Sun | Dec 4, 2016

AirAsia black boxes still missing

Published:Sunday | January 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

PANGKALAN BUN (AP):

A tail section from the AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea late last month, killing all 162 people on board, became the first major wreckage lifted off the ocean floor yesterday, but the all-important black boxes were not found inside.

The red metal chunk, with 'AirAsia' clearly visible across it, was surfaced using inflatable balloons.

"The cockpit voice and flight data recorders, located in the plane's rear, must have detached when the Airbus A320 plummeted into the waters December 28, 2014," said Indonesian military commander General Moeldoko. Their recovery is essential to finding out why Flight 8501 crashed.

However, Moeldoko, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said pings believed to be coming from the black boxes were detected yesterday. Their beacons emit signals for about 30 days until the batteries die, meaning divers have about two weeks left to find them.