Indonesian authorities said on Monday that a naval patrol vessel has found what could be the tail of the AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea on Dec. 28, boosting hopes for retrieval of the crucial “black box” voice and flight data recorders.
“We found what has a high probability of being the tail of the plane,” Reuters quoted Yayan Sofyan, captain of the patrol vessel, as telling reporters.
The recorders are housed in the tail section of the Airbus, making retrieval of that part of the aircraft crucial.
The main focus of the search is about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Borneo island, where five large objects believed to be parts of the plane – the largest about 18 meters – have been located in shallow waters by ships using sonar.
Ships and aircraft scouring the northern Java Sea for debris and bodies from the Airbus A320-200 have widened their search to allow for currents eight days after Flight QZ8501 plunged into the water en route from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board.
Bad weather has been hampering the recovery efforts.
Thirty-seven bodies of the mostly Indonesian passengers and crew have been recovered so far. It is speculated that many more may be trapped in the body of the aircraft.
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