Search for missing AirAsia plane to expand to land
SURABAYA, Indonesia - The search for the missing AirAsia plane will be expanding onto land areas in Indonesia after daybreak there -- but the search and rescue chief says it's believed that the plane is "at the bottom of the sea."
It was carrying 162 people when it disappeared from radar yesterday -- shortly after the crew had asked for permission to increase altitude because of rough weather. The request wasn't immediately granted because of heavy traffic.
The plane was last seen on radar four minutes after the final communication from the cockpit.
At least 15 ships, and nearly a dozen aircraft are involved in the search. An air force official says an Australian aircraft spotted "suspicious" objects in the water about 700 miles from where the plane lost contact. That area is still within today's greatly expanded search area. But the official says there's no indication whether the objects are from the missing plane.
The air force also says oil samples found in another location will be collected and analyzed to see if they're connected to the missing jetliner. The oily spots were found in the Java Sea by an Indonesian helicopter.