On April 2, 2014, a shooting spree was perpetrated at several locations on the Fort Hood military base near Killeen, Texas. Four people, including the gunman, were killed while 14 additional people were injured; 12 by gunshot wounds. The shooter, 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Immediately prior to the shooting, Lopez went to the 49th Transportation Battalion administrative office where he tried to seek a ten-day leave form so he could attend to "family matters". However, he was informed that he would have to come back later to retrieve it, sparking a verbal altercation between him and several other soldiers. The request was ultimately denied because Lopez had already secured housing in an apartment in Killeen.
Lopez then went outside to smoke a cigarette, at approximately 4:00 p.m., he returned and opened fire with a .45-caliberSmith & Wesson M&Ppistol inside the same building. He injured two soldiers: Sgt. Jonathan Westbrook, one of the soldiers involved in the altercation with Lopez, who was hit four times; and Maj. Patrick Miller, who sheltered other soldiers in his office despite being shot in the stomach. Lopez also killed Sgt. First Class Daniel Ferguson, another soldier involved in the altercation, while the latter was barricading a conference room door that couldn't be locked.
He then got into his car and drove slowly to a motor pool building to which he had been assigned, firing at two soldiers and wounding one of them along the way on 73rd Street. Upon reaching the building, Lopez fired at a soldier inside the office, but missed her and grazed the head of another soldier. He then killed Sgt. Timothy Owens when he approached him and tried to talk him down, and wounded another soldier. He then moved on to the building's vehicle bay area, where he injured two soldiers, after which his weapon misfired. Lopez then proceeded to the 1st Medical Brigade headquarters in his car.
Along the way, he fired a round into a car occupied by two soldiers, wounding the passenger. Reaching the intersection of 73rd Street and Motorpool Road, Lopez shot at two other soldiers, but missed both of them. Reaching the medical building, Lopez shot and wounded 1st Lt. John Arroyo Jr., in the throat as he was walking outside in the western parking lot. He then entered the building and fatally shot a soldier at the main entrance desk, Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez; he also wounded two other soldiers inside. Then, Lopez walked down the main hallway, wounded another soldier, and exited through a doorway.
Approximately eight minutes after the shooting first started, Lopez drove to the parking lot of another building, Building 39002, where he was confronted by an unidentified military police officer, with whom he had a verbal exchange. When he brandished his weapon, the officer fired a shot at him that missed. Lopez responded by committing suicide, shooting himself in the right side of the head with his own pistol. A total of 34 rounds were fired during the shooting spree: eleven at the administrative office, nine at the motor pool building, five at the medical building, and nine from inside his car. It was later revealed that Lopez, who was in uniform at the time of the shooting, wasn't authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
Three people were killed in the shooting, excluding the gunman. They were identified as:
All of the injured victims were taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, for initial treatment and stabilization. Once they were stabilized they were then transferred to Scott & White Memorial Hospital where they received further care. As of April 10, twelve of the sixteen wounded have been released from the hospitals and returned to duty, while the other four remain hospitalized in stable condition.
Reacting to the incident, President Barack Obama said at a fundraiser in Chicago that he was left "heartbroken" and assured that the events would be investigated. The base was previously the scene of a mass shooting in 2009, in which 13 people were killed and more than 30 wounded. One week after the shooting, Obama and First LadyMichelle Obama traveled to Fort Hood to attend a ceremony honoring the victims.
On April 16, discussion was renewed over if soldiers should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on military bases in Texas and other states.
On January 23, 2015, the Army concluded from an investigation into the shooting that there was no indication of a possibility of violent behavior from Lopez through his medical and personnel records. A report on the investigation cited that Lopez's commanders knew very little of his personal difficulties and would have provided him with help had he disclosed these difficulties. It also highlighted gaps in information sharing, as Lopez's supervisors believed they were unable to obtain his personal information due to federal medical privacy laws. Previously, in the wake of the aforementioned 2009 Fort Hood shooting, information sharing regarding medical history was among 78 recommendations suggested to identify the risk of violent behavior. However, this recommendation was not implemented due to "constraints on exchanging information between military and civilian behavioral health care providers". The 2015 report recommended improvements with the level of contact between commanders and their newly assigned soldiers, and that soldiers should register personally owned weapons with their commanders.
Depression, anxiety, anger over being denied leave
Ivan A. Lopez-Lopez (October 23, 1979 – April 2, 2014) was an Iraq War veteran who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He enlisted in the Puerto Rico National Guard on January 4, 1999, but was unable to pass a required English language course and was subsequently discharged on November 30 of the same year. Lopez reenlisted on April 30, 2003, as an infantryman and served until 2010. He served on active duty in the United States Army in June 2008. He was married and had four children, two of them from a previous marriage.
Service in the U.S. Army
Lopez was a specialist, and at the time of the shooting, he was assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command, a logistics and support unit at Fort Hood. He was previously assigned in Fort Bliss, but was transferred to another base for four months, then moved to Fort Hood two months prior to the shooting. Lopez previously reported at Fort Hood in 2006 during his time in the Puerto Rico National Guard, where he was given orders to deploy to Egypt from February 15, 2007, to February 10, 2008.
From August 6 to December 18, 2011, Lopez served a tour in Iraq, participating in Operation New Dawn as security detail. On or about December 12, his convoy was involved in a roadside bombing. Though Lopez would allege that he had experiences in direct combat in Iraq and cited the bombing of his convoy, investigators determined he was not within the blast radius of the bomb used.
