REPORT: Icing May Have Caused Engine Damage On AirAsia Flight QZ8501

BELITUNG, INDONESIA – DECEMBER 29: Indonesian search and rescue team coordinating the search area on December 29, 2014 in Belitung, Indonesia. AirAsia announced that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore, with 162 people on board, lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24 a.m. local time on December 28. (Photo by Oscar Siagian/Getty Images

Meteorological experts have said that icing is a likely cause behind the downing of QZ8501, based on an analysis of available weather data from the day the plane disappeared.

In the Indonesian government’s first report about what might have caused QZ8501 to crash, the authors say: “The most probable weather phenomenon was icing that can cause engine damage.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the 14-page report, which examines the weather conditions of the day the plane went missing, found that turbulence was probably far less of an impact on the plane than icing.

This weather-related issue occurs when tiny ice crystals are sucked inside an engine and can accumulate into chunks that damage turbine blades or the ignition system.

Despite the new data the authors have said that the findings aren’t conclusive, saying that icing is just one of the possibilities available for what happened to the plane.

It “is not a final decision about the cause of the incident,” the report said.

This theory is the latest in a string of assumptions made about the fate of the flight, along with the theory of a fatal mid-air stall which triggering the plane to crash.

There are also new reports that Indonesian recovery crews have found parts of the wreckage just 29 metres underwater.

The search and rescue agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told reporters yesterday that a 23-metre-long object has been located and they strongly suspect it to be the tail of the plane.

“With the discovery of an oil spill and two big parts of the aircraft, I can assure you these are the parts of the AirAsia plane we have been looking for,” he said.

So far 30 bodies have been found — all floating in the ocean, some still strapped into their seats — 132 passengers and crew remain missing.

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