Sunday, December 28, 2014

162 passengers feared dead after AirAsia flight QZ8501 goes missing

An AirAsia plane with 162 people aboard went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday morning shortly after the pilots requested a change of flight plan because of weather, the third major aviation incident this year involving a Malaysian carrier.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 155 people on board -- including one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three Koreans, -- and seven crew members lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am local time Indonesia.

Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the AirAsia Airbus A320-200 that went missing on the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

At a press conference this morning, Indonesian officials said the plane was several hours past the time when its fuel would have been exhausted.

There were unconfirmed media reports that a aircraft crashed in the waters of East Belitung, off the east coast of Sumatra.

The exact location of the crash site has not been identified, media reports said.

The aircraft was in the Indonesian flight information region, more than 200 nm southeast of the Singapore -- Jakarta FIR boundary, when contact was lost, civil aviation authority of Singapore said.

Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There were no Indian nationals on board.

The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5:20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's ChangiAirport at 8.30 am.

A statement on AirAsia's Facebook page said: "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the Malaysia-based carrier said in a statement.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
"At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," the statement said.

Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, local media reported.
Air Asia said the pilot had requested "deviation" from its flight plan because of bad weather.
"The aircraft... was requesting deviation due to en route weather," it said.
Indonesia's national search and rescue agency bangka belitung said it has dispatched one vessel to search for AirAsia flight QZ8501.
"We received information from Basarnas in Jakarta that contact had been lost with an AirAsia flight over Bangka Belitung waters...We then dispatched a vessel with a search and rescue team of 22 members to check the information," Febi Imam Saputra, an information official at Basarnas Bangka Belitung, was quoted as saying by the Indonesian Antara news agency.
"If we look at the map, these coordinates refer to an area around 20 nautical miles from East Belitung," said Febi.
Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office.

Indonesian authorities have mobilised search and rescue operation near BelitungIsland, deploying five ships and a surveillance aircraft carrying 15 Indonesian Air Force personnel.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has confirmed that it is linking up with Indonesian authorities to help locate the missing plane. Australia and Malaysia have also offered assistance.

A massive search is underway for the missing plane. The last detected position of the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on BelitungIsland and Kalimantan, Indonesia, according to Indonesia's Director of Air Transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo.

"The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan," said Djoko.

The pilot Captain Iriyanto has an experience of 6,100 flying hours.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes has asked his company to stay strong. "Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong," tweeted Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries.

Fernandes has said that he is heading to Indonesia.

Malaysia has also offered assistance in the search operation.

AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interview: The Hex Waves

Doom-a-delic outfit The Hex Waves have an supernatural ability to enchant eardrums with their swirling guitars lines, heavy bass and hypnotic lyrics. It's no real surprise then that the enigmatic Christchurch trio was selected as local support when American stoner-doom act Windhand joins forces with our very own Beastwars for a show in the Garden City, as part of their four-date New Zealand tour. We thought we would pick the brains of The Hex Waves with Seven Quick Questions and try to peek behind the curtains of their musical sorcery...

Hi Hex Waves! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are three-piece from the quake ridden wastelands of Christchurch. We were sick of all the happy-clappy, earnestness coming out of Christchurch post-quake and decided instead to do something dark, cynical and pessimistic. And to wallow in how fucked life here actually is.

What is a hex wave?
Somewhat like a sound wave, a hex wave is the way a spell or a curse travels through space and time to its intended destination or recipient. Well that's what we thought anyway.

How would you describe the music you make, and what are the core inspirations to that sound?

We are heavily influenced by three specific albums and so the band might be understood as a sort of alchemical venn diagram of the following—The Cure's Pornography(1982), Chris Isaak's Wicked Game (1989), and Burzum's Filosofem (1996).

What is the first music you heard that made you go “this is what I wanna do”?

'Sleepwalk' by Santo & Johnny (1959).

You’ve got the Windhand show coming up, but what else is up your sleeve for the future?
We're a relatively new band so hopefully we have a way to go yet. We are still writing new songs and, to some extent, figuring out our sound. We are actively try to not play live too often, but we will play three or four shows over this coming summer. We are looking forward to trying to get some decent recordings down and we will certainly release something on vinyl, hopefully within the next year.

We heard you were recording an EP, how's that coming along?

Actually the demo on Bandcamp is just that. It's only one song, which we recorded in our band room (an industrial storage unit in Waltham) with Garageband and one microphone. We didn't really imagine many people would listen to it, and we thought we'd have better recordings up on there by now. We have started recording with a friend of ours, but he's often overseas for work so it's been slow going. Previous bands we've been in have tended to go for quick, live, lo-fi recordings, but we've decided to try and do something a bit more ambitious for this band. For now anyway.

When an out-of-town band comes to Christchurch, what’s the one thing they should definitely do?
We'd recommend they grab a couple of duty-free single malts and head straight to our band room, where we can fuck about complaining about life and the city, and maybe do burn outs on a motorcycle or two.

The Hex Waves are supporting Beastwars and Windhand at their Christchurch show on 8th October.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature of places to be visited. Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air whereas ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side.

The history of Kangra valley dates back to the Vedic times more than 3500 years ago. The area was exposed to successive invasions, the last being the British domination of the princes of many small the hill states. Despite the onslaughts and political upheavals, the arts and crafts of the region continued to develop and found lyrical expressions. Crafts like the exquisitely designed shawls and miniature paintings of this region are internationally appreciated.

  • Distances from Kangra

    Places to visit
    Baijnath Shiv Temple 54
    Bajreshwari Devi temple 01
    Chamunda Devi Temple 24
    Chintpurni temple 59
    Dehra Gopipur 37
    Dharamshala 17
    Jwalamukhi temple 35
    Kangra fort 03
    Masroor rock cut temple 38
    Mahrana Pratap Sagar 52
    Nadaun 50
    Nurpur 63
    Paragpur 48
    Taragarh palace 45
    Gopalpur nature park 28
    Trilopkpur 38