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Indonesia requests U.S. help in search for missing aircraft

This news story was published on December 29, 2014.
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air-asia-planeWASHINGTON – The Indonesian government has requested U.S. assistance in the search for AirAsia Flight 8501, according to a Defense Department statement released today.

“The details of that request, which was made through the U.S. State Department, are still being coordinated but could include some air, surface and sub-surface detection capabilities,” Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in the statement. “We stand ready to assist in any way possible.”

The flight, which was scheduled from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore, went missing Sunday. Some believe the plane is now at the bottom of the Java Sea.

More than 1,100 search and rescue personnel from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand are set to join Indonesia’s search teams, CNN reported.

Earlier, the management of AirAsia along with the Governor of East Java, National Search and Rescue Agency of Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS), and other officials  met with the members of the families to update them on the latest developments and reconfirmed their commitment to providing assistance.

Sunu Widyatmoko, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia said, “We are deeply shocked and saddened by this incident. We are cooperating with the relevant authorities to the fullest extent to determine the cause of this incident. In the meantime, our main priority is keeping the families of our passengers and colleagues informed on the latest developments.”

“We will do everything possible to support them as the investigation continues and have already mobilized a support team to help take care of their immediate needs, including accommodation and travel arrangements. A briefing center has also been set up in Surabaya for the families.”

At this time, search and rescue operations are being conducted, under the guidance of National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS). AirAsia Indonesia is cooperating fully and assisting the investigation in every possible way.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew and one engineer on board.

The captain in command had a total of 20,537 flying hours of which, 6,100 flying hours were with AirAsia Indonesia on the Airbus A320. The first office officer had a total of 2,275 flying hours with AirAsia Indonesia.

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