The black box on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has been found, according to officials. There is also hope that the cockpit voice recorder has also been found. This is the second part of the black box. However, divers are still trying to reach the device.
The black box will hopefully tell family members of the passengers and officials just what happened on the flight in the moments before it disappeared from radar. The flight suffered in bad weather on December 28, and vanished just moments after communication. There were 162 people on board, including children and an infant.
So far, dozens of bodies have been recovered from the Java Sea. Officials believe that most of the victims are within the fuselage, which is still to be located. The AirAsia flight was crossing the Java Sea on its way to Singapore three days after Christmas, and is now expected to be deep on the sea bed.
The black box records a lot of information, which will help the officials determine the events leading up to the disappearance. It records the engine’s condition, altitude the plane was flying at, and the actions of the pilots. This will offer a total forensic timeline of the events, which helps to understand why the crash happened.
Before the AirAsia black box was found, the officials could only go off the last communication with air traffic control. Two hours into the flight from Indonesia, the pilot asked to deviate from the initial planned route to avoid bad weather. Shortly after that, another request came through asking to increase altitude from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet.
Another AirAsia flight was flying around the same area at 38,000 feet at the time, so air traffic control had to consider all options. It took a few minutes to confirm that Qz8501 could increase its altitude to 34,000 feet instead. Between the communication, the flight dropped off the radar and air traffic control had no idea whether the pilot received the confirmation or not.
Indonesia will handle the analysis of all data collected from the black box and voice recorder, once gained. However, international teams will likely be involved. Teams from Indonesia are well-equipped to analyze all the data. This is due to so many air disasters in the last decade. A preliminary report should be available over the next month, and next year should see a more detailed report shared.
Many worried that the AirAsia disappearance was just like the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines disappearance at the start of 2014. That flight was never found, and officials still have no idea what happened to it. Family members worry that they will never find out what has happened to their loved ones. At least with the most recent unfortunate events, family members are able to get some closure.
It has taken longer than expected to get the black box. Transmissions from the box helped officials locate it, but the weather was too bad for divers to search for it. The tail end of the plane was raised, but the black box was in there. Divers found the black box of the AirAsia flight on Monday once the weather had cleared.
By Alexandria Ingham