Missing Plane Found? AirAsia Flight 8501 Tail Found, Black Box Recorders May Be In Reach

Indonesian officials have high hopes of finding AirAsia Flight 8501 after the tail of the missing plane was sighted in the Java Sea. Searchers also reported the discovery of possible chunks of fuselage in the ocean. Unfortunately, the all-important black box data recorders are still out of reach, and the search efforts have been expanded.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, it’s theorized that AirAsia Flight QZ8501 may have landed on the sea, only to be sunk by huge waves. Earlier last week, the search efforts for AirAsia Flight 8501 found two other pieces of the aircraft.

The Airbus A320 lost contact with air traffic controllers while en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore at 7:24 a.m. local time (11:24 p.m. GMT) on December 28. Although the missing plane was following the submitted flight plan, the pilots had requested permission to change the plane’s route due to weather conditions. Communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control.

The missing plane was at the regular cruising altitude when the signal was lost. Despite the loss of contact, no distress reports were received from the plane. It’s reported that the route deviation was not authorized before the plane crash occurred, but officials believe bad weather is to blame, not air traffic control’s refusal the change the flight plan or terrorism. Since the search for the missing plane began, 37 bodies have been recovered out of 162 people on board.

Unfortunately, the parts of the missing plane found in the Java Sea have been difficult to retrieve due to poor weather.

“Time is of the essence,” said the National Search and Rescue Agency’s director of operations, Suryadi B. Supriyadi, according to Fox News. “But it seems like it is hard to beat the weather.”

According to BBC, the tail section of AirAsia Flight 8501 holds the black box recorders, which include the cockpit voice and flight data recorders. This discovery would assist the investigators in determining what caused the plane crash. The goal is to try and retrieve the tail and bring it back to land.

“We are confident that rescuers would be able to locate them in time,” said Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator for Indonesia’s National Committee on Transportation Safety.

In addition, the USS Fort Worth has detected large objects on the seabed at a depth of 92 feet. Searchers are still trying to identify them, but it’s possible they could declare the missing plane officially found soon. Unfortunately, it’s also possible that strong currents have scattered pieces of AirAsia Flight 8501 across a wide area of the Java Sea.