Search team lifts tail of crashed AirAsia Flight QZ8501

Rescuers lift portion of the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 onto the deck of a rescue ship after it was recovered from the sea floor on the Java Sea, Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Prasetyo Utomo, Pool

Indonesian search and rescue teams raised on Saturday the tail of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed nearly two weeks ago with the loss of all 162 people on board, and will soon search it for the flight recorders.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control during bad weather on December 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia to Singapore. There were no survivors.

Forty-eight bodies, including at least two strapped to their seats, have been found in the Java Sea off Borneo.

Search and rescue teams detected pings they believed were from the flight recorders on Friday and two teams of divers resumed the hunt soon after dawn on Saturday.

The tail of the Airbus A320-200 was found on Wednesday, upturned on the sea bed about 30 km from the plane's last known location at a depth of about 100 feet.

Crews brought it up from the bottom with the help of air bags.

"Yes, the tail is already on the surface," Supriyadi, operations coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters.

"It's currently being brought close to a ship and then it will be towed. And then they want to search for the black box."

The aircraft carries the cockpit voice and flight data recorders - or black boxes - near its tail.

"The divers looked for the black box but they didn't find it," Supriyadi said. "But it has to be checked again. Lifted and checked again."

He said it could take up to 15 hours to tow the tail to land.

Large area

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, and to find the remaining victims.

Key developments in AirAsia search operations
Pings detected from AirAsia black box: official

Rescuers hunting for the crashed AirAsia plane detected “pings” believed to be from its crucial black box, a top Indonesian official said, raising hopes of unravelling the mystery of the deadly crash. >Read more…

Indonesia cracks down on aviation sector

Harsh measures against everyone who allowed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off without proper permits including the suspension of the airport’s operator and officials in the control tower. >Read more…


What’s still not known about AirAsia jet and why it crashed

The Munich-based reinsurance giant said on Monday that its subsidiary Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty U.K. is the lead insurer for AirAsia, including for liability insurance. >Read more…

Here’s what AirAsia has had to say over the mishap:

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues." >Read more…

Differences between the AirAsia and the MH370 accidents

The disappearance of an AirAsia passenger jet soon after takeoff inevitably brings back memories of the mystery behind Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared nearly 10 months ago and is yet to be found. >Read more…

On Friday, Supriyadi said the pings were believed to have been detected about 1 km away from the tail.

If the recorders had become separated from the tail they could be covered in mud, making the search in the murky water that much more difficult, he said.

"The pings can only be detected within a radius of 1,640 feet so it can be a large area to cover," he said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:36:37 PM |

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