Search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501

JAKARTA: An international search is underway for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which disappeared en route from Indonesia to Singapore.

Here is what is known about the search for the Airbus A320-200 so far:

Where

The plane lost contact en route from Surabaya in Indonesia's east Java to Singapore early Sunday. The search effort is focused on an area of the Java Sea between the island of Borneo and southern Sumatra, where the plane vanished from radar contact less than an hour after take-off.

The area has been expanded northwards from Sunday's initial search. Waters are 40-50 metres (130-160 feet) deep.

How

Planes and ships conducting visual and radar surveillance and ships also using sonar.

Assets

Indonesia:

Three warships in area and two others on their way, 12 search and rescue agency vessels and scores of small boats. Indonesia has one pinger locator for finding the plane's underwater locator beacon.

Two C-130 Hercules aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, one Boeing maritime patrol plane, two CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft.

Australia:

One AP-3C Orion maritime surveillance plane.

Singapore:

Two Hercules C-130 aircraft, a frigate and a missile corvette. Landing ship tank and submarine support and rescue vessel on standby.

Singapore has also offered two pinger locators.

Malaysia:

One Hercules C-130, three ships.

China:

Beijing has offered to send ships and aircraft.

United States:

Washington has also offered assistance if needed. – AFP