AirAsia flight QZ8501, carrying 162 passengers and crew flying from Surabaya to Singapore, lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 0724H on 28 Dec 14 (Sunday). Singapore quickly offered assistance to the Indonesian authorities, and at about 1700H, an RSAF C-130 transport aircraft took off from PLAB to help in the search-and-locate (SAL) effort coordinated by the SAF, the Singapore Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). It reached the search area at about 1830H and carried out the SAL operation for two hours before Indonesian authorities called off the search for the day.
Today, the RSAF has launched two C-130 aircraft to assist in the SAL operation, and will be deploying two Super Pumas on board RSS Persistence, an RSN landing ship tank, to participate in the SAL operation.
“Our training put us in good stead to respond quickly whenever we are called upon. I’m glad to be part of the mission and be able to do my part to help. My thoughts are with the passengers and their families,” said MAJ Yap Neng Sen, a Super Puma Pilot from 126 SQN who will be deploying on board the RSS Persistence later today.