Missing Air Asia QZ8501: They're some of the faces on board

This article is more than 12 months old

As search and rescue efforts for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 resume, family and friends of those on board talk about the people on board.

Singapore girl Zoe Choi, 2, and her British father Choi Chi Man were not supposed to be on the flight.

Her mother and sibling travelled on an earlier flight from Surabaya to Singapore - after the family failed to get four seats together.

The plane was flying from Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday morning (Dec 28) when it lost contact with Indonesian air traffic control at 6.17 am. 

No distress signal was sent out before the plane lost contact with the Indonesian air traffic control.

Captain Irianto

The pilot Captain Irianto - a former fighter pilot - had clocked 6,100 hours of flying time, media reports like The Telegraph said. called him a sociable person.

Captain Irianto's nephew, Doni, who lives in Surabaya where the plane took off, said:

“He is always helping people because he is a very caring person...
“If there is a sick relative who needed help and even money, my uncle would be there.”

Capt Irianto is married to a housewife, with two school-age children.

He was an active member of the Motor Besar motorcycle club – members of which were gathering at Capt Irianto’s house to support his family.

The co-pilot was a 45-year-old Frenchman named Rémi Emmanuel Plesel, who was born in the French territory of Martinique, but lived in Paris’s 17th arrondissement. He had flown 2,275 hours.

Briton living in S'pore

A high-flier at Alstom Power, Mr Choi Xhi Man was born in Hull, Yorkshire, lives in Singapore and works in Indonesia.

The multi-lingual unit managing director of  speaks French, in addition to English and Chinese.

Educated in the UK - he holds an engineering degree from Essex University - Mr Choi worked in Paris before relocating to Southeast Asia.

While in France, he worked with an American boss, developing business in Asian countries and managing a US sales team.

Business associates praise his ability to work in a multicultural environment.

Sources: Telegraph,, Linked-in

Related report: QZ8501 LIVE UPDATES DAY 2: Search for missing Air Asia plane resumes

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