Family members of passengers of missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 gather at Juanda international airport in Surabaya in East Java on December 28, 2014 hours after the news the flight went missing. The AirAsia Airbus plane with 162 people on board went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore early on December 28, officials and the airline said, in the third major incident to affect a Malaysian carrier this year.   AFP PHOTO / Juni KRISWANTO        (Photo credit should read JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP/Getty Images)
AirAsia CEO: We are 'very devastated'
00:52 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 


Debris and wreckage is slowly being pulled from the Java Sea by searchers who have been battling with rough conditions in their bid to find AirAsia Flight 8501.

On Wednesday, January 7 searchers made a breakthrough as images taken on the sea floor showed the tail section, where the flight’s data recorders or black boxes are located.

The flight went missing on a routine two-hour trip from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28, 2014.

Here is a time line of the events leading up the plane’s disappearance, according to Djoko Murdjatmojo, the acting director general for Air Transportation Affairs in Indonesia:

Sunday (Local time in Indonesia)

5:36 a.m. – AirAsia Flight 8501 takes off from Surabaya International Airport in Indonesia.

6:12 a.m. – Pilot asks air traffic control permission to avoid clouds by turning left and ascending to 38,000 feet.

6:16 a.m. – Flight 8501 is still visible on radar.

6:18 a.m. – The plane disappears from air traffic control’s radar. (AirAsia reports a slightly different time, 6:24 a.m., for when contact with air traffic control was lost).

7:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. Singapore time) – This is when Flight 8501 was scheduled to land in Singapore.

7:55 a.m. (8:55 a.m. Singapore time) – Flight 8501 is officially announced as “missing.” Its last known position is in the Java Sea, between Belitung and Borneo.


According to AsiaAir, there were 162 people on board Flight 8501:

Nationalities of passengers:

1 Singapore

1 Malaysia

3 South Korea

1 United Kingdom

149 Indonesia

Nationalities of crew:

1 France

6 Indonesia

There were 23 “no shows.”