Both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder of crashed Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 have been recovered from the bottom of the Java Sea and sent to investigators in Jakarta for analysis.
Search and rescue divers from Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) located the cockpit voice recorder on Tuesday, about 20 metres away from where the flight data recorder was found and brought to the surface a day earlier.
“Following this finding, BASARNAS confirmed that both parts of the aircraft’s blackbox (flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder) have been evacuated and flown to Jakarta for further investigation by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT),” Indonesia AirAsia said in a statement on January 13.
The National Transportation Safety Committee was responsible for downloading and analysing the data stored on both of the so-called black boxes in an effort to find out what happened to the flight, which crashed into the Java sea on December 28 enroute from Surabaya to Singapore.
The cockpit voice recorder is an archive of conversations in the flight deck, as well as between pilots and air traffic control, while the flight data recorder stores host of information about the aircraft’s operating performance including altitude, speed, engine thrust, among other data.
Air traffic controllers lost contact with QZ8501 – an Airbus A320 registration PK-AXC – 42 minutes into the flight from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28. There were 162 passengers and crew on board.
Meanwhile, during a visit to the East Java Region Police headquarters on Tuesday, the head of BASARNAS Marshal Bambang Soelistyo reassured families of the 162 passengers and crew the search for and recovery of bodies was ongoing.
“During the dialogue, Bambang Soelistyo assured the family that the main SAR operation is still on-going and their main priority is to search and recover the passengers despite weather and underwater current challenges faced by the SAR team,” Indonesia Air Asia said.
Indonesia AirAsia said a total of 48 bodies had been retrieved from the crash site. The figure has been unchanged since the airline’s January 9 statement.