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Meteorological Analysis for Emmilia Monica Andrianni

Air Asia QZ8501 Accident Meteorologi III-C

• Airbus A320-300 owned by Air Asia

Indonesia is reported lost contact at
28 December 2014 in its flight from
Surabaya to Singapore.
• At 05.35 am LT, QZ8501 depart from
Surabaya. At 06.12 am LT the pilot
make a contact to the Soekarna-
Hatta ATC to permit turning left and
Increasing the altitude from 32000
feet to 38000 feet to avoid
• But at 06.17 am LT Soekarno-Hatta
ATC has lost contact to the plane
• Based on IR canal weather
satellite observation, we can see
the existence cumulonimbus
cloud from BMKG satellite

• Forwarding the meteorological

analysis for the most probable
cause of Air Asia QZ8501 accident
is the plane enters cumulonimbus
and undergo turbulence, icing,
and lightning

Cumulonimbus is really dangerous for the

aviation. This cloud can cover very large scale,
cause severe weather in the surface, and more
dangerous inside the cloud. It has complicated
dynamical process and structure, but we can
take most phenomenon happen inside the
cloud when the cumulonimbus exist, they are
Turbulence, icing and lightning
Wind Profile

Turbulence is a violent or unsteady movement of air.
Many things cause the turbulence, in this case, the
turbulence is caused by highly unstable condition inside

1. Fastest wind speed is in 100mb/16000m at 70 kts
2. Wind speed in last flight altitude (32000ft/9,7km) is
about 25kts, but have low wind shear in this altitude
3. Low wind shear means that the turbulence is low too
From wind profile analysis, we state that the turbulence occurrence is
not significant in where the plane lost contact (32000ft), it only has
10-20% role for the cause of Air Asia QZ 8501 accident.
• Icing is the atmospheric
condition that can lead to the
formation of water ice on the
surface of an aircraft. Beside of
that, icing can be a process
when Crystal of ice appears
and grow larger inside the
• It will be horrible to have icing
in the aircraft.
• Weather satellite observation
show that top cloud
temperature reach less then -
60⁰C, it’s means the ice exist
inside the cloud
Top cloud temperature reaches less than -60 degree
Impact to the plane
1. Icing can lead to the ice formation on aircraft surface even to the
machine. Because the plane enters the cloud, the icing will be more
2. ice formation on aircraft surface will decrease stability of plane
aerodynamic, and ice formation on the machine can decrease the
ability of the plane even powered of and plane will loose its power to
keep flying
From cloud structure analysis, we state that the icing occurance is really significant, it has 50-
60% role for the cause of Air Asia QZ 8501 accident
Lighning is the occurance of a natural electrical
discharge of very short duration and high
voltage between a cloud and the ground or
within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash.

The occurance of lightning can disturb the

communication and navigation tools in the
From lightning detection analysis, we state that the lightning occurance is quite significant, it
has 20-30% role for the cause of Air Asia QZ 8501 accident
Based in our analysis, from three
phenomenon that happened in the
cumulonimbus when Air Asia QZ 8501 got
the accident. Turbulence, icing and
ligtning, we conclude the most probable
cause is ICING, that has the role to the
accident 50-60%.

The icing lead the formation of water ice

in the surface of aircraft and the machine,
then decrease the ability of the plane to
keep flying

But we must consider that it’s not the final
conclusion, because so many error
factors that have a role to Air Asia QZ
8501 accident, this conclution is bassed
on meteorological aspect.

As the author, I suggest the airline to

have more consideration to the weather
information provided from BMKG before
decide to fly for the safety reason.