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2014: 363,407
Total: 946,866

UPDATED: AirAsia Airbus A320 Flight QZ8501 Confirmed Crashed – Wreckage Found

The AirAsia Airbus A320 in question (PK-AXC) seen here in 2010. On December 28, 2014 this plane would be used on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that is currently missing - Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/brunogeiger/15907589585" target="_blank">Bruno Geiger | Flickr CC</a>

The AirAsia Airbus A320 in question (PK-AXC) seen here in 2010. On December 28, 2014, this plane would be used on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that has now been confirmed crashed – Photo: Bruno Geiger | Flickr CC

On December 28th, at 6:12 am local time, Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, went missing over the Java Sea. On Tuesday the 30th, wreckage of the plane was discovered in the general area where the last known location was, confirming that QZ8501 had crashed.

The aircraft involved was an Airbus A320-216 registered PK-AXC. Contact was lost with the flight as it was climbing to a higher altitude to avoid weather, which is a standard operating procedure.

There were 155 passengers and seven crew. The cause of crash will likely not be known for quite some time still.

This story will be updated as new information is received. Last updated 12/30/2014 6:40am PST. 

Route map of QZ8501 showing it disappearing somewhere over the Java Sea via Jason Rabinowitz on FlightRadar24

Route map of QZ8501 showing it disappearing somewhere over the Java Sea – via Jason Rabinowitz on FlightRadar24

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Updates

12/30 7:20am PST: The worst has been confirmed, flight AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea and officials have found wreckage and the remains of passengers on board. They discovered the wreckage about 100nm southwest of Pangkalan Bun in Borneo. Rescuers will continue to search for bodies, wreckage, and of course the flight data recorder (aka black boxes). The black boxes and parts of the fuselage have technologies so rescuers can more easily discover them.

According to aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz, the fuselage has Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), which are used to find debris above water and Underwater Locator Beacons (ULBs), which are located with the boxes, are used when they are underwater. “Every commercial aircraft has multiple location technologies on board,” Rabinowitz explained to AirlineReporter. “ELTs are located in several spots on the aircraft. These transmitters emit a signal that can be received by other aircraft, boats, or even satellites. However, they do not work once submerged in water.”

“Attached to each black box is an ULB. These beacons are activated once in water and emit a ping over a very specific radio frequency. The ULB has a very short range, and must be picked up by boats passing over the area. The battery typically lasts for around 30 days.”

AirAsia has released another statement:

SURABAYA, 30TH DECEMBER 2014 – AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th. 

The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.

At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

Continue reading UPDATED: AirAsia Airbus A320 Flight QZ8501 Confirmed Crashed – Wreckage Found

US Airways Airbus A320 Off Runway in Philadelphia & The Power of Social Media

Photo of the US Airways A320 from

Photo of the US Airways A320 from @han_horan

US Airways flight 1702 from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) slid off the end of the runway at PHL after an aborted take off. The flight was scheduled to take off at 5:50pm EST with 149 passengers and five crew.

The airport has reported via their Twitter account that the “Nose gear of plane collapsed on runway. The incident is under investigation. All passengers safely evacuated. No reported injuries.” The airport has done a great job keeping passengers up to date with their their situation.

This incident once again shows the power of social media and how stories and photos can quickly circulate around the internet. There has even been a selfie of the wrecked aircraft posted, which has gone viral in both mainstream media and social media.

The airport was on a ground stop while handling the situation.

Just before 8:00pm, US Airways posted on Twitter, “Initial reports flt 1702 PHL-Fort Lauderdale blew a tire on takeoff & takeoff was aborted. We are taking care of our customers & crew.”

The Association of Flight Attendants reports that, “there are no crew injuries and only minor injuries to passengers.”

US Airways released a statement: “Initial reports indicate Flight 1702 from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale blew a tire on takeoff and the pilot elected to abort takeoff. Our crew safely evacuated the passengers and one person has requested medical assistance. We are re-accommodating passengers on a new aircraft, which is scheduled to depart later this evening.”

Image of the plane off the runway by

Image of the plane off the runway by @JimmyStyle

This story is developing…

Airline Livery of the Week: JetBlue Goes Firefighter Red

The special FDNY JetBlue livery debuted in New York. Image: JetBlue / Flickr

The special FDNY JetBlue livery debuted in New York. Image: JetBlue / Flickr

JetBlue is known for having a favorite color: blue (duh). But last week, the airline showed off a special livery that is dedicated to the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) and it was very red.
Although there is plenty of  red in this livery, the name is still true-blue: Blue Bravest.