On November 29, 2013, he began receiving MOS reclassification training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, graduating three months later. During his time there, he attempted to purchase a weapon on two separate occasions. On the second occasion, Lopez was persuaded by a classmate to reconsider the purchase.
Motives for the shooting
Lopez was allegedly distraught over financial issues and the deaths of his grandfather and then his mother during a two-month period five months prior to the shooting. He was also undergoing regular psychiatric treatment for depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. He tried to take leave in order to attend his mother's funeral in Puerto Rico. It took five days for the leave to be approved, but he was only allowed to be absent for 24 hours, which allegedly upset him. The leave was eventually extended to two days. More recently, Lopez had asked for a transfer, claiming that he was "being taunted and picked on" by other soldiers in his unit.
During a press conference on the day of the shooting, Fort Hood Commander Mark A. Milley stated that Lopez died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On March 1, 2014, over one month prior to the shooting, Lopez purchased the weapon used in the shooting from Guns Galore, the same store where Nidal Malik Hasan, the convicted perpetrator of the Fort Hood shooting in 2009, originally purchased his own weapon. Lopez's weapon was not registered with the installation. He had previously purchased a firearm of the same model, unregistered with the installation, on February 23, although he reported it stolen on March 1, the same day he bought a replacement. During that same month, he had seen a psychologist and was prescribed Ambien for a sleeping problem.
In his Facebook account, Lopez made posts in which he alleged that he was robbed by two men and also criticized Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Lopez also described his experiences in direct combat during his tour in Iraq, although military officials confirmed that Lopez did not experience any direct combat. A Facebook page created by Lopez claimed that he was a sniper who had been to the Central African Republic.
On March 24, Lopez's battalion began tracking a ten-day permissive temporary duty (PTDY) request he made immediately after arriving to Fort Hood so he could help his family relocate to an apartment in Killeen, as his current one was burglarized. He was given a four-day pass by his acting sergeant, who informed him that he would receive PTDY after his return. Lopez took the pass from March 27 to March 30. He returned to Fort Hood on March 31, though when he received the PTDY form, it was filled with errors and Lopez had to resubmit it with corrections. Though the corrected form was signed, it did not have a control number, which is reported to have led to the conflict in the 49th Transportation Battalion office that sparked the shooting.
2009 Fort Hood shooting, a fatal shooting in the same area in 2009 where 13 were killed and more than 30 were injured
On December 31, 2014, a deadly crush occurred in Shanghai, near Chen Yi Square on the Bund, where around 300,000 people had gathered for the new year celebration. 36 people were killed and there were 49 injured, 13 seriously. As of January 3, 2015, 9 remained in a serious condition.
The incident began at about 23:35 local time on New Year's Eve. The crush centered on a stairway leading up to a viewing platform overlooking the river. Some people were trying to climb to the platform while others were trying to go down, causing panic and confusion. People standing on the steps to the viewing platform began to fall down the stairs, collapsing into each other.
There were reports that a planned New Year's light show had been canceled at the last minute and that the crowd control measures required for such a show were not in place.
Early reports stated that people were throwing cash coupons resembling U.S. dollars into the crowd. One of the victims stated that cash coupons were thrown onto the street from a bar and that several of the people had rushed to grab them. However, the Shanghai police later denied social media reports that the stampede was triggered by people stopping to pick up coupons, saying that "video footage showed that the bills had been thrown after the crush took place". An 18-year-old witness told news portal Sina: "I've seen people saying that the stampede happened because people were throwing fake money. But I don't think that's the main reason — there was so much distance, there's no way the money could have blown over to the viewing platform."
Site near the stampede on 1 January
A girl mourning for the victims
At approximately 23:50, people started to realize the danger and began to retreat from the crowd. The police at the scene also started to instruct people to evacuate from the second level. At 23:55, police and citizens had formed a wall to make way for ambulances. The injured were then sent to local hospitals.
After the accident, the government of Shanghai formed a working group to coordinate the rescue, led by mayor Yang Xiong.
The identities of all victims have been confirmed, according to the local government. The youngest victim was 12 years old.
As a result of the stampede, similar New Year celebration events on December 31, 2015 were cancelled.
This stampede was front page on local newspapers on the morning of January 1. The media needed to seek authorization for reporting this news, which was impossible to obtain at midnight. The official WeChat account of local government released relevant news at 9 a.m. the next day.
Media reports indicated that the cancellation of a planned light show led to a reduction in the number of police assigned to the event, resulting in only 700 police officers (as compared to 6000 in 2013) at the scene. However, the crowd was no smaller than in previous years, possibly because a scaled-down version of the light show was being held at different venue with a similar name.
Media outlets have faced criticism for publishing personal information posted online by victims or their families.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 (QZ8501/AWQ8501) was a scheduled international passenger flight operated by Indonesia AirAsia – an AirAsia Group affiliate – from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. On 28 December 2014, the Airbus A320 flying the route crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board. When search operations ended in March 2015, only 106 bodies had been recovered.
In December 2015, the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT or NTSC) released a report concluding that a non-critical malfunction in the rudder control system prompted the captain to perform a non-standard reset of the on-board flight control computers. Control of the aircraft was subsequently lost, resulting in a stall and uncontrolled descent into the sea. Miscommunication between the two pilots was cited as a contributing factor.
