Indonesian navy divers retrieved one of the two black boxes Monday from an Indonesia AirAsia airliner that crashed into the sea two weeks ago, killing all 162 people on board, a government official said.
Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.
“At 7:11, we succeeded in lifting the part of the black box known as the flight data recorder,” Reuters quoted Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, as saying a news conference.
The second black box, with the cockpit voice recorder, has been located, based on pings from its emergency transmitter, but not yet retrieved, Madjono Siswosuwarno, the main investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee, told Reuters.
Officials hope the black boxes, found near the wrecked wing of the plane, will reveal the cause of the crash.
The recorders are expected to be taken to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis. It could take up to a month to get a complete reading of the data.
Over the weekend, three vessels detected “pings” that were believed to be from the black boxes’ emergency locator transmitter. But strong winds, powerful currents and high waves hampered search efforts.
Indonesian navy divers took advantage of calmer weather in the Java Sea Monday to retrieve the flight recorder and search for the fuselage of the Airbus A320-200.
Forty-eight bodies have been retrieved from the Java Sea. Searchers believe more will be found in the plane’s fuselage.
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