12:57 am - Friday November 27, 2015

Discovery of AirAsia Flight QZ8501’s tail could lead to black boxes

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Searchers have found the tail section of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in the murky depths of the Java Sea, raising hopes that the plane’s black boxes and the precious information they hold might soon be recovered.

The tail section, marked with part of the airline’s logo, was detected by sonar early Wednesday, said Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.

Divers were sent to the location and plunged into the waves. Down on the sea floor, they were able to take pictures of the wreckage.Finding the tail section is a potentially vital step in the investigation because that is where the flight data and voice recorders — the so-called black boxes — are located in the Airbus A320-200, the aircraft model of Flight QZ8501.

“The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder are absolutely crucial to gaining an understanding of what happened to this aircraft,” said Greg Waldron, the managing editor of Flightglobal, an aviation industry website.But it’s still uncertain if the black boxes are in the piece of wreckage the searchers discovered.

“I am led to believe the tail section has been found,” tweeted AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes. “If right part of tail section then the black box should be there.”

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