Missing AirAsia plane QZ8501: Captain's father last saw son at funeral of another son last week

Hopes are fading for the 162 people on board as the search continues

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The Independent Online

The father of the pilot of missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 last saw his son just days ago, at the funeral of another of his sons.

Captain Iriyanto’s brother died of diabetes, their father Suwarto told the BBC, saying the second tragedy to hit the family was in the hands of god.

“I want my son to come back alive and well but if that’s not meant to be, if god doesn’t want that, it’s in the hands of fate,” he added.

“My son, he’s not alone on the plane. If this is god’s will then so be it.”

Captain Irianto’s daughter has reportedly posted a plea on social media for her father to come home safely.

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Identified as Angela, she uploaded a picture of him and wrote: “Papa pulang. Kakak masih butuh papa. Kembalikan papaku. Papa pulang pa, papa harus ketemu.”

It roughly translates to: “Papa come back. I still need you. Return my papa to me. Papa come back, we have to meet.”

Hopes are fading for the 162 people on board the plane, which was on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore when it disappeared yesterday.

As the search continued today, Australian planes spotted objects in the sea that are feared to be wreckage from the Airbus A320-200.

An Indonesian official had already warned that the aircraft was likely to be on the ocean floor.

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A map of where the AirAsia flight QZ8501 went missing

Henry Bambang Soelistyo, of the National Search and Rescue, said: “Based on the co-ordinates that we know, the evaluation would be that any estimated crash position is in the sea, and that the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea.”

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Chi Man Choi

A British national, named as Chi Man Choi, according to reports of the passenger manifest in the Indonesian media, is among those on board the plane and was believed to be travelling with his daughter, Zoe.

Twelve navy ships, five planes, three helicopters and a number of warships are searching an area of east and south-east Belitung island and nearby waters for the plane.

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