AirAsia QZ8501 Black Boxes Found

Investigators take big step toward solving the cause behind the crash.

Flight Recorder NTSB

Flight Recorder NTSB

The cockpit flight recorder of AirAsia Flight QZ8501,
similar to this, has been found.

The massive search in the Java Sea for AirAsia flight QZ8501 has at last borne fruit that takes the investigation a large step closer to solving the questions behind the crash of the Airbus A320-200 on December 28.

The cockpit voice recorder, which contains the last two hours of conversation between the pilot and copilot, and the flight data recorders, also referred to as the black boxes (although they are bright orange), have both been found in the waters off Indonesia. While it may take investigators a long time to analyze the data, it is possible that clues within the recorders will lead to an explanation of why the airplane crashed without any distress calls from the pilots.

The flight data recorder was located yesterday and the cockpit voice recorder was later found in the same general vicinity, according to a Reuters report. A total of 48 bodies and the tail section of the airplane have also been recovered; however, the fuselage still remains missing and more than 100 victims are still unaccounted for. "Even if both [black boxes] are found, it doesn't mean that our operation is over," Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters in Jakarta. "Our main task is to find the victims."

The search effort had been hampered by stormy weather that created waves and strong currents in the Java Sea. The wild ocean water dispersed the parts of the airplane and churned the shallow sea with mud and debris. This week brought calmer weather, making the search efforts more productive.

While several news reports have indicated that the fuselage has possibly been found, no official reports or images exist to support that as of yet.

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