First officer flying AirAsia jet at time of crash-investigators

admin   •   January 29, 2015   •   2414

Rescue team members walk as they carry the wreckage of a seat of the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 airliner at Kumai port in Pangkalan Bun, January 19, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/BEAWIHARTA

(Reuters) – The French first officer of an AirAsia (AIRA.KL) passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls at the time of the accident, Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) said on Thursday.

Mardjono Siswosuwarno, head investigator for the NTSC, told reporters the flight data recorder recovered from the bottom of the Java Sea provided a “pretty clear picture” of what happened in the last moments of AirAsia Flight QZ8501. But he did not give details.

The Airbus (AIR.PA) A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

“The second-in-command, popularly known as the co-pilot, who usually sits to the right of the cockpit. At the time, he was flying the plane,” Mardjono said. “The captain, sitting to the left, was the pilot monitoring.”

Mardjono said the cockpit voice and flight data recorders showed that the plane had been cruising at a stable altitude before the crash. The aircraft was in sound condition when it took off, and all crew members were properly certified, he said.

“The plane was flying before the incident within the limits of weight and balance envelope,” Mardjono said. “While flight crew had valid licences and medical certificates.”

NTSC chief Tatang Kurniadi told the same Jakarta news conference that Indonesia had submitted its preliminary report on the crash to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Wednesday, as required under global aviation rules.

The report, which has not been made public, was purely factual and contained no analysis, he said, adding that the full, final report would take at least 6-7 months to complete.

Indonesia has previously said the aircraft climbed abruptly from its cruising height and then stalled, or lost lift, before plunging out of control into the Java Sea.

On Wednesday Indonesia said the search for dozens of victims still unaccounted for could end within days if no more bodies were found.

A multinational search and recovery operation has found 70 bodies in the Java Sea and had hoped to find more after finding the fuselage of the plane. But days of rough weather and poor underwater visibility hampered navy divers’ efforts.

(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor, Fergus Jensen and Fransiska Nangoy; Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Airasia offers 5-year unli flights for Olympic silver medalist Petecio

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

AirAsia Philippines has congratulated Nesthy Petecio for winning the silver medal in the women’s featherweight division of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday (August 3).

To honor  Petecio for being the first Filipina boxer to win a medal in the Olympics, AirAsia pledged to give her 5-year unlimited flights for free.

“Congratulations Nesthy! You definitely punched your mightiest to win this recognition for the Philippines. Your victory is an inspiration to everyone battling the pandemic to continue and never give up on the fight no matter what,” AirAsia Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said in a statement.

Aside from providing lifetime unlimited flights for Gold Medal winners, AirAsia will also award those who win silver with 5 years of unlimited flights, and 2 years unlimited flights for bronze.

All the 14 Filipino athletes who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will receive free 3 round trip tickets to any AirAsia domestic destinations.

“We hope the free flights would motivate our athletes to always go all the way for the gold and never stop dreaming big.  We look forward to flying Nesthy and all our other Olympic athletes as they go home to their respective families in the province after their grueling training,” Dailisan said.

AirAsia recently awarded Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz with Lifetime unlimited flights. AAC

PCG in S. Mindanao orders intensified patrols vs. illegal entry of travelers from Indonesia

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao recently ordered its station, sub-stations, floating assets, and operational control (OPCON) units to carry out intensified monitoring and regular border patrols in the region to prevent illegal entry of people from Indonesia.

The directive comes after reports of surge in Delta variant cases wreaking havoc in the said Asian country.

Indonesia was recently included by the national government in the list of countries with travel restrictions.

It shares borders with the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and its proximity poses a huge risk of virus importation.

In view of this, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Captain Rejard Marfe, the acting commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, also ordered all PCG units in the region to ensure that measures are in place, in coordination with local government units and other law enforcement agencies.

DOH: 12 Filipino crew of tugboat from Indonesia tested positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Twelve crew members of a sea vessel that arrived in the country from Indonesia tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the tugboat, which carried 20 Filipinos, is currently docked at a port in Albay.

Eleven of the patients were kept strictly aboard the boat while one is under watch in Butuan after he disembarked to go home to his family despite orders to stay in the boat.

Vergeire said the patient in Butuan snuck off the ship and road a public transport to reach his residence.

“Iyong kaniyang close contacts, kasama ang driver ng public transport at isa pong helper at lahat ng kaniyang kapamilya ay nai-quarantine na po ng local government natin,” she said.

The remaining crew members of the ship tested negative for coronavirus, she added.

Vergeire said the DOH has collected five samples from the 11 COVID-19 positive cases aboard the vessel. These samples will be sent to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to determine if they are infected with a coronavirus variant.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 35 Delta variant cases, with three fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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