AirAsia Flight 8501 Tail Section Found – NBCNews.com
The tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 has been found in the Java Sea, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said Wednesday. “The tail has been found,” Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the rescue agency, known as BASARNAS, told reporters at a news conference, adding that tail numbers were visible on wreckage. Finding the tail is significant because it may contain the plane’s voice and data recorders, or black boxes. Soelistyo said no black boxes have yet been found.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia, said on Twitter Wednesday that “if right part of tail section then the black box should be there.”
“We need to find all parts soon so we can find all out (sic) guests to ease the pain of our families,” Fernandes said. “That still is our priority.”
The Airbus A320 disappeared on Dec. 28 with 162 people on board as the jet flew from Surabaya to Singapore. The pilot had requested a course change due to bad weather just before contact was lost, officials have said. Forty bodies have been recovered so far.
If the black boxes are located, they would contain “maybe 90 per cent of the information you need in the investigation,” Jean-Paul Troadec, who was in charge of the official French air accident investigation agency at the time of the Air France 447 crash, told NBC News.
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— Amalia Ahmad and Phil Helsel