Search crews looking for debris from the crashed AirAsia Bhd. jetliner were hindered by adverse weather as Indonesian authorities sent in divers to look for the plane’s black boxes.
Searchers recovered three more bodies, including a female flight attendant, from the wreckage site of Flight 8501, while 17 helicopters are readying to help with the recovery efforts, F.H. Bambang Sulistyo, head of the national search and rescue agency Basarnas, said today in Jakarta.
Sixty seven divers have been dispatched today to the wreckage site of the Airbus Group NV (AIR) A320 plane to search for fuselage and the black boxes that may answer what doomed the 162 people on the plane. The cockpit-voice and flight-data recorders are essential to piecing together what happened in the six minutes between the time the pilot asked the control tower for permission to deviate from the flight path and when the jet dropped off radar contact.
The aircraft went missing Dec. 28 en route to Singapore from the central Indonesian city of Surabaya. Search crews found objects including what appears to be an emergency door as well as submerged items resembling plane parts, Sulistyo said yesterday. Two female bodies and one male body were retrieved yesterday. No mention was made of survivors.
“It wasn’t a controlled ditching,” said Paul Hayes, safety director at London-based aviation consulting company Ascend Worldwide Ltd. “That’s clear from the finding of bodies that don’t have life jackets on.”
The crash site is in an area around Pangkalan Bun, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southeast of Singapore. Water in the area is shallow, at 25 meters to 30 meters deep.
The black boxes of the A320 aircraft, which are actually encased in bright orange to facilitate their retrieval, are waterproof, fortified and designed to emit an electronic signal underwater for 30 days to help searchers find them. No pings have been detected, Indonesia’s Air Force said yesterday.