History of the flight
Flight path and location of debris. Flight path (red) is limited to range of Flightradar24 coverage; it does not reflect ATC coverage.
After departure, Flight 8501 was in contact with the Jakarta Area Control Centre (callsign: "Jakarta Centre"), which provides air traffic control (ATC) service over the western Java Sea, and flying along air route M635, when it approached a line of thunderstorms off the southwest coast of Borneo. At 06:12, Flight 8501 was flying at flight level 320—approximately 32,000 ft (9,750 m)—when the flight crew requested and was authorised to deviate left from its original flight path to avoid these storms. The pilot then requested to climb to flight level 380, which was deferred by ATC because of other aircraft in the vicinity. AirNav Indonesia, which operates the Jakarta Area Control Centre, reported that Jakarta Centre then cleared Flight 8501 to flight level 340 at 06:14,[d] but no response was received; other aircraft in the vicinity were asked to contact Flight 8501, but also did not receive a response.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-216,[e] with serial number 3648, registered as PK-AXC. It first flew on 25 September 2008, and was delivered to AirAsia on 15 October 2008. The aircraft was 6 years old and had accumulated approximately 23,000 flight hours over 13,600 flights. It had undergone its most recent scheduled maintenance on 16 November 2014. The aircraft was powered by two CFM International CFM56-5B6 engines and was configured to carry 180 passengers.
AirAsia released details of the 155 passengers which included 137 adults, 17 children, and one infant. The crew consisted of two pilots and four flight attendants. A company engineer was also on board and was not counted as one of the passengers.
Captain Iriyanto,[i] age 53, an Indonesian national, had a total of 20,537 flying hours, of which 4,687 hours were on the Airbus A320. The captain began his career with the Indonesian Air Force, graduating from pilot school in 1983 and previously flying fighter jet aircraft. He took early retirement from the air force in the mid-2000s to join Adam Air, and later worked for Merpati Nusantara Airlines and Sriwijaya Air before joining Indonesia AirAsia. He had 6,100 flying hours with Indonesia AirAsia.
First Officer Rémi Emmanuel Plesel, age 46, a French national, had a total of 2,247:22 flying hours, including 1,367 hours on the Airbus A320. He was originally from Le Marigot, Martinique, and had studied and worked in Paris. He was living in Indonesia.
Forty-one people who were on board the AirAsia flight were members of a single church congregation in Surabaya. Most were families with young children travelling to Singapore for a new year's holiday.
The bodies began to be returned to their families on 1 January 2015. At that time, the East Java Regional Police Department's Disaster Victim Identification commissioner stated that the victims were identified by the means of post mortem results, thumb prints, and their personal belongings.
The Indonesian Navy dispatched four ships by the end of the first search day and the Air Force deployed aircraft including a CASA/IPTN CN-235. The Indonesian Army deployed ground troops to search the shores and mountains of adjacent islands. Local fishermen also participated in the search.
Ongoing search and rescue operations were under the guidance of the Civil Aviation Authority of Indonesia. The search was suspended at 7:45 pm local time on 28 December due to darkness and bad weather, to be resumed in daylight. An operations center to coordinate search efforts was set up in Pangkal Pinang. The search area was a 270-nautical-mile (500 km) radius near Belitung Island.
Search and rescue operations quickly became an international effort. By 30 December naval and air units from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia had joined Indonesian authorities in patrolling designated search areas. Singapore's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) deployed three C-130 Hercules aircraft to aid in the search and rescue operation. A Formidable-class frigate, a Victory-class corvette, a Landing Ship Tank, and a submarine support and rescue vessel subsequently took part in the search and rescue after Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency accepted the offer of help from the Republic of Singapore Navy. Singapore's Ministry of Transport provided specialist teams from the Air Accident and Investigation Bureau and underwater locator equipment. The Malaysian government set up a rescue coordination centre at Subang and deployed three military vessels and three aircraft, including a C-130, to assist in search and rescue operations. Australia deployed a P-3 Orion to assist in the search and rescue operation. Elements of the United States Navy joined the search effort; USS Sampson arrived on station late on 30 December, and USS Fort Worth on 3 January.
By 5 January, 31 bodies had been recovered with the aid of the Russian and the US search teams.
Divers entered the main section of the fuselage underwater and discovered 6 bodies on 24 January.
More than ninety vessels and aircraft from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, and Russia participated in the search. This fleet included three ships with underwater detectors and two fuel tankers seconded to ensure efficient operation of the vessels in the search area. On 2 January the Indonesian Ministry of Transport reported that two other Indonesian tender vessels had been fitted with equipment which could detect acoustic signals from the flight recorder ("black box") beacons and airframe metal, as well as multibeam side scan sonar.
The official search for bodies ended on 17 March, after 106 bodies had been recovered. 56 bodies remained unaccounted for.
A live Reddit feed that was constantly updating the details of the search and recovery efforts, leaked details of the operation. An April press conference revealed details discovered by the Basarnas rescue team divers. 115 remains (including body parts) were recovered. 111 of them are believed to be from 99 passengers.
An offshore supply ship with the tail of PK-AXC on its stern on 10 January 2015
On the day of the disappearance, a fisherman observed "a lot of debris, small and large, near Pulau Tujuh. [...] It looked like the Air Asia colours." Another fisherman reported that, while moored on Sunday at Pulau Senggora, south of the town of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan, "Around 7 am, I heard a loud booming sound. Soon afterwards, there was haze that usually happened only during the dry season. [...] Before the exploding sound, my friends saw a plane from above Pulau Senggaro heading towards the sea. The plane was said to be flying relatively low, but then disappeared."
