Asia AirAsia QZ8501 black box retrieved from Java Sea

AirAsia QZ8501 black box retrieved from Java Sea

Black box
Black Box

(AA) – Search teams retrieved Monday one of the black boxes of an AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board more than two weeks ago.

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue agency confirmed that while the flight data recorder was recovered from under a wing discovered the day before, the other black box – the cockpit voice recorder – has yet to be found.

Bambang Soelistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, told a press conference, “We have received an official report from the National Transportation Safety Committee that search teams have found one component of the black box known as flight data recorder at 07.11 a.m.”

Explaining that the serial number matched that of the black box of flight QZ8501, he added, “Now we’ll focus on finding the cockpit voice recorder, alongside the main mission of searching for victims believed to be trapped in the [plane’s] main body.”

In a press release, Indonesia’s director general of marine transport, Tonny Budiono, confirmed Sunday night the black box had been detected by navy ship KN Jadayat at a depth of 30 to 32 meters, wedged between pieces of wreckage.

Meanwhile, the country’s National Transport Safety Committee has begun investigating the cause of the accident by examining the plane’s flight data recorder and its damaged tail section, which was lifted Saturday amid hopes it would still hold the black boxes.

Sonars suggested, however, that the box had been separated from the tail section and carried by currents as far as 1.7 nautical miles away. 

Remaining parts of the tail were gathered from the sea floor in Karimata Strait, between the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, Sunday night.

Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator from the transport safety committee, was quoted by as saying, “this morning, we’ll cut the tail into two parts because the size is too large and difficult to move, and then take to a warehouse for further investigation.”

He explained that the tail was in badly damaged condition.

Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control with 155 passengers and 7 crew on board during bad weather Dec. 28 while flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. 

While 48 bodies have been recovered to date, searchers expect the plane’s fuselage to contain more. 

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