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AirAsia 8501: Photographs of coincidence

Aviation in Southeast Asia will be remembered as a challenging and unprecedented year. Through the global Planespotting community, we have been able to see these airliners lost, offering some memorial for those affected. One in particular had the coincidence of photographing all three storied airliners. This is his story.

 

NORMAN YUSOF, AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHER

Planespotter Norman Yusof has been photographing airliners since 2005 and has developed an extensive archive. By chance, he captured all three airliners that held the world's attention in 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Flight 17, and AirAsia 8501. Before their tragic ends, these airliners each went by a unique tail number identifying them to the aviation community. All of the following images were taken by Norman Yusof and display these unique identifiers.

Any accident with loss of lives is a sad episode. When its closer to you, the pain deepened. Air accidents are something else. They affected me, regardless of from which part of the world it happened and whose aircraft involved.
— NORMAN YUSOF

AIRASIA FLIGHT 8501

MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370

MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 17

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AirAsia Flight 8501  |  ‘PK-AXC’

PHOTOGRAPHED IN MAY 13, 2014 - KUALA LUMPUR

 
 
QZ8501, even though it’s AirAsia Indonesia’s aircraft, happened in Indonesian water, the co-branding with Malaysian company, the AirAsia Group, somehow has touched deeper into me.

– NORMAN YUSOF, DECEMBER 29 2014

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17  |  ‘9M-MRD’

PHOTOGRAPHED ON FEBRUARY 9, 2008 AND JUNE 9, 2009 - KUALA LUMPUR

 
 9M-MRD Photographed taxing at Kuala Lumpur International on June 9, 2009 © Norman Yusof

9M-MRD Photographed taxing at Kuala Lumpur International on June 9, 2009 © Norman Yusof

 
Romeo Delta is very close to our hearts (aviation enthusiasts especially in Malaysia) since she was the only one in Malaysia Airlines’ fleet of B777-2H6 having a special livery... the Heliconia “Freedom of Space”. So I would like to remember her flying in her lovely dress.

– NORMAN YUSOUF, JULY 20 2014

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370  |  ‘9M-MRO’

PHOTOGRAPHED ON JUNE 9, 2009 AND JANUARY 31, 2014 - KUALA LUMPUR


 
 9M-MRO Photographed landing at Kuala Lumpur in January 31, 2014 © Norman Yusof

9M-MRO Photographed landing at Kuala Lumpur in January 31, 2014 © Norman Yusof

 
The Boeing 777 aircraft has this unique and very elegance entrance style to the runway for lining up, thus I had several shots of 9M-MRO that day lining up for take off from runway 32R. I’ll say a little prayer in my heart that they’ll find MRO soon, find out what actually happened and prayed for the souls on-board, when I look at my photographs of 9M-MRO.

 – NORMAN YUSOF, MARCH 28, 2014

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In Memorial

The dedication of Planespotting and their contributions have taken root in our digitally connected world. Through their photography we have gained a visual record of airliners across the globe, and in particular the very ones we lost this year. 

I was fortunate to curate their collective efforts to tell the back story of MH370 and it's decade of service. I am in debt to their tireless work, especially Norman's. Perhaps these images are a coincidence in life. All unique and meaningful as stories of the people affected by these international tragedies. These images provide the last glimpse of these fateful airliners. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and crew affected by the events of AirAsia Flight 8501.