With reports of the loss of a third jet operated by a Malaysian company this year the world has let out a collective gasp. The Malaysian aviation industry was already reeling from the most tragic year in its history but seems to have been dealt yet another massive blow.
Air Asia flight QZ8501 has been reported missing somewhere between Indonesia and Singapore, 162 passengers were on board. For Malaysians, 2014 will be an even more painful year to remember.
As details continue to emerge on the fate of flight QZ8501 the question is already being asked: Is there a connection between the disappearance of the Air Asia flight and MH370? In March 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with air traffic control when it was about several hundred miles north of Singapore. Despite a massive international search effort, there is still no sign of MH370 or the 239 passengers and crew.
So far the similarities are frighteningly uncanny: two Malaysian airliners go missing in the same region in the same year. It has been hours since flight 8501′s last contact with air traffic controllers and like MH370, no one has any idea where the Air Asia flight is located. The International Business Times is asking straight out, “Is Missing Aircraft Going to be Another MH370?
“Obviously the first priority for the pilots is to fly the aircraft but relaying a message to Air Traffic Control (ATC) about what’s happening only involves depressing a single button on the control column and simply speaking.
“It would also only take a few seconds to squawk 7700 (emergency) on the SSR box which would alert ATC to there being a problem although not what the problem was.”
The radio silence and lack of any coordinates has the experts worried.
In the wake of the MH370 loss there was a push for better tracking of aircraft and the main aviation trade body tried to reassure us that there were changes on the horizon. But fast forward ten months and we seem to be facing what is so far an almost identical scenario.
The twitterverse is ablaze with users drawing similarities and asking questions:
One sadly ironic connection between MH370 and QZ8501 comes from Air Asia’s in flight magazine. In April 2014, or one month after MH370 went missing, AirAsia’s CEO was forced to apologize after the company suggested that AirAsia would never lose a plane.
The Australian Telegraph has published a haunting link between the two disasters. It seems that one of the cabin crew on board Air Asia 8501 tweeted out a series of messages related to MH370.