Was QZ8501 brought down by a microburst?
A microburst or sudden gusts of strong winds could have caused the Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 to crash last Sunday, according to local daily New Straits Times. MyMalayBlogger read from the hard copy of the NST early this morning. No online version is available. So do get your copy of the NST of Friday 2 January 2015 for the full report. Makes for an interesting read. The Malay Mail OnLine however, captures a summary of that NST report. Here it is:
Citing local several aviation experts, the paper floated the theory of sudden and intense winds flowing down from a thunderstorm’s base as a possible explanation.
Aviation expert Professor Captain Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian was reported as saying that the drastic change in pressure around the aircraft due to the microburst would have made it extremely difficult for the pilot to keep control of the plane.
Harridon pointed to laboratory tests that showed that the impact of the winds could cause heavy loads on an aircraft’s wings and fuselage, while also creating “strong vibrations” that may damage its structure.
“Even though aircraft are designed to withstand tremendous loads, the wings can still snap in cases of an abrupt and extreme downward acceleration caused by microbursts,” Harridon was quoted saying.
The pilot of the ill-fated plane is believed to have asked for a change in flight path to avoid storm clouds.
Flight QZ8501, which carried one Malaysian on board, vanished from radars amid stormy weather enroute to Singapore from Surabaya in Indonesia.
On board Flight QZ8501 were 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, one Frenchman and one Briton.