Indonesian authorities said that divers have located the black box recorders of Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 on Sunday (11/01). Ships involved in the search operation picked up strong ping signals less than 0.6 miles from the location where the tail of the AirAsia aircraft was found. However, divers have not been able yet to collect the black box (which contains crucial flight data) due to the strong undercurrent. Moreover, the black box is stuck under debris at about 30 to 35 meters below sea level.
Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 (an Airbus A320-200) crashed in the Java Sea on 28 December 2014 en route from Surabaya (East Java) to Singapore, (presumably) killing all 162 people on board (but only 48 bodies have been recovered so far). The Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics (in Indonesian Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika, abbreviated BMKG) believes that stormy weather is most likely the cause of the crash. Shortly before losing contact with air traffic control, the AirAsia pilots of flight QZ8501 had requested permission to fly at a higher altitude in a move to avoid bad weather.
Tonny Budiono, Senior Official at Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry, said that the black box’s coordinates are 03.37.21 South/109.42.42 East. Divers will continue efforts to retrieve the black box on Monday (12/01). The debris that is currently positioned on top of the black box will be removed gradually, possibly by using inflatable balloons (as had been used to lift the tail section of the aircraft on Saturday).
Meanwhile, Operations Coordinator for the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Supriyadi said that an object measuring 10 by 4 by 2.5 meters had been detected on the sea floor (close to location where the ping signals were heard) on Sunday, presumably the main body of the aircraft.
The AirAsia crash also exposed widespread violations in Indonesia’s air transport management as the airline did not have a permit to fly the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays. On Friday (09/01), Indonesia’s Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan announced said that the Ministry had suspended 61 flight routes operated by a total of five Indonesian airlines as they lack the necessary permits to fly these routes. These airlines are Lion Air, Wings Air, Garuda Indonesia, Susi Air, and Trans Nusa. However, on Sunday (11/01), the Ministry corrected results of the investigation stating that Garuda Indonesia and Trans Nusa do have permits to operate all their flight routes.
Flight Schedule Violations Indonesia:
|Involved Airline|| Number of Flight
|Lion Air||35 flights|
|Wings Air||18 flights|
|Garuda Indonesia¹||4 flights|
|Susi Air||3 flights|
|Trans Nusa¹||1 flight|
¹ Indonesia's Transportation Ministry revoked claims of flight schedule violations
|Soekarno-Hatta International Airport||West Java|
|Kuala Namu International Airport||North Sumatra|
|Juanda International Airport||East Java|
|Ngurah Rai International Airport||Bali|
|Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport||South Sulawesi|
Source: Antara News Agency