SYDNEY, Dec 30 – An Australian aviation expert said Tuesday human error led to the disappearance of AirAsia flight QZ8501 after the pilots flew directly into a well-known danger zone above the Java Sea. Neil Hansford said that either the Indonesian captain or French first officer had plotted a “dangerous flight plan”, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said veteran pilots avoided the area where the plane is believed to have gone down and would not fly through it. “They call it the ‘thunderstorm factory’. You plan to go around it, you don’t plan to go through it,” Hansford told the Nine Network. He said whoever plotted the flight plan made a fatal error.
“Whoever did the flight plan – we don’t know whether it was the French first officer or the captain himself,” Hansford said. “Whether they read the meteorology right they were given in Surubaya…And how well did they communicate? One whose basic language is Bahasa and the other guy’s basic language is French.”
Hansford concluded by emphatically saying it was pilot error. “I’ve said all along it was never going to be engineering,” he said. QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore went missing on Sunday with 162 people onboard.