The search has resumed for a missing Singapore-bound AirAsia flight QZ8501 which lost communication with ground control while flying over the Java Sea, an hour before it was supposed to land 24 hours ago. Australia is now joining the search effort with this high-tech RAAF plane.
The Australian Defence Force deployed an RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft from Darwin this morning to help with the search efforts.
In a statement from the head of the RAAF, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said:
The RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft has a well proven capability in search and rescue and carries martime search rader coupled with infra-red and electro-optical sensores to support the visual observation capabilities provided by its highly trained crew members.
The Orion was also used in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off the coast of Western Australia earlier in the year.
Jakarta's air traffic control lost contact with the Airbus 320-200 around 11:24pm GMT (or 7:24pm EST). On board was a crew of seven and 155 passengers of French, South Korean, Malaysian, and (predominantly) Indonesian. Later, AirAsia confirmed via Facebook that the plane deviated from its course due to weather search. Rescue operations are underway at the guidance of The Indonesia of Civil Aviation Authority, according to the airline.
Jesus Diaz also contributed to this article.