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Search and Rescue for QZ8501 Passenger Remains, Black Box Hampered by Rough Seas

By Juliet Van Wagenen | January 6, 2015



MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter onducting helicopter search and recovery operations as part of the Indonesian-led efforts to locate missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501
MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter onducting helicopter search and recovery operations as part of the Indonesian-led efforts to locate missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos/Released)

[Avionics Today 01-06-2014] The 10th day of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation following the disappearance of AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 is still hampered with stormy weather and rough seas as the Republic of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) leads the search at the accident site of the lost plane. To date, AirAsia reports that BASARNAS has recovered the remains of 39 passengers, of which 16 have been identified.



The SAR operations continued around the focused area where the aircraft is most likely located. More than 40 vessels and 20 helicopters were deployed and focused to find the exact location of the plane’s wreckage as well as the Flight Data Recorder (FDR). The weather was cloudy with light rain and waves, however, AirAsia reported that the underwater current was still strong and the visibility was still limited for the sea divers to identify more findings from under the sea.

The AirAsia flight lost contact with Jakarta Air Traffic Control (ATC) on the morning of Dec. 28 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, prompting an extensive SAR mission that located debris from the plane in the Java Sea on Dec. 30. A multi-nation, widespread effort to recover the aircraft and the remains of those on board is currently in progress.

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