The fishermen's reports, delivered after they had returned home the next day, were credited with guiding the search-and-rescue team to the vicinity of the crash. The first items of wreckage were spotted by search aircraft on 30 December in the Karimata Strait, 10 km (6.2 mi; 5.4 nmi) from where the crew last contacted air traffic control, and three bodies were recovered by the warship KRI Bung Tomo.[j]
On 31 December, Basarnas claimed that a sonar image obtained 30 December by an Indonesian naval ship appeared to show an aircraft upside down on the seabed in about 24–30 m (80–100 ft) of water, about 3.2–3.5 km (2.0–2.2 mi; 1.7–1.9 nmi) from the debris found on 30 December. The head of the Search and Rescue Agency also denied the existence of any sonar images of the wreckage (as well as the reported recovery of a body wearing a life vest). He stressed that only official information from his search-and-rescue service can be considered to be reliable.
On 2 January 2015, Basarnas reported evidence of a fuel slick on the water surface in the search area, but detection of the fuselage remained unconfirmed.
At a press conference given on the morning of 3 January by Basarnas, the discovery of two large submerged objects was reported: 9.4 m × 4.8 m × 0.4 m (30.8 ft × 15.7 ft × 1.3 ft), and a thin object 7.2 m × 0.5 m (23.6 ft × 1.6 ft). Also, the previously reported fuel slick was confirmed. A later media report mentioned four large sections of wreckage, the largest being 18 m × 5.4 m × 2.2 m (59.1 ft × 17.7 ft × 7.2 ft) located at 3°55′27″S110°31′31″E / 3.9242°S 110.5252°E / -3.9242; 110.5252 (AirAsia Flight 8501 first wreckage). Later in the day, Basarnas announced no more bodies were found, leaving the total at 30.
On 7 January, divers found parts of the aircraft, including a section of the tail. Other sections of the tail are expected to lie nearby. On 10 January divers used an inflatable device to bring the aircraft's tail to the surface of the sea. They continued to search the sea floor within 500 m (1,600 ft) of where faint pings were heard.
On 14 January, the Republic of Singapore Navy Submarine rescue vessel Swift Rescue located a large section of the fuselage with one wing attached. On 25 January, ropes around the fuselage snapped during an initial failed effort to raise the wreckage. Four bodies were recovered, taking the total recovered to 69. More bodies were thought to be inside. Rear Admiral Widodo, who is in charge of recovery operations, said that the fuselage might be too fragile to be lifted.
On 27 February salvage workers recovered a large piece of fuselage, including the wings, of the A320. Lifting balloons were used to lift the fuselage, but the first attempt failed as the balloons deflated. By March 2015, all large pieces of fuselage from the jet had been lifted from the seafloor and moved for investigative purposes.
On 31 December 2014, Indonesia AirAsia retired the flight number QZ8501, changing the designation of its Surabaya-Singapore route to QZ678. The return flight number was also changed, from QZ8502 to QZ679. The Surabaya-Singapore route by AirAsia was then terminated on 4 January 2015.
Subsequent to the 1 December 2015 NTSC report as to the causes of the crash, the airline said it had already implemented improved pilot training.
Immediately after the NTSC report on the crash was released on 1 December 2015, the manufacturer of the A320 aircraft was not ready to provide a comment, stating in an e-mail that "Airbus has just received the final accident report. We are now carefully studying its content."[needs update]
AirAsia did not have any official permission to fly the Surabaya–Singapore route on Sunday – the day of the crash – but was licensed on four other days of the week, and, according to an Indonesian Ministry of Transport statement, "The Indonesian authorities are suspending the company's flights on this route with immediate effect pending an investigation." In response on the same day, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG) made a clarification that AirAsia QZ8501 "has been given approval at Singapore's end to operate a daily flight for the Northern Winter Season from 26 October 2014 to 28 March 2015".
On 6 January 2015, Indonesian Ministry of Transport representative Djoko Murjatmojo stated that "officials at the airport operator in Surabaya and [the] air traffic control agency who had allowed the flight to take off had been moved to other duties", and an immediate air transport directive had been issued "making it mandatory for pilots to go through a face-to-face briefing by an airline flight operations officer on weather conditions and other operational issues prior to every flight".
The loss of Flight 8501 also brought attention to the lack of weather radar at Indonesian air traffic control centres. According to the Toronto Star, "Indonesia’s aviation industry has been plagued with problems ... pilot shortages, shoddy maintenance and poor oversight have all been blamed following a string of deadly accidents in recent years."
The West Kotawaringin administration in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, planned to build a memorial for the Air Asia flight which also doubles as a monument for aviation safety. Central Kalimantan deputy governor Achmad Diran also stated that the monument is also going to be the symbol of gratitude and appreciation for the efforts of the National Search and Rescue Agency. The cornerstone ceremony took place on Wednesday, and was attended by local and state officials and representatives from Australia and Singapore. West Kotawaringin regent Ujang Iskandar stated that "With this monument, we hope that the families and the government will lay flowers every 28 December, and continue the dialogue on aviation safety in Indonesia." On 22 March, there was a gathering of people near the site of the crash and the crowd laid flowers around.
