Divers Retrieve AirAsia Jet's Tail but Data Recorders Still Missing

Officials believe crash’s impact dislodged recorders from their original housing in tail section.

Indonesian crew members observe the surface of the sea during the search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 on board an aircraft over The Java Sea on January 1, 2015.
Indonesian crew members observe the surface of the sea during the search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 on board an aircraft over The Java Sea on January 1, 2015. Credit: AFP

An Indonesian search team yesterday retrieved the tail section of the AirAsia plane that crashed last month into the Java Sea, but the aircraft’s data recorders were not in the recovered wreckage, officials said.

Ships taking part in the search for the plane, Flight 8501 – which crashed on December 28 with 162 people aboard, en route to Singapore – began to detect signals from the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice and recorders last Thursday.
Officials have since said they believed the crash’s impact had dislodged the recorders from their original housing in the tail section.

“The search for black boxes is continuing,” Indonesia’s transportation minister, Ignasius Jonan, said at a news conference yesterday. “We are worried that in 30 days the signal will be lost. But the main focus remains the recovery of passengers, not the black boxes.”

The transportation minister was referring to the 30-day period after the crash during which the data recorders were expected to keep transmitting signals.
After being thwarted for days by severe underwater currents and near-zero visibility, Indonesian Navy divers were finally able to tie special lifting balloons to the tail section yesterday and attach them to the hook of a crane aboard one of the search ships.

S.B. Supriyadi, the director of operations for the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency, said a survey ship had detected pings, apparently from the data recorders, about half a mile from where the tail wreckage was found, and at roughly the same depth of about 35 meters (115 feet).

As of yesterday afternoon, search teams had recovered 48 bodies, 29 of which had been identified.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Mohammed 'Moha' Alshawamreh.

He's From a Small Village in the West Bank, One of Three at His School Who Went to College

From the cover of 'Shmutz.'

'There Are Similarities Between the Hasidic Community and Pornography’

A scene from Netflix's "RRR."

‘RRR’: If Cocaine Were a Movie, It Would Look Like This

Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid's Journey: From Late-night Host to Israel's Prime Minister

Lake Kinneret. The high water level created lagoons at the northern end of the lake.

Lake Kinneret as You’ve Never Experienced It Before

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States