As if the disappearance of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 two days ago wasn’t tough enough for the families of those on board, another cruel twist is being reported today.

The father of the missing plane’s pilot, Captain Irianto, last saw his son just days ago — at the funeral of another of his sons.

Captain Iriyanto’s brother died of diabetes.

The captain’s father, identified only as Suwarto, told the BBC his family is in the hands of god, after being hit with two tragedies in such a short space of time.

“I want my son to come back alive and well,” said Suwarto, “but if that’s not meant to be, if god doesn’t want that, it’s in the hands of fate.

“My son, he’s not alone on the plane. If this is god’s will then so be it.”

Earlier, Captain Irianto’s daughter — identified as Angela — posted a plea on social media for her father’s safe return.

AirAsia pilot

She wrote: “Papa pulang. Kakak masih butuh papa. Kembalikan papaku. Papa pulang pa, papa harus ketemu,” which roughly translates to: “Papa come back. I still need you. Return my papa to me. Papa come back, we have to meet.”

The search continues today, but hopes are fading fast for the 162 people on board the missing plane, which disappeared on its way from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

Indonesian official Henry Bambang Soelistyo, of the National Search and Rescue, has warned that the aircraft will likely be found on the ocean’s floor.

“Based on the co-ordinates that we know, the evaluation would be that any estimated crash position is in the sea, and that the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea.”