Monday, January 26, 2015

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Crash: An Improved Crash Investigation?

Even though the resulting crash is just as tragic, is there an improved investigation of the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in comparison to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370?

By: Ringo Bones 

Given that it is still statistically the safest way to travel, air crash incidences involving passenger casualties is always deemed tragic. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes was almost left speechless upon hearing of the news – as in “no words can express…” - on the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 back in December 28, 2014 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore. All the 162 passengers are feared dead and recovery of the wreck and bodies were delayed because of the Java Sea’s bad weather at the time – it was only a week after the crash that the first bodies were found. But has the recent investigation of the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crash in stark contrast to the investigation done on the still missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370? 

One of the most glaring differences between the two investigations is the lack of an “atmosphere of subterfuge” as the Indonesian authorities readily provided pertinent information relating to the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in comparison to the start of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The Federal Aviation Administration even raised the concern that Indonesia’s air traffic controllers were not up to the par in comparison to their international counterparts - which also made everyone ask whether the South-East Asian air travel industry is growing faster than the regional regulation agencies’ ability to keep up.  

Even though the latest ongoing investigations on the recently found black box / flight data recorders of the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 suggests that it got caught in a powerful updraft of a storm cell that caused it to gain in altitude about as fast as a high-performance fighter jet under wind-shear forces that eventually prove too much for what the passenger plane’s airframe was designed to withstand. Further investigations could prove that the circumstances that brought the plane down is by no means a garden variety incident and could certainly result in improvements of currently established civilian air travel safety regimen. 

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