Missing AirAsia flight QZ8501: Plane search in numbers

A second day of air and sea searches has turned up no trace of the plane

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The Independent Online

The aerial search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 will resume in the morning after a second day found no trace of the plane.

It disappeared on Sunday over the Java Sea on its way from Indonesia to Singapore, sparking an air and sea search using planes and ships from four countries.

Pilots had asked permission to climb to 38,000ft because of storm clouds but the request was denied minutes before the plane disappeared from radar screens between Borneo and Sumatra.

An Indonesian official has already warned that the aircraft was likely to be on the ocean floor but possible debris and oil slicks spotted in the water have not been officially linked to the aircraft.

Authorities hope the plane will be easier to locate than Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March.

The Java Sea is far smaller, and shallower, and the search has so far been confined to an area roughly the size of Belgium – a fraction of that for the Malaysia Airlines plane.

AirAsia flight QZ8501 in numbers

Passengers: 155, including 16 children and one infant

Nationalities: 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain. The co-pilot was French.

Crew: Seven, including two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer

Plane: Airbus A320-200, made in 2008

Flight history: 13,600 journeys, 23,000 hours in the air

Disappeared: 42 minutes into two-hour flight

Altitude: 32,000ft – a request to ascent to 38,000 was denied

Search area: 11,400 sq nautical miles (12,600 sq miles)

Java Sea depth: 151 feet (46 metres) mean

Search team: 12 navy ships, five planes, three helicopters, several warships and fishing vessels