News

« Back to News List

December 30, 2014

AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Motley Rice aviation lawyers discuss this tragic plane crash

On Dec. 28, 2014, at approximately 7:24 a.m. Surabaya LT (7:24 p.m. EST) AirAsia flight QZ8501 traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control. On board were 155 passengers and seven crew, totaling 162 persons. Following a three day search impeded by weather delays, debris from the wreckage was found on Dec. 30, 2014, in the Karimata Strait, approximately 110 nautical miles off the coast of Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia.

According to AirAsia Indonesia's official statement on the incident, the aircraft requested a flight route deviation due to bad weather, and lost contact with air traffic control over the Java Sea between the islands of Borneo and Belitung. Djoko Murjatmodjo, an aviation official at the Indonesian Transport Ministry, told a national news agency that the pilot was given permission to turn left, but denied permission to climb from 32,000 to 38,000 as additional planes were also flying at that height.

According to Motley Rice aviation attorney and former U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo, even if they received permission to climb, it might not have been enough.

"This weather system might have built up very quickly and they're on their own up there. With the weather up to 52,000 feet, and the operation ceiling is up to about 40,000 on this plane, so they might not have had many options," she told CNN in an interview.

Motley Rice aviation attorneys will continue to follow the developments surrounding this crash. Watch interviews and read articles that feature Motley Rice attorneys about Flight QZ8501:  

CNN (Jan. 21, 2015): AirAsia flight climbed quickly, then stalled before crash, official says

CNNi (Jan. 12, 2015): Searchers recover one black box from AirAsia Flight QZ8501, find the other

CNNi (Jan. 12, 2015): Searchers recover one black box from AirAsia Flight QZ8501, find the other

CNN (Dec. 31, 2014): Investigating AirAsia QZ8501: What needs to be done?

CNN (Dec. 30, 2014): Debris discovered from missing AirAsia Flight; 2 bodies found

CNN (Dec. 30, 2014): AirAsia: The question on everyone’s mind

WCCO (Dec. 29, 2014): Chad Hartman Radio Show 

CNN (Dec. 29, 2014): What happened to AirAsia Flight QZ 8501: Your questions answered

WTOP (Dec. 29, 2014): WTOP Radio interview with Mary Schiavo 

CNN (Dec. 29, 2014): What role did weather play in disappearance of AirAsia Flight QZ8501?

CNN (Dec. 28, 2014): Missing plane likely at ‘the bottom of the sea,’ Indonesian rescue official says

CNN (Dec. 28, 2014): AirAsia statement on missing airliner