Kuala Lumpur, Dec 29 (IANS) Weather conditions around the area of the Java Sea, where AirAsia flight QZ8501 en route from Indonesia to Singapore dissapeared Sunday, are known to be violent but not unmanageable, Malaysian aviation experts said.
The pilot of flight QZ8501 had asked the air traffic control to deviate its path becuase of rough weather before it went missing, The Star reported Monday.
A retired Malaysian pilot said thunderstorms in the region could be quite intense and that pilots could ask for a change in their flight plans.
“During this time of the year, the weather can be very violent there. The intensity is quite big and also the area of the thunderstorm is widespread. The storm could affect the airways, which is why the pilot asked for a deviation,” he said.
The plane disappeared at 7.24 a.m.(local time). Departing from Surabaya at 6.35 a.m., it was supposed to land in Singapore at 8.30 a.m.
A Meteorological Department spokesman confirmed that the Java Sea region had been experiencing thunderstorms and rain since 6.00 a.m.
Another aviation expert said the QZ8501 pilot had made the right call to deviate from the actual flight path.
Referring to presence of more than one factors involved in the flight’s disappearance, he cited example of Air France 447, which crashed in 2009 killing all 228 on board after its equipment gave nonsensical readings due to obstruction from ice that formed while flying through a storm.
He said bad weather alone could not account for QZ8501’s disappearance, adding that more than one factors were usually present.