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AirAsia plane 'climbed too fast', then plunged

An AirAsia plane that crashed last month - killing 162 people on board - was climbing at an abnormally high rate, then plunged and suddenly disappeared from radar, Indonesia's transport minister has said.

Ignasius Jonan told the Indonesian parliament that radar data showed the Airbus 320 was climbing about 6,000ft (182m) a minute, an unusually rapid rate, before it disappeared on December 28.

In their last contact with air-traffic controllers, the pilots of AirAsia Flight 8501 asked to climb from 32,000ft (9.7km) to 38,000ft (11.5km) to avoid threatening clouds, but were denied permission because of heavy air traffic.

Four minutes later, the plane disappeared. No distress signal was received.

Survey ships have located at least nine big objects, including the jet's fuselage, in the Java Sea.

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