As investigators hunt for what caused an AirAsia jet to crash in an equatorial storm on Dec 28, the aviation industry is still struggling to apply the lessons of accidents in similar weather over the past decade.

It is too early to say whether the Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea due to pilot error, mechanical problems, freak weather or — as most often happens in aviation disasters — a combination of factors.

But its apparently uncontrolled plunge, coming after a series of other fatal crashes blamed at least in part on loss of control, has refocused attention on whether pilot training programs need to improve.