Family members of crew members and passengers
Air Asia has reportedly offered US$32,000 or Rp300 million to each of the grieving family members of the victims of the accident as initial compensation from an overall part of compensation, Wall Street Journal claimed from a letter on Air Asia stationery dated 2 January grieving family member David Thejakusuma received; who had 7 family members on the flight, the amount for each family member he lost.
On 16 March 2015, Monash University awarded in the form of posthumous title (award of posthumous degree) the Bachelor of Commerce to one of the late crash victims, Kevin Alexander Sujipto. Professor Colm Kearney, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics presented it to a member of his family. A memorial service was held alongside the presentation of the award, and was attended by the Consul General of Indonesia for Victoria and Tasmania, Dewi Savitri Wahab, 40 of the deceased's friends and representatives from the Indonesian Student Association in Australia (PPIA) Monash University branch.
On 28 December 2015, the first anniversary of the crash, a private prayer service was held in a private room in Mahameru Building, East Java Regional Police, Surabaya, and was attended by family members and relatives of the victims of the crash. The service was also attended by the Head Chief of the Search and Rescue Agency Henry Bambang Soelistyo. Representatives from the family members asked the National Transportation Safety Committee to ensure the safety of air travel in Indonesia. The Indonesian Government was also asked by the family members to ratify the Montreal Convention, finally ratified on 19 May 2017.
France opened a criminal investigation to investigate possible manslaughter charges. The family of the first officer, a French national, have filed a lawsuit against AirAsia in connection to the lack of permission to fly on that day, claiming the airline was "endangering the life of others".
Surabaya MayorTri Rismaharini says her administration is ready to sue AirAsia should it ignore the rights of the families of passengers on flight QZ8501, following the suspension of the airline's flight permit from the East Java city to Singapore. Risma said her administration had also consulted with legal experts from Airlangga University on the fears of most families regarding the difficulties in disbursing insurance funds, after the Transportation Ministry regarded the Surabaya-Singapore flight on Dec. 28 as illegitimate. She said her administration continued to collect data on the victims, including their valuable belongings. The data would later be used for insurance purposes and matters related to the beneficiary rights of the affected families.
A US-based aviation lawyer was planning to sue AirAsia claiming that they are "representing" 10 families over an aircraft malfunction following the crash of Flight QZ8501. Principal of Chicago-based Wisner Law Firm Floyd Wisner said that although preliminary investigations found that weather was a factor, the Airbus A320-200 suffered a malfunction of the fly-by-wire system. According to the statement, the lawsuit, which was filed in the US state of Illinois, states that "at the time the accident aircraft left the control of defendant Airbus, it was defectively and unreasonably dangerous," and names Honeywell International, Motorola Inc and other suppliers along with Airbus as defendants.
The case was Aris Siswanto et al. v Airbus, SAS et al., 1:15-cv-05486. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). On 30 June 2015, the suit had still named only Airbus and its suppliers but AirAsia was to be added as a defendant, according to Floyd Wisner of the Wisner law firm. However, on 9 December 2016, the case was dismissed and the lawsuit was dropped.
Air transport industry
Following the recovery of the flight recorders, on 12 and 13 January, an anonymous International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) representative said, "The time has come that deployable recorders are going to get a serious look." Unlike military recorders, which jettison away from an aircraft and float on the water, signalling their location to search and rescue bodies, recorders on commercial aircraft sink. A second ICAO official said that public attention had "galvanized momentum in favour of ejectable recorders on commercial aircraft".
Indonesia's tourism was badly affected by the accident. According to the head of Indonesia's Central Statistics Agency (CSA) Suryamin in a press conference at his office on 1 April 2015, the accident caused the number of foreign visitors to decline. Figures from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism showed that the number of incoming foreign tourists at Surabaya's Juanda Airport declined by 5.33%, Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport by 15.01%, and Bandung's Husein Sastranegara Airport by 10.66%.
The events leading to the crash were investigated by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT or NTSC). Assistance was provided by Australia, France, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Data from the flight data recorder were downloaded. 124 minutes of cockpit dialogue was successfully extracted from the cockpit voice recorder. The sound of many alarms from the flight system can be heard in the final minutes, almost drowning out the voices of the pilots. The investigators ruled out a terrorist attack as the cause and then examined the possibility of human error or aircraft malfunction. The aircraft altitude recorded by ATC radar increased from 32,000 to 37,000 ft (9,750 to 11,300 m) between 06:17:00 and 06:17:54 WIB, at an initial rate of up to 6,000 ft/min (1,830 m/min). At 06:17:54, the aircraft descended from 37,000 to 36,000 ft (11,300 to 11,000 m) in six seconds, and from 36,000 to 29,000 ft (11,000 to 8,840 m) in 25 seconds.
Although the aircraft's route took it through areas of cloud that extended from 12,000 ft (3,700 m) up to 44,000 ft (13,000 m), FDR data showed that weather was not a factor in the accident.:117[k]
Acting director of Air Transportation, Djoko Murjatmodjo, clearly stated that the investigation of the flight route and the investigation of the crash itself are separate. Murjatmodjo said that "AirAsia is clearly wrong because they didn’t fly at a time and schedule that was already determined." Both Singapore's civil aviation authority and the Changi Airport Group stated that Air Asia was allowed daily flights between Surabaya and Singapore. Tatang Kurniadi, head of Indonesia's national transportation safety committee, stated that sabotage was ruled out as a cause of the accident by the black boxes, and a preliminary report was supposedly submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation by early February.
