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QZ8501 flight recorders located on Java Sea floor, reports say

written by | January 12, 2015
AirAsia has so far ordered 475 A320s. (Brendan Scott)
An Indonesia AirAsia Airbus A320. (Brendan Scott)

Indonesian officials have located the fuselage and flight recorders of crashed Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, according to media reports.

News agency Agence France-Presse quoted an Indonesian transport ministry spokesperson saying: “The navy divers in Jadayat state boat have succeeded in finding a very important instrument, the black box of AirAsia QZ8501”.

While the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorders appear to have been found, they remain some 30 metres under water on the Java Sea floor.


The search and rescue (SAR) effort, led by Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), had raised the tail of the Airbus A320 aircraft – registration PK-AXC – over the weekend. However, the aircraft’s two flight recorders – the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder – had been separated from the tail.

BASARNAS had also detected “pings” thought to be from the aircraft’s flight recorders.
Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency said BASARNAS believed it had found the fuselage of the aircraft, based on sonar scans which showed an object 10 metres in length.

AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes said on Twitter on Sunday he believed the black boxes had been found, with “strong info coming”, and added that his main thought was the aircraft’s fuselage.

QZ8501 crashed enroute from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Airbus A320 – registration PK-AXC – 42 minutes into the flight, which carried 162 people.


Indonesia AirAsia said on Sunday 48 bodies had so far been recovered from the crash site.

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  • NJP


    Looking at the photos of the tail section which has just been lifted out of the water, there are no interior fittings attached – floor, seats, window frames are all gone – does this imply a mid-air break-up rather than a sea-landing & break-up?

  • Zac


    Doubt it. The pieces are way too large for that. Besides, one person was found with a lifejacket on (albeit not inflated), which has got to indicate that there was some time to prepare before the crash, which doesn’t happen in a midair breakup.

  • NJP


    Thank you Zac

    I just came off an AirAsia flight which had interior panels held in place with duct tape! Not a good feeling right now

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