on the air

on the air

938LIVE reporter John Yip joined the crew of an RSAF C-130 aircraft on Tuesday (Dec 30, 2014), as they embarked on the Air Force’s fifth sortie in the search-and-locate operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501. The search area assigned to Singapore by the In

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938LIVE reporter John Yip joined the crew of an RSAF C-130 aircraft on Tuesday (Dec 30, 2014), as they embarked on the Air Force’s fifth sortie in the search-and-locate operation for AirAsia flight QZ8501. The search area assigned to Singapore by the Indonesian authorities was 740km southeast of the city-state. The area was 90 nautical miles (167km) wide and 160 nautical miles long, or 55 times the size of Singapore. The C-130 took off at 12pm and arrived to its designated search area after about one-and-a-half hours. The 12 volunteer scanners — comprising full-time national servicemen and regulars — donned their life vests and started looking out the windows for signs of the missing airliner. The crew worked in two shifts to prevent fatigue. They had been instructed to look out for bright objects, which would have stood out clearly, especially when the aircraft was flying over the open sea. The skies were overcast, but there was no rain and visibility was good. The C-130 also flew overland and along the coastline, at altitudes between 500 feet and 1,000 feet, or low enough to spot individual trees. News that debris from QZ8501 had been found arrived at about 5.30pm. According to the pilot, the C-130 was about 150 miles (240km) south of Pontianak, West Kalimantan, at the time, or about 30 to 50 miles away from the location of the debris. The mood on board was sombre, but members of the crew said they were glad that there was now closure for the families of people on board the missing AirAsia flight. The C-130 turned back to Singapore at 5.30pm and landed in Paya Lebar Airbase at 7.30pm, about an hour earlier than planned. (story and video by John Yip)