Final NTSC report
After studying the wreckage of the Airbus A320-216 as well as the two black boxes and the cockpit recorder, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee issued a report with their conclusions from the investigation on 1 December 2015. The report stated that the sequence of events that led to the crash started with a malfunction in two of the plane's rudder travel limiter units (RTLU). A tiny soldered electrical connection in the plane's RTLU was found to be cracked, likely for over a year, causing it to intermittently send amber master caution warnings to the electronic centralised aircraft monitor (ECAM)—with the plane's maintenance records showing that the RTLU warning had been sent 23 times over the previous year, but was always solved (and never further investigated, which could have addressed the underlying electrical problem) by resetting the RTLU system. On this flight, the RTLU issue sent an amber caution warning four different times, and the first three times that the ECAM system gave the warning "Auto Flight Rudder Travel Limiter System", the pilot in command followed the ECAM instructions, toggling the flight augmentation computer (FAC) 1 and 2 buttons on the cockpit's overhead panel to off and then on. This procedure did clear the amber master caution warnings for each of those first three warnings.
Specifics in the report indicate that French First Officer Rémi Emmanuel Plesel was at the controls just before the stall warning sounded in the cockpit indicating that the jet had lost lift. Investigators also found that, just moments earlier—on the fourth occurrence of the RTLU warning during the flight—the Captain chose to ignore the procedure advised by the ECAM instructions, and, instead, left his seat and reset the circuit breaker of the entire FAC, unintentionally disengaging multiple flight control systems, which would have to be turned on by the pilots after the circuit breakers are reset. This circuit breaker is not on the list of circuit breakers that are allowed to be reset in flight,:106[l] and disabling both FACs placed the aircraft in alternate law mode, disengaging the autopilot and stopping the automatic stall protection and bank angle protection. The FAC is the part of the fly-by-wire system in A320 aircraft responsible for controlling flight surfaces including the rudder. Without the FAC's computerized flight augmentation, pilots would have to "rely on manual flying skills that are often stretched during a sudden airborne emergency". When the crew was required to fly the Airbus A320 manually, there was an unexplained nine-second delay between the start of the roll and either pilot attempting to take control. After nine seconds, the aircraft was banking at a 54° angle.
The report did not specifically conclude that pilot error caused the crash while detailing the chain of events leading to the loss of Flight 8501. However, one of the investigators, the NTSC's Nurcahyo Utomo, referred to an apparent miscommunication between the pilots (based on the recordings on the cockpit voice recorder) and said that the malfunction should not have led to a total loss of control had they followed the recommended procedure.
Side-stick control issue
The example of miscommunication between the pilots was when the plane was in a critical stalling condition, the co-pilot misunderstood the captain's command "pull down"; instead of pushing the airplane's nose down (pushing forward on the stick to regain speed and escape the stall), he pulled the stick back, which would have ordered the plane to climb more steeply. Because the captain was also pushing the stick forward and because Airbus has a dual-input system, the two stick inputs cancelled each other out, which led to the plane remaining in a stall condition until the end of the black box recording. (See the similar side-stick control issue in the Air France Flight 447 accident.)
On 3 December 2015, Indonesia's air transportation director general, Suprasetyo, said that the National Safety Transportation Board (KNKT) had provided recommendations as to tightened controls on aircraft maintenance and flight crew competence. He added that the government had implemented "... a series of corrective actions as a preventive measure so that the same accident will not happen again in the future." Suprasetyo also confirmed that the suspension of Indonesia AirAsia's Surabaya–Singapore route would not be lifted until the carrier had completed the steps recommended by the KNKT.
The report stated that the crash resulted from the flight crew's inability to control the aircraft in alternate law. The cracking of a solder joint resulted in the failure of the Rudder Travel Limiter Unit four times during the flight. The flight crew action to the first three faults was in accordance with the Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor messages. Following the fourth fault, the Flight Augmentation Computer's circuit breakers were reset by the flight crew, resulting in electrical interruption to the computers causing the autopilot to disengage and the flight control logic to change to Alternate Law. The rudder deflected 2 degrees to the left, causing the aircraft to roll up to 54 degrees. Subsequent flight crew actions resulted in the aircraft entering a prolonged stall from which they were unable to recover.
Chronological ATC radar data of aircraft track obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.
Infrared satellite imagery (taken at 7:32 WIB) with flight path superimposed on the right. On this false-colour, water-vapour-band image, blue represents warmer temperatures, while red and ultimately black represent the cold tops of high-altitude clouds.
Secondary radar image shows Flight 8501 (circled in yellow) at an altitude of 36,300 ft (11,100 m) and climbing, travelling at 353 kn (654 km/h) ground speed.
Events leading to crash based on report
Flight 8501 took off at 05:35 WIB and reached its cruising altitude at flight level (FL) 320 (32,000 feet (9,800 m)) four minutes later and was on a 329 degree heading.
