremely huge or noteworthy.”

    Agreed.

    “With your negativity re Etihad residence on the last post also, I can only imagine what a pleasant, happy, positive person you are.”

    I’m about as happy as a rational person can be while living in a hopelessly irrational world.

    “Statistics don’t mean crap when you’re on the plane going down.”

    Actually statistics mean everything when you’re on the plane going down. Thanks to statistics you’d know that plane crashes in general and ocean crashes in particular often end rather suddenly with little in the way of extended pain or suffering for most passengers.

  11. @Travis Wishing you better luck with weather for the rest of the vacation and looking forward for your trip report.

  12. Praying for all those affected by this tragedy.

    @Dax, I’d come up with a witty, intellectually sound response to you, but after reading constant negativity from you in virtually every comment you post, I’m not going to say anything but stop being a bitter, whiny little bitch. Being an asshole doesn’t make you sound anymore poignant or intelligent than the next Internet troll who uses anonymity to act out on their insecurities cause they’re too much of a coward to say what they mean in real life because you know your stupidity will get you rightfully punched in the throat. If you’re so self righteous, get your own blog and you can bitch all you want there then discover how much people hate you. Until then, stop polluting the world with your negativity and idiocy.

  13. “Being an asshole doesn’t make you sound anymore poignant or intelligent than the next Internet troll who uses anonymity to act out on their insecurities cause they’re too much of a coward to say what they mean in real life because you know your stupidity will get you rightfully punched in the throat.”

    Do you pray with the same mouth that spews these threats?

  14. I said all of that with my fingers. Not my mouth. Both are multifunctional. You should see what they do on a Saturday night. Also, where do you see a “threat”, Mopey? Reading comprehension is fundamental. I didn’t say I would punch you in the throat. You copy and pasted it. Now run along and find a picture of puppies to negatively comment on since you seem to be able to find a reason to bitch about EVERYTHING. Is it exhausting to be negative all of the time? I’m yawning just dealing with you.

  15. @Reine Dax’s comments are negative but yours are unnecessarily distasteful. Why didn’t you quit after the first sentence of your initial post, minus the whiny bitch bit, & leave it at that?

  16. Thousands if not Millions of flight fly daily, there is only one crash out of those million flights. What makes you think you will be on the lethal flight?

    I see no reason for to fear flying, and turbulence is natural in flights.

  17. @Dax – for someone who really cares about the literal accuracy of words, you make real bold and all-encompassing claims like “People who understand statistics are not scared”.

  18. “for someone who really cares about the literal accuracy of words, you make real bold and all-encompassing claims like “People who understand statistics are not scared”.

    Game, Set, Match Peter. IMO

  19. I’m sorry.. But are they really your children’s names.. Squirt and Squeaker. WTF.. I hope not.. What ridicule they are going to have bestowed upon them growing up. How unfortunate.

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