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Divers retrieve AirAsia flight data recorder

January 12, 2015

Divers have recovered the flight data recorder of the AirAsia jet that crashed last month en route to Singapore. The cockpit voice recorder is still to be recovered, officials said.

Indonesien Suche nach Überlebenden von AirAsia QZ8501
Image: REUTERS/A. Berry

Indonesian divers on Monday recovered the flight data recorder from the AirAsia plane that went down over the Java Sea on December 28.

"The search team managed to retrieve a part of the black boxes, namely the flight data recorder," said search chief Bambang Soelistyo. He added that the cockpit voice recorder had not yet been found.

On Monday, search teams resumed their search for the black boxes which could provide vital clues as to what brought down Flight 8501. The flight recorder will now be taken to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, for analysis. Its recorded data could take up to two weeks to download.

Intense pings

Divers located the black box on Sunday and had planned to gradually shift the layers of the aircraft to retrieve it, according to Tonny Budiono, navigation director for the Indonesian Transport Ministry.

On Sunday, three Indonesian ships heard intense pings in an area around 5 kilometers (3 miles) from where the jet's tail was discovered earlier. Divers spent 12 hours looking for the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, but strong currents and murky waters made visibility poor.

AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed on December 28 while traveling from Surabaya, in Indonesia, to Singapore, killing all 162 people on board. So far, 48 bodies have been recovered from the crash site.

The reason for the crash is still unknown but Indonesia's National Weather Bureau has said a seasonal storm could have caused the jet to plummet into the sea.

mg/cmk (AP, Reuters)