At 05:57, the aircraft's anti-ice system was turned on at the request of first officer Plesel. The flight was normal until 06:00 when the following ECAM memo was displayed (along with a master caution light):
AUTO FLT RUD TRV LIM 1 (Auto Flight Rudder Travel Limiter 1)
One minute later the single chime alarm sounded and the Master Caution light came on. The ECAM then displayed:
AUTO FLT RUD TRV LIM SYS (Auto Flight Rudder Travel Limiter System)
Captain Iriyanto read the actions for fixing this failure (which involved rebooting two of the aircraft's Flight Augmentation Computers (FAC)), saying, "FAC 1 off and on. FAC 2 off and on." The flight crew then contacted Jakarta Air Traffic Control (with captain Iriyanto making radio communications as pilot monitoring), and requested to climb to FL 380 (38,000 feet (12,000 m)) to avoid the weather, as well as turn 15 degrees to the left for the same reason. The controller rejected the first request due to traffic in the area though but gave permission to 15 degrees left. The flight crew acknowledged. This was the last communication from Flight 8501.
The same alarm sounded and the same ECAM memo displayed three more times at 06:09, 06:13, and 06:16 respectively, totaling four times all together. At 06:16, Flight 8501 was cleared to climb to FL 380 but received no response.
The flight crew took the proper actions for the first, second, and third memos. When the memo displayed for the fourth time however, captain Iriyanto, frustrated, decided to reset to the FAC circuit breakers (CB), having previously seen this action being performed by a ground engineer, and believed that it was okay to perform this action in flight. However, resetting FAC CB's was actually prohibited in flight. Although Airbus described resetting FAC CB's in documents, it did not describe the results of what happened if the same action was performed in flight. Only pilots who had a strong understanding of the aircraft's systems knew what would happen if an FAC CB was reset in flight.
The CB's were reset, followed by several Master Cautions sounding regarding FAC's 1 and 2. The autopilot and auto throttle both disengaged from the circuit breaker reset, and the flight control law changed from Normal to Alternate. First officer Plesel only reacted nine seconds after all of these actions, likely having been distracted by them. At this time, the aircraft was banked left at 54 degrees and the roll angle was nine degrees right. Captain Iriyanto said, "level, level, level," in response to the roll. Plesel, possibly spatially disoriented due to the roll sensation, over-corrected twice: first by making a sharp right bank input and then a sharp left bank input. Plesel then made a nose-up input on his side-stick, causing the aircraft to enter a steep climb at a 24 degree nose-up pitch. At 06:16 the stall warning sounded for one second. One minute later, at 06:17:17, the stall warning sounded again and continued to sound for the remainder of the flight. At this time the angle of attack was at 40 degrees. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) also recorded an increase in background noise which also continued for the remainder of the flight. The following was recorded on the CVR::58
Cockpit area microphone (CAM): [sound of aircraft stall warning starts and continues until the end of the recording; increased background noise starts and also continues until the end of the recording]
Captain: Pull down... pull down.
First officer: What is going wrong? (spoken in French)
Captain: My god.
In just 54 seconds, the aircraft climbed from FL 320 to 38,500 feet (11,700 m), at which point the aircraft entered a stall, descending at a rate of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) per minute. Captain Iriyanto made a nose-down input on his side-stick (though without saying the terminology phrase "I have control":113) and instructed first officer Plesel to do the same; Plesel said that he was trying, but continued to make nose-up inputs. The aircraft made one full circle as altitude was lost. At 29,000 feet (8,800 m), the aircraft descent range changed to 12,000 feet (3,700 m) per minute. At 06:20:35 the flight data recorder stopped recording. The CVR stopped recording one second later, at 06:20:36.:56 The aircraft crashed into the Java Sea and was destroyed. All 162 people on board were killed.
The crash was dramatized in the 16th season of the TV Series Mayday, in an episode entitled "Deadly Solution", aired just over two years after the crash on February 6, 2017. Also, Science Channel aired a documentary on April 28, 2015 called "AirAsia 8501: Anatomy of a Crash".
^Location where the aircraft's flight data recorder was found on the sea floor.
^Also reported as occurring at 05:36 or 05:32 WIB.
^Indonesia AirAsia did have permission to fly this route four other days of the week.
^At least one version of the story claims that Flight 8501 requested to climb, but did not specify to what altitude and that Jakarta Centre asked for an altitude, but no response was given by Flight 8501.
^The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 model; the 16 specifies it was fitted with CFM International CFM56-5B6 engines.
^149 passengers and six crew members, including the Captain
^At 10:05 UTC, Reuters, quoting Indonesian official Manahan Simorangkir, reported that 40 bodies had been recovered, but this was later retracted by an Indonesian navy spokesman as a "miscommunication by staff".
Weather analysis (in Indonesian) – Detailed analysis of weather in the vicinity and time of the crash and its possible implications, by the Indonesian Central Office of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG)
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed over 617 people in Yunnan, China.
The 2014 Ludian earthquake struck Ludian County, Yunnan, China, with a moment magnitude of 6.1 on 3 August. The earthquake killed at least 617 people, injuring at least 2,400 others. As of 5 August 2014, 112 people remain missing. Over 12,000 houses collapsed and 30,000 were damaged. According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred 29 km WSW of Zhaotong city at 16:03 local time 08:03 UTC.
The Ludian earthquake occurred at 16:03, Beijing time 08:03 UTC, on 3 August 2014. American geological surveys indicated that the epicenter was 29 km WSW of Zhaotong city at a depth of 10.0 km, in the quake-prone province of Yunnan in southwestern China, about 18 km from Zhaotong. It was especially felt in the province of Yunnan, and less in the provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.
