Crashed Airasia Flights Black Box Signals Found As Divers Spot Wreckage From Planes Body
Search and rescue teams believe they may have located the two black boxes of the crashed AirAsia plane.
The breakthrough comes after a sonar scan is believed to have picked up the main body of the Airbus A320-200 after diver teams battled giant waves in the Java Sea for two weeks.
Indonesian government officials now hope calmer waters over the next 24 hours will allow them to retrieve the flight recorders containing 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, these are believed to be from the two black boxes, government officials told AFP.
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 are still hunting for the plane”s fuselage, which could contain more bodies.
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.