Captain Iriyanto had clocked 6,053 hours with AirAsia when he took off on Flight QZ8501.
"He's so clever," Iriyanto's 76-year-old father, Suwarto, said about his son. "And his experience in fighter jets makes him very able to fly commercial planes."
Iriyanto's parents said have been heartbroken since the plane captained by their son vanished on Saturday; their other son died of diabetes just 10 days ago.
Suwarto said he saw Iriyanto just days before the plane took off, at his other son's funeral, The Independent reported.
"I want my son to come back alive and well but if that's not meant to be, if God doesn't want that, it's in the hands of fate," Suwarto said.
"My son, he's not alone on the plane. If this is God's will then so be it."
Iriyanto's daughter posted a picture of the two of them to her Facebook account. "Papa pulang. Kakak masih butuh papa. Kembalikan papaku. Papa pulang pa, papa harus ketemu," she wrote, which translates to, "Papa come home. I still need you. Return my papa to me. Papa come back, we have to meet."
2. Oscar Desano is a "proud steward" with AirAsia, the Daily Telegraph reported. He's also a father-to-be.
His Twitter account is filled with pictures from his trips around the world, as well as photos of his friends and his wife, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Desano's cousin Meriyanti Meri said that he was "praying and waiting for their safe return."
"His family is still waiting in Surabaya," said Meri. "Oscar will have a baby soon since his wife is six months pregnant now. We're still hoping for his safe return."
3. Ruth Natalia Puspitasari and her fiancé were traveling to visit his parents in Singapore, where the couple was going to celebrate both her birthday and the new year together.
Ruth Natalia Puspitasari's father, Suyanto, and her mother waited at the family crisis center in the Surabaya airport all day on Sunday.
"Now she is gone in the missing plane, and we should face this sorrow, I can't believe it," Suyanto told the Associated Press through tears. "This is too hard to be faced."
"I don't want to experience the same thing [that] happened with Malaysia Airlines," he said. "It could be a long suffering."
Ruth Natalia Puspitasari was planning to celebrate her 26th birthday in Singapore on Monday.
4. The co-pilot and first officer was Rémi Emmanuel Plesel, 45.
5. England native Choi Chi Man is a husband and father who worked as a director for an energy company based in Indonesia. He was on Flight QZ8501 with his 2-year-old daughter.
Choi Chi Man's family was intended to travel together, but they couldn't get four seats on an earlier flight as initially planned, The Telegraph reported. Instead, Man traveled on Flight QZ8501 with his 2-year-old daughter Zoe. His wife and son were on a separate flight.
According to a copy of the passenger manifest, Choi Chi Man bought their tickets on Dec. 26, and sat in the plane's first row, in seats 1B and 1C.
His LinkedIn account indicates that he was from Hull, Yorkshire, and graduated from the University of Essex in 1988. He was living and working in Singapore until July of this year, when he left his job to become the managing director for Thermal Services Energy Firm.
6. Ratri Sri Andriani, 30, was on the flight to lead a group of 25 Indonesian tourists on a trip to Singapore and Malaysia, her husband, Dimas, told the Associated Press.
"We can just pray and hope that all those aboard are safe," said Dimas, who was surrounded by Ratri's parents and friends at the airport crisis center. "We are worried, of course, but we have to surrender to her fate."
7. Gusti Made Bobi Sidarta, Donna Indah Nurwatie, and their children Gusti Ayu Putriyana Permata and Gusti Ayumade Keisha Putri were also on the flight.
Gusti Made Bobi Sidarta is a property developer in Indonesia, who was heading to Singapore with his wife Donna and their two children for a family vacation.
Before getting on the plane, Gusti Made Bobi Sidarta paused to snap the above picture, which he then uploaded to his BlackBerry Messenger account.
Gusti Made Bobi Sidarta's sister, Dimaz Ade Nurchayo, was the last to see her before the family headed to the airport, News Asia reported.
"I am optimistic that they are still fine," Dimaz Ade Nurchayo told local reporters on Sunday. She also said she'd repeatedly tried to call AirAsia for more information about the flight, but had not been successful.
