An Indonesian helicopter searching for the missing AirAsia jetliner reportedly saw two oily spots in the water on Monday, and an Australian search plane spotted other objects elsewhere in the Java Sea, but it was too early to decide whether either was connected to the missing aircraft and its 162 passengers and crew. report:
In any case, officials saw little reason to believe AirAsia Flight 8501 met anything but a grim fate after it disappeared from radar Sunday morning over the Java Sea. Wary of bad weather, one of the pilots had asked to raise the plane’s altitude just before it vanished, but was not allowed because another aircraft was in the way.
“Based on the coordinates that we know, the evaluation would be that any estimated crash position is in the sea, and that the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” Indonesia search and rescue chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo said.
The Airbus A320-200 vanished in airspace thick with storm clouds on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.
Jakarta’s air force base commander, Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto, said an Australian Orion aircraft had detected “suspicious” objects near Nangka island about 100 miles (160 kilometers) off central Kalimantan. That’s about 700 miles (1,120 kilometers) from the location where the plane lost contact, but within Monday’s greatly expanded search area.