Pilot error is always a possible cause when a plane crash takes place – if that’s what happened here.
But the pilot on this flight Captain Iriyanto had 20,000 hours of flying experience, it has been reported, and was used to flying the same short haul route.
Before the plane disappeared, the pilot asked to increase altitude to avoid poor weather conditions.
And this time of year is tropical storm season in this time of year – the tsunami of ten years ago was on Boxing Day and the Philippines is regularly hit by major hurricanes.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said he believed the plane had crashed as a result of “horrific” weather.
But aviation expert Captain Mike Vivian told Sky it was ‘unlikely’ that sudden weather was the cause – pilots flying in Asia are used to having to deal with them.
The chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency – Basarnas – told reporters ships would continue to search tonight and aircraft will resume at at first light tomorrow.
F.H. Bambang Soelistyo said: “Search operations will expand to land, to among others the west part of west Kalimantan province.”