8. Alain Oktavianus Siaun was supposed to travel with his fiancé, Louis Sitharta, that day, but ended up catching an earlier flight with his family on AirAsia QZ8501.
"I heard the news about an airplane that had gone missing on the radio while I was on my way to the airport," 25-year-old Louis Sitharta told a local newspaper. "I then searched the internet and found out that it was Alains's flight.
"They had planned the vacation on their own as this was supposed to be their last vacation as a family before we get married next May. We were supposed to meet up here."
"All the relatives are still waiting for more updates. I am thinking positive thoughts and hope that they would be found soon," she said.
9. Ingrid Jessica Winata was aboard the flight with her relative, Boby Hartanto Winata.
She was a student at the Singapore National Academy, and had just celebrated the holidays by making her own Christmas village.
The girl, who, according to her Facebook profile, is a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants and adores her pet hamster, also got this cake for Boby's birthday earlier this month.
10. Like many teens, Boby Hartanto Winata stressed over exams and was a fan of cartoons, football, and car racing, according to his Facebook page.
The teen, who lived in Surabaya, Indonesia, supported Manchester United and FC Barcelona, and often posted on Facebook about his homework at the Singapore National Academy.
BuzzFeed News has not yet confirmed if the two are siblings or cousins, but there are many photos of them together.
11. Saiful Rakhmad is an aircraft maintenance engineer who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was a crew member aboard Flight QZ8501.
12. After news of the vanished plane, Adi Kwok, an Indonesian travel enthusiast, posted pictures of his brother's family on Twitter.
Adi's brother, Eko Wijaya, was heading to Singapore for a short vacation with his wife and the couple's three children.
"I am devastated," Adi Kwok told NBC News. "I can't ask for a better brother. We love each other deeply."
Adi Kwok has not yet responded to emails from BuzzFeed News.
13. Nico Giovanni, 18, recently completed his first year at the junior college at the Anglo-Chinese School, the Straits Times reported.
One of Giovanni's friends, Michael, described Giovanni as reserved, hardworking, and respectful.
The principal at the Anglo-Chinese school, Lee Bee Yann, said that the college has been in contact with his family.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with them," Lee Bee Yann told the Straits Times. "We are also providing support to our students."
14. Florentina Maria Widodo is a 26-year-old biology teacher from the Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore.
Her family and friends call her Tina.
She had recently graduated from the National Institute of Education, the Straits Times reported. In college she was part of her university's guitar ensemble, along with her boyfriend, Andy Paul Chen, who is from Singapore.
Following news of the plane's disappearance, Florentina Maria Widodo's father changed his profile picture on Facebook to one of him and his daughter, and Chen posted the news that his girlfriend was on the flight, before traveling to Surabaya to be with her family.
One of Tina's students wrote a detailed blog post her on Monday, saying that Tina was the students "favourite form teacher" and that they always had "loads of fun in class."
"We're all trying to stay optimistic because we want you to know that we are never giving up on you," Felicia Tham Chi Ting wrote in the blog post. "All of us are constantly refreshing our news tabs, awaiting your news."
"You were and always will be young at heart. ... We both laughed and talked about girly stuff like shopping and clothes, just like teenage girls. Just like friends."
You can read more about the blog post here.
15. Haidar Fauzi Khairunisa, 22
Haidar Fauzi Khairunisa, who was nicknamed Nisa by her family and friends, was one of the flight attendants aboard the AirAsia flight.
Local media reported her body was one of the first pulled from the sea, with her name tag still pinned to her uniform, according to the Independent.
The youngest of four siblings, with three older brothers, she started working as a flight attendant in 2012, and joined AirAsia in 2013.
The flight attendant originally wanted to be a lawyer, Lensa Indonesia reported, but she eventually decided to become a flight attendant "for fun."
Her uncle, Roni Somad, told local reporters that his niece would always bring home souvenirs from her travels, and loved telling her families stories from her flights and adventures.
Additional reporting by Michelle Broder Van Dyke and David Mack.