We are watching a very human need to explain what had happened to Air Asia QZ8501 here. Rationally all these speculation by experts are a waste of time. I have also learned to ignore most of the news flow on this topic until they are able to find some wreckage or something more hopeful.
Every air traffic incident is not suppose to have happened. That is why speculating causes is not meaningful. Any probable cause would have been preemptively dealt with. All air incidents are mysteries until we have collected, analyzed and understand the causes.
Malaysia has been thrice unlucky. What's the probabilities of getting three hits in a row within one year? Meanwhile many of them have been displaced by massive flooding.
Singapore had only one two year old passenger on board that aircraft. Although that seems extraordinary, the human cost as expected is multiplied. Her father despite being a Briton is functionally as good as one of us. We also mustn't forget her mom and older sibling. We know the link does not stop here. Think grand parents.
Confidence in civil aviation remains high but doubts have grown markedly about Malaysia's ability to keep up with the rest of the industry in safe air travel. The man in the street cannot think in probabilities and six sigma bad luck is not good enough reason for many to fly Malaysia. Our neighbor really had a tough job ahead to restore confidence.
At the personal level, we flew with MH to Osaka last year and I would avoid them if possible. Ask yourself what is the probability that in a single flight more than two families lose their luggage? It is just the sloppy way they do their jobs.
Update: Dec 30, 10am
From the FT today. Which is a clearer version from a practitioner my hunch about this incident. You can tell me air travel is getting safer and have the data to back it but to me that is looking back and ignoring the ever changing environment, which may have finally hit the tipping point. The most bottom line conscious, sloppy and gun slinging airline run the highest probabilities of disasters.
Update: Dec 30 4:55pm
In a way you don't mind if news is delayed if only to sustain the hope that there are survivors. But if this wears on for too many days, by then you want closure (think MH 370)
I don't care how Tony Fernandes is handling this. This is not the time to score his performance. Something like this should not have happened in the first place.
Update: Jan 1, 10:45pm
Update: Jan 2, 10:15pm
162 victims is too many to handle and without consciously choosing, the family that I root for is this one. May be it is secret nightmare of leaving a child behind. Of course you don't think it is going to happen.
Just 15, Chiara Natasha lost her entire family in the tragedy.
Chiara's parents and two brothers were flying to visit her in Singapore, where she had just moved in early November to study on a Singapore government scholarship.
The family had sent her off from Surabaya airport less than two months ago, promising to visit her to celebrate New Year's and help her settle into dormitory life at the Methodist Girls' School, said her aunt, Linda Patricia.
Chiara, a petite teenager with long black hair, had flown back to Surabaya herself on Sunday — the day Flight 8501 went missing — and waited at the airport Monday and Tuesday for clues about the plane, praying hard that her family had survived.
News that some wreckage from the plane had been spotted and six bodies retrieved left Chiara in shock and she kept crying when relatives tried to console her, her aunt said. Chiara didn't come to the airport on Wednesday.
Her older brother, Nico Giovanni, 17, has been studying in Singapore since last year. He had returned to Surabaya for year-end holidays and was due to start his new term at the St. Andrew's Junior College, said Linda, who has been with her niece since her return.
Chiara's father, Herumanto Tanus, was a 46-year-old accountant and Linda's youngest brother. Her mother, Indahju Liongsih, was a homemaker.
Chiara's younger brother, Justin Giovanni, was 9. Many Indonesians use one or two names but no family name.
"We are all heartbroken and Chiara still finds it hard to accept" her family members' deaths, Linda said. "I am thankful that the plane has been found. My only hope is that all their bodies will be found and evacuated no matter what the condition is so that we can have a proper closure."
She said Chiara has agreed to eventually return to Singapore to study as she didn't want to disappoint her parents.
"In Singapore is her future," Linda said.