Device onboard Airasia flight QZ8501 can locate missing plane, says expert

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) installed inside AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 can show the location and condition of the missing aircraft, according to an aviation expert.  Former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief pilot Captain Datuk Nik Ahmad Huzlan Nik Hussain said the ELT could still show the location of the aircraft even in an emergency situation. 

Based on the battery condition, he said the ELT’s signal could last up to 48 hours and within the period, the signal from missing aircraft should be able to be detected. 

“If the aircraft crashes, the ELT can still function, but it will depend on its condition after the crash as the ELT is usually installed in the cockpit, at the door or at the tail of the aircraft. 

“However, right now, the flight is missing without any signal from either its transponder or the ELT. So, we are not sure whether it has crashed or not,” he told Bernama. 

The AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 was carrying 155 passengers comprising 138 adults, 16 children and an infant, and seven crew members when it disappeared from radar while enroute from Surabaya to Singapore this morning.  The Airbus A320-200 aircraft with registration number PK-AXC took off from the Juanda International Airport at 5.30 am (Surabaya time) before losing contact with the air traffic control centre at 7.24 am (Surabaya time).  It was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 8.20 am.  — Bernama

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