QZ8501: Leaked Radar Data Hints Plane Rose, Fell Very Fast

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JAKARTA, Jan 3 – Leaked radar data, which still needs to be verified, paints a frightening picture of the speeds at which Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 rose and plunged. It suggests that the cockpit, manned by Captain Iriyanto and his co-pilot Remi Emmanual Plesel, lost control of the plane due to severe weather conditions, though experts have cautioned against the unverified readings.

About 45 minutes after the Airbus 320-200 with 162 people on board left Surabaya for Singapore on Sunday morning, the pilots asked air traffic control for approval to climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet in order to avoid a storm. Approval was given for an ascent to 34,000 feet, after which air traffic control lost contact with the cockpit.

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