Lost Airline Livery: An Orange Donbassaero Airbus A320 Gets Parted

An in-your-face view of the nose. Photo courtesy of Joe McBride, Kansas City Aviation Department

An in-your-face view of the nose. Photo courtesy of Joe McBride, Kansas City Aviation Department

Today I pay my respects to a little-known (now defunct) Ukrainian airline by honoring their wild livery and individualism. Donbassaero’s bold, in-your-face paint scheme oddly reminds me of something you might see on a 1970s muscle car like the Oldsmobile 442.

This livery and airline is extra special. You see, while the rest of the world’s airlines were trending towards boring, mostly white (read: cheap) liveries referred to as “Eurowhite,” Donbassaero did the opposite.

Continue reading Lost Airline Livery: An Orange Donbassaero Airbus A320 Gets Parted

Putting the U.S. into AirbUS – Building a Factory in Mobile Alabama

Airbus’ first U.S.-based production facility – which will build A320 Family jetliners at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, beginning in 2015 – will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft annually by 2018

HI-RES : Click for larger. Airbus’ first U.S.-based production facility – which will build A320 Family jetliners at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, beginning in 2015 – will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft annually by 2018.

Last Monday Airbus took its first step towards being an around the clock aircraft maker as it broke ground on its new Mobile, Alabama A320 plant.

When we say around the clock we literally mean it, with the new Mobile factory this will be the 4thA320 factory in the world with others in China, Germany and the company’s headquarters in Toulouse France. When the A320’s begin to be built in this factory the sun will never set on the baby bus.

At the ceremony, Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier acknowledged how important and significant it is for the company to open a facility in the US, “Building an A320 family assembly line in Mobile is truly groundbreaking for Airbus. Our customers need more aircraft that cut fuel burn, emissions and operating costs. With this assembly line we will be able to meet our customers’ need at their doorstep, in addition to the worldwide demand for these efficient aircraft. When the line opens, we will be the only maker to assemble aircraft in Asia, Americas and Europe.”

The ceremonial groundbreaking for Airbus’ U.S. A320 Family final assembly line – which occurred 8 April 2013 in Mobile, Alabama – was marked by Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier (fourth from right) and EADS CEO Tom Enders (sixth from right), along with state and national dignitaries, industry leaders and members of the local community

The ceremonial groundbreaking for Airbus’ U.S. A320 Family final assembly line – which occurred 8 April 2013 in Mobile, Alabama – was marked by Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier (fourth from right) and EADS CEO Tom Enders (sixth from right), along with state and national dignitaries, industry leaders and members of the local community. Photo from Airbus.

The new line will be located at the Mobile Brookley Aeroplex and will be able to assemble the entire A320 family: the A319, A320 and A321. The airline to receive the first US built A320 will be JetBlue. “We’re excited to welcome our long-term partners at Airbus to the United States and we look forward to taking delivery of the first U.S.-produced Airbus in 2016,” JetBlue spokesperson Mateo LLeras explained to AirlineReporter.com.

BONUS: Check out the Airbus mini-site dedicated to the new Mobile location

Major construction is set to begin this summer and be complete by late 2015 with the first aircraft set to be delivered in early 2016. Once they get the dust settled and Airbus hopes that the assembly line will produce four aircraft per month. The manufacture plans to deliver aircraft from Mobile to North and South America airline customers.

So why is Airbus making this move? Well you have to go back to 2005 when Boeing was originally awarded the US Air Force (AF) Tanker contract. There were too many question surrounding fraud, that the Air Force was required to re-bid. Airbus wanted in on the contract and to make their bid serious, the aircraft maker purchased land in Mobile that it intended to open an A330 tanker factory if they won. In 2008 Airbus was awarded the contract to build the A330 Multi Role Tanker (MRT), so they went through with the purchase the land.

800x600_1341338701_A320-Jetblue_with_officials2

After an appeal by Boeing, the Air Force decided to re-bid for a third time where Boeing won with their 767MRT. But now Airbus had all of this land and once they learned that they lost the contract Airbus announced that it still intended to bring a couple thousand jobs to the Mobile area and create an A320 plant instead of trying to sell the land.

One question that we are all curious about at AirlineReporter.com is that by having this factory in the US now can Airbus sway major US Boeing customers to come its way such as Southwest Airlines, United Airlines or Delta Air Lines who have do already (with an exception to Southwest) have Airbuses in its fleet but only cause they acquired them through mergers with other US major airlines, not from its own purchases.

Also there is potential for Airbus to acquire more land in Mobile, could we see a second line down the road or another type come to the US all together? This could get interesting.

SEE MORE MOBILE ALABAMA AIRBUS GROUND BREAKING PHOTOS

This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.@BrandonsBlog | RightStuffPhotography | Flickr