Missing AirAsia flight: Put your trust in God, Maira Elizabeth tells QZ5801 pilot's daughter

Missing AirAsia flight: Put your trust in God, Maira Elizabeth tells QZ5801 pilot's daughter

PETALING JAYA - When news broke of the Singapore-bound Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 going missing en route from Surabaya, Maira Elizabeth felt a familiar pang of pain.

Coming from an aviation family herself, the daughter of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 chief steward Andrew Nari was shocked and ran "out of words to say".

Maira expressed her well wishes for the 22-year-old daughter of Flight QZ8501 pilot Captain Iriyanto's daughter, Angela Anggi Ranastianis, and hoped family and friends of all on board the missing aircraft would stay strong.

Angela had issued a heartbreaking plea on her Path page late Sunday, saying, "Papa, come home, I still need you".

With search-and-rescue operations ongoing in the Java Sea, Maira hoped that Angela would have faith in God and stay strong, no matter what may have happened to her father or the rest of the crew and passengers.

"Yes, it is not easy, but if you leave it to God, you'll be calm. Take it slowly, and you're gonna be fine. Know that he loves you.

"Pray whenever you feel sad or angry, for it'll guide you," she added.

Flight QZ8501, which took off on Sunday morning from Juanda International Airport, had lost contact in Indonesian airspace around 7.24am, local time (8.24am Singapore time).

Indonesia's The Jakarta Post reported that Iriyanto, born on Dec 12, 1961, married Widya Sukati Putri before settling in Sidoarjo, East Java, an hour's drive from Surabaya where flight QZ8501 departed for Singapore.

The couple has two children, Angela and Arya Galih Gegana, eight.

Iriyanto was described as an experienced Air Force pilot who flew F-16 fighter jets before becoming a commercial pilot in 1993, and had previously been employed with Adam Air, which shut down in 2008.

Iriyanto, who has a penchant for classic motorcycles, is a member of a local motorcycle club.

AirAsia said Iriyanto had logged a total of 6,100 flying hours, and the co-pilot, French national Remi Emmanual Plesel, had 2,275 hours.

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