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Search and Rescue Turns Up QZ8501 Tail Piece

By Juliet Van Wagenen | January 8, 2015
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An AirAsia flight. Photo: WikiCommons
An AirAsia flight. Photo: Wikicommons

[Avionics Today 01-08-2014] The Search and Rescue (SAR) team currently searching for debris from AirAsia flight QZ 8501 has managed to locate the tail of the aircraft on the floor of the Java Sea. The visual confirmation was made following underwater documentation of the aircraft’s tail and small wreckage, which showed the plane’s registration number (PK-AXC), captured by the SAR team’s sea divers.

The discovery comes after several days of foul weather and rough seas made the search for the ill-fated aircraft difficult. Now, however, the weather is reported to be clear with the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia noting good underwater visibility for the divers, according to AirAsia.

The tail part was found in the additional focus search area, which is approximately 30 kms from the primary focus area off the coast of Borneo, Indonesia. Following the latest finding, BASARNAS confirmed that the later SAR operation will be focused in this area to see if there are any trapped remains that must be recovered as well as the continued search for the black box. To date, BASARNAS confirmed the recovery of a total of 40 remains from the accident site.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to all authorities and personnel that has been involved in the SAR operation,” said Sunu Widyatmoko, CEO of AirAsia Indonesia. “Today is the eleventh day and the latest finding is indeed a breakthrough for all of us who have been anxiously waiting for further development on the SAR operation.”
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, multi-nation search and rescue mission currently underway.

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