The AirAsia Airbus 320-200 which crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday December 28 en route from Surabaya to Singapore was probably a victim of icing on the fuselage, according to Indonesian officials.
The search teams are still looking for the orange boxes but first impressions were proffered today by Indonesian officials, who indicated a possible cause of the crash as being weather conditions and more specifically, icing on the fuselage.
The Indonesian meteorological agency BMKG states that the weather at the time of the accident "was the triggering factor behind the accident." Infra-red images show the peak cloud temperatures were minus 80 to 85C.
The report added: "The most probable weather phenomenon was icing which can cause engine damage due to a cooling process. This is just one of the possibilities that occurred based on the analysis of existing meteorological data".
However, other aircraft encountered the same temperatures in the same location. 34 bodies have been recovered so far.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.