01/13/2015, 00.00
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AirAsia QZ850: second part of the black box recovered, wreck located

by Mathias Hariyadi
The divers have also found the section that logs communications in the cockpit. The teams have located the main section of the crashed aircraft; at least 60 dead bodies still trapped inside. Catholic aviation officer: "moral duty" to return the bodies to the families.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The divers engaged in searching for the AirAsia QZ8501 aircraft, which crashed into the Java sea December 28 last, have found the second part of the "black box", which records the communications within the cockpit. Yesterday the search teams had already identified and recovered the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), the section that keeps track of the flight parameters for the last 25 hours of the flight. The two instruments will allow investigators to shed light on the causes that led to the tragedy, in which 162 people were killed. Only 48 bodies have been recovered so far.

Official sources also report that the main wreckage of the plane has been located; the teams are focusing their search in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo province. The wreckage, inside which there are still dozens of bodies, is located about 1.7 nautical miles from the place where the tail of the aircraft was recovered.

In the coming hours a team of experts will recover the main part of the aircraft and proceed with the extraction of the more than 60 bodies still trapped inside. Official sources confirm that recovering the bodies of all the victims is a "moral obligation" towards the families to allow for a proper burial for the victims. ""If God gives the opportunity, then why should we not continue our duties?," said the chief of Aviation Bambang Soelistyo, a Catholic.

The AirAsia plane, an Airbus 320-200, took off  the morning of December 28 from Surabaya bound for Singapore. At a certain point, the pilot sent a radio message, asking to climb to 11 thousand meters to avoid thick cumulus clouds. Immediately after the plane disappeared from radar and crashing into the seabed.

The vanished airplane carried 155 passengers: 137 adults, 17 children and a baby. Most of them are from Indonesia, but there is also a Briton, a Malaysian, a Singaporean and three South Koreans. The crew consisted of two pilots and five crew members, all Indonesians except for the French co-pilot.

AirAsia is a low-cost airline based in Malaysia. QZ8501 had been flying for only six years completing 26 thousand hours. It underwent a technical maintenance inspection on December 16.


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