Crashed Airasia Flight Black Box Found As Aviation Experts Look To Piece Together Planes Final Moments
Crashed AirAsia flight black box found as aviation experts look to piece together plane's final moments
Search and rescue teams have finally found the black box belonging to the crashed AirAsia plane.
The huge breakthrough comes exactly two weeks after flight QZ8501 disappeared from radar with 162 people on board.
This morning a sonar scan revealed the main body of the Airbus A320-200 at the bottom of the Java Sea, along with a signal emitting from the black box.
Divers located it some 30m below the surface, but it was wedged in between two pieces of wreckage and they were unable to bring it back.
They will take the plunge again at first light on Monday and if their attempt fails for a second time, they will attach balloons to float it to the surface.
The black box will contain crucial data as to how and why the plane crashed.
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On December 28 Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
None of the 162 people on the aircraft survived.
Earlier today AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tweeted: "We are led to believe Blackbox may ha e (sic) been found. Still not confirmed. But strong info coming. But my man (sic) thoughts is fuselage."
We are led to believe Blackbox may ha e been found. Still not confirmed. But strong info coming. But my man thoughts is fuselage.
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) January 11, 2015
Search boats have picked up pings about one kilometre east of where the plane”s tail was raised yesterday and these were later confirmed as the two black boxes, government officials said.
A sonar scan has also revealed an object measuring 10 metres by four metres by 2.5 metres on the sea floor.
GettyRecovery: Wreckage from AirAsia flight QZ8501
Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, today said: "They suspect this is the body of the plane. There is a big possibility that the black box is near the body of the plane."
"If it is the body of the plane then we will first evacuate the victims. Secondly we will search for the black box."
Forty-eight bodies have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo and searchers believe the plane”s fuselage could contain more of the dead.
Strong winds, currents and high waves have been hampering efforts to reach other large pieces of suspected wreckage detected by sonar on the sea floor.
GettyTragic reminder: Members of an Indonesian search and rescue team pull wreckage onto the Crest Onyx ship
Three vessels involved in the search have detected pings about 4 km (two miles) from where the plane”s tail was raised on Saturday, in water about 30 metres (yards) deep.
"Three ships have (recorded) the pings so we can confirm the coordinates of the location of the black box," Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee investigator Santoso Sayogo told Reuters.
If weather conditions are conducive, "hopefully they will recover the black box tomorrow morning," Santoso said. "The coordinates show the bottom of the sea (in that location) is sand so the divers should easily be able to see it."
If and when the recorders are found and taken to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis, it could take up to two weeks to download data, investigators said, although the information could be accessed in as little as two days if the devices are not badly damaged.