The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.1 on the moment magnitude scale, with an intensity of up to VII on the Mercalli intensity scale. The quake was the result of a strike-slip fault, whose fault plane has a southwest-northeast strike.
Seismicity in this region of southeast Asia is the direct result of the orogenic activity of the Himalayan mountain belt. Due to the complex interaction between the Eurasian Plate and Indo-Australian Plate from Afghanistan in the west to Burma and China in the east, many shallow sub-surface faults are present in both southwest China and neighbouring Myanmar.
This particular part of Yunnan Province was struck by the Mw 6.3 Burma earthquake in 2003. Similar events have occurred in recent years due to strike-slip faulting in the nearby vicinity, such as the 2006 Yunnan earthquake of magnitude 5.0, which killed 19 people, the largest of recent times, the Mw 7.9 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which killed over 69,000 people, the Mw 6.9 2011 Shan earthquake, and more recently, the 2012 Yunnan earthquakes, which was the result of reverse faulting and not strike-slip faulting like the Ludian earthquake, killing 81 people and injuring 821 others.
he earthquake caused significant damage in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter, principally in the city of Zhaotong, where power outages and significant structural damage were reported. Chinese authorities announced that the quake left at least 391 dead, and over 1,801 injured.
According to the South China Morning Post, the tremor was felt in nearby towns, including the capital of Yunnan, Kunming, also in Chongqing, Leshan and Chengdu in the neighboring province of Sichuan. Road access to Longquan Village of Longtoushan Town, Ludian County, was blocked, where buildings collapsed. In Ludian, it was reported that around 12,000 homes had collapsed, many of them being aged brick structures.
Aftershock: 21 August 6:00 a.m. until 9 UTC in times or morethan nine times more than M 3.0 up by China Seismic Bureau. The largest aftershock earthquake M 4.2.
A volcanic eruption of Mount Ontake took place on September 27, 2014, killing 63 people. Mount Ontake is a volcano located on the Japanese island of Honshu around 100 kilometres northeast of Nagoya and around 200 km West of Tokyo. It was the first fatal volcanic eruption in Japan since the 1991 collapse of a lava dome at Mount Unzen,and the deadliest volcanic eruption in Japan since Torishima killed an estimated 150 people in 1902.
The volcanic eruption happened at 11:52 Japan Standard Time. There were no significant earthquakes that might have warned authorities in the lead up to the phreatic eruption—caused by ground water flashing to steam in a hydrothermal explosion. The mountain is a popular tourist attraction for hikers, being considered good for beginner climbers and relatively safe, and the weather was also good, so there were several hundred people on its slopes at the time.The police said that they were searching for people remaining on the mountain. By 17:00 the police reported that three people were missing and were believed to be under ash. Another person was rescued from under the volcanic ash, but remained unconscious. Six people were injured, one by flying rocks.
By 19:30, the number of people believed to remain buried in ash rose to six. Nine people had been reported to be injured, five of whom had fractured bones Later, at least 40 people were reported to be injured, and another 32 were believed to be missing. The JSDF began carrying out helicopter searches for missing people. One woman was reported to have died from the eruption.
On September 28, the police reported that over 30 people had been found in “cardiac arrest” near the summit. Japanese emergency services often refer to people who show no vital signs, and are apparently dead, as being in cardiac arrest, as legally, only an authorised physician can pronounce a person dead.
By September 29, a total of 36 bodies had been found, and 12 people had been pronounced dead; the search was suspended due to dangerous conditions, including hydrogen sulfide gas spewing from the mountain. On September 30, fears of escalating volcanic activity on Mount Ontake continued to hinder rescue efforts.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is shot down near the border between Ukraine and Russia.
A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashed in a rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, spurring swift accusations from Ukrainian officials that “terrorists” shot down the aircraft.
The United States has concluded a missile shot down the plane, but hasn’t pinpointed who was responsible, a senior U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr.
The Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard fell from the sky near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, officials said. A top Ukrainian official said the plane, which was on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was flying at about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet) when the missile hit.
A radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down, the senior U.S. official said. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said. The United States is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from, the official said.
The Obama administration believes Ukraine did not have the capability in the region — let alone the motivation — to shoot down the plane, a U.S. official told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Syria’s declared chemical weapons are shipped out for destruction.
Syria has handed over the last of its declared stockpile of chemical weapons, which will be destroyed at sea over the next two months, the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog has said.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) announced that the final 8% of Syria’s acknowledged arsenal of chemical weapons and precursors had been loaded on to a Danish freighter.
The ship, the Ark Futura, is now sailing to the Italian port of Gioia Tauro for a rendezvous with an American vessel, the MV Cape Ray, which is specially equipped to neutralise the most dangerous of the chemical agents at sea.
“The mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme has been a major undertaking marked by an extraordinary international cooperation,” said Ahmet Uzumcu, the OPCW’s director-general. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict. And this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight timeframes.”
However, Uzumcu added that the OPCW was not in a position to certify that Syria no longer had any chemical weapons. The materials removed were those that the regime had declared.
Western governments claim to have intelligence suggesting that Damascus has not admitted to all its chemical arms. An OPCW investigation team has found evidence that chlorine gas was used against civilians in recent months “in a systematic manner”, but the team has been unable to reach the site for further investigation because it came under attack.
Possession of chlorine is not a violation of the chemical weapons treaty, as it is a commonly used chemical, so Syria was not required to list chlorine on its declared inventory. But its use as a weapon is a violation of international law.