Stricken AirAsia plane soared ‘as fast as a fighter jet’ and then dropped almost vertically into Java Sea as if being thrust down by a giant hand, crash experts revealed

By Richard Shears
The Daily Mail

The AirAsia jet which plunged into the Java Sea rose up as fast as a fighter jet and then dropped almost vertically into the water as if being thrust down by a giant hand, crash experts agreed today.

Their conclusion is that the Airbus 320-200 was in the grip of weather so freakishly extreme that there was nothing the pilots could have done to save the jet and all 162 people on board. The plane behaved in ways ‘bordering on the edge of logic,’ Indonesian aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman said after examining figures leaked from the official air crash investigation team.

The news came as the first victim of the crash was identified and handed back to her family, and rescuers pulled two more bodies from the ocean, bringing the total recovered to nine. The body of Hayati Lutfiah Hamid was identified by medical workers from surgical scars, a necklace bearing her initials, her fingerprints, and a red name badge pinned to her clothes.

Officials have yet to speculate on what caused AirAsia flight A320-200 to plunge into the sea 40 minutes into a flight from Surabaya to Singapore. Efforts by dive teams to recover the plane’s black box, which will contain vital data on how the tragedy unfolded, have been hampered by poor weather as search teams warn it could be a week before the device is located and brought to the surface.

But today Mr Soejatman said the jet climbed at a speed that would have been impossible for the pilot to have achieved – and then plunged straight down ‘like a piece of metal being thrown down.’

‘It’s really hard to comprehend…the way it goes down is bordering on the edge of logic.’

Australian aviation expert, Peter Marosszeky, from the University of NSW, told the Sydney Morning Herald that, in contrast, he was baffled by the extremely low speed of the descent – as low as 61 knots – which would suggest the plane was heading almost straight down, explaining why it has been found in water just 10km from its last point of radar contact.

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