Melbourne student on AirAsia flight

An Indonesian university student studying in Melbourne is believed to be among the passengers on the ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501.

Hope fades: Objects spotted not from missing flight QZ8501

Melbourne student Kevin Soetjipto was on the missing on AirAsia flight as the search resumes.

Kevin Alexander Soetjipto from Malang in East Java was studying finance at Monash University's Clayton campus, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He was due to graduate next year.

Mr Soetjipto was travelling with his family from Surabaya to Singapore.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane on Sunday morning after it left the international airport in Surabaya, at 5.20am Indonesian time.

It was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am local time but went missing in bad weather.

Monash spokeswoman Stacey Mair said the university was still seeking official confirmation from authorities that one of its students was onboard.

"We are deeply saddened to learn this news in relation to one of our valued student community," she told AAP.

The university would be offering counselling support to Mr Soetjipto's friends and classmates.

Missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 was not far from the shoreline when it went missing between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak. Photo: 7News

She said thoughts and prayers were with all the families of those onboard.

Mr Soetjipto's name is published in Indonesian media on the AirAsia flight QZ8501 passenger list.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared en route from Surabaya in Indonesia's east Java to Singapore, in the third crisis for a Malaysian carrier this year.

The crew had requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather shortly after they took off.

MSNBC TV has reported the plane had may have attempted to pass over a sixty-thousand foot, level five thunderstorm before it went missing.

FAA licenced commercial pilot Anthony Roman told MSNBC it is likely the plane would have tried to go above the storm.

He said: “This particular aircraft was attempting to override the thunderstorm."

According to, entering a level five storm means you’re liable to “hurt yourself”, reported NewsCorp.

AirAsia said 155 of those on board Flight QZ8501 were Indonesians, with three South Koreans and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia, Britain and France. The Frenchman was the co-pilot.

"The plane requested to air traffic control to fly to the left side, which was approved," Djoko Murjatmodjo told a press conference.

"But their request to fly to 38,000 feet from 32,000 feet could not be approved at that time due to traffic, there was a flight above, and five minutes later the flight disappeared from radar."

"According to our climate radar, the weather was not good. There was enough cumulonimbus (cloud) there," said Murjatmodjo.

Relatives of QZ8501 passengers anxiously await more information as the search continues for the aircraft. Photo: AP

A relative of AirAsia flight QZ8501 passengers weeps as she waits for the latest news on the missing jetliner at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Photo: AP

AirAsia, which has never suffered a fatal accident, said the jet last underwent maintenance on November 16.

Climbing to dodge large rain clouds is a standard procedure for aircraft in these conditions.

"What happens after that is a question mark," according to Indonesian-based aviation analyst Dudi Sudibyo.

An airport official checks a map of Indonesia at the crisis centre set up by local authority for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Photo: AP

The plane's disappearance comes at the end of a disastrous year for Malaysian aviation.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew, and in July, MH17 was shot down over troubled Ukraine killing all 298 on board.

Debris has been found in the search for missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 as the mission to recover passengers and investigate the tragedy continues.

An electronic kiosk providing flight information shows the status for AirAsia flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore as "Ask Airline". Photo: AP

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