AirAsia QZ8501

My heart goes out to those aboard AirAsia QZ8501 and their families. What a terrible tragedy.

When the news first broke, complete with images of the weather in the area and word the pilot was trying to request deviations, I knew instinctively the airplane had gone down. We will not know what caused the crash for a very long time. I just knew it was down because of the news reporting and other comments over social media.

Yesterday at breakfast with my wife and her father, there was a television in the corner of the restaurant carrying the latest news about the crash. The talking heads reported bad weather still covered the search area. They were also trying to explain (unsuccessfully) the difference between an aerodynamic stall and your car engine stalling out. And they were flashing images of the open sea and continuing search. It was the typical poor coverage by the media of an airline accident.

They reported none of the search parties had found any debris yet.

“They will find it tomorrow,” I said.

“Are you sure?” asked my father-in-law.

“Yes. From everything they have reported, I am sure they will start finding debris in the sea tomorrow.”

During the time I spent in the Navy, studying accidents that happened at sea and on land, I knew they would find debris today. And they did.

I woke early today as I do every day, before the sun was up. As it grew lighter, I realized the sun would not rise this day. The weather in Florida was a little lousy. Low scud, rain, little wind. Nothing compared to the weather that brought down the Airbus A320-200. For student instrument pilots trying to gain a little “actual,” today in Central Florida is a good day for training.

Two days ago in the Java Sea, however, the weather was lethal. Convective storms forced the pilot to fly higher. There is much speculation as to why the airplane fell out of the sky, but the important thing to keep in mind is that right now, that is all it is – speculation.

In this case, now that they have discovered wreckage, there is a higher probability of finding the flight recorders, or “black boxes.” These will provide investigators with the answers as to what really happened, although it will take months, possibly years. At least there should be some answers as to why and what happened.

As I contemplate what happened to QZ8501, I also think about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. I knew we would find debris of QZ8501 on the sea soon. As of today, MH370 has been missing for 297 days and not one item of debris has drifted ashore – anywhere in the world. Not one identifiable piece of flotation equipment, not one emergency slide, not one suitcase, or any other piece of luggage tagged from the flight.

That is rather odd, leading me to wonder, just where is that airplane?


©2014 J. Clark

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