AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Flight data recorder in good condition, bound for Jakarta for analysis

Indonesian officers move the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of AirAsia flight QZ8501 into a suitable protective transportation case in Pangkalan Bun after it was retrieved from the Java Sea on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Indonesian officers move the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of AirAsia flight QZ8501 into a suitable protective transportation case in Pangkalan Bun after it was retrieved from the Java Sea on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Indonesian divers onboard the Indonesian navy vessel KRI Banda Aceh handle the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 after it was retrieved from the Java Sea on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Indonesian divers onboard the Indonesian navy vessel KRI Banda Aceh handle the FDR (Flight Data Recorder) of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 after it was retrieved from the Java Sea on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
The Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), General Moeldoko (2nd from right), poses for journalists behind the rocovered flight data recorder during a press conference at the Iskandar Military Airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indone
The Commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), General Moeldoko (2nd from right), poses for journalists behind the rocovered flight data recorder during a press conference at the Iskandar Military Airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Borneo, Indonesia, on Jan 12, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

PANGKALAN BUN - The flight data recorder of the sunken AirAsia Flight QZ8501 is found to be in good condition, Indonesian authorities said on Monday.

The black box will be sent to Jakarta on Monday for analysis.

“The flight data recorder has been recovered,” Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), told a press conference. He added that the black box was discovered under the wing of the ill-fated Airbus 320-200 that went down on Dec 28 in the Java Sea.

The other black box – the cockpit voice recorder – has also been located in the afternoon, but not retrieved yet, he noted.

"We have made a breakthrough, and the flight data recorder will be flown straightaway to Jakarta on an TNI (armed forces) plane," said National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) chief Tatang Kurniadi. The device will be transported and guarded by the TNI from the Halim airport to the KNKT office.

"According to our experience, this flight data recorder can be opened and it can be read in a good condition, but this is my experience. Let's see if (we can read it) today, or tonight or tomorrow," he added.

"To open it, takes only two to three days. But process of analysing it will take a longer time. We will also need input from Airbus."

Personnel from France, Singapore and others from countries linked to the search for the plane wreckage will be invited to witness the handover of the flight data recorder from the armed forces to KNKT's lab in Jakarta, said Mr Tatang.

Flight QZ8501 vanished from radar screens over the northern Java Sea on Dec 28, less than half-way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Forty-eight bodies have been retrieved from the Java Sea and searchers believe more will be found in the plane’s fuselage which has not been found yet.

The East Java Police Disaster Victim Identification team has identified two more bodies out of the 162 people who were on board the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 plane, on Monday. 

The two victims are Elisabeth Youvita, a 20-year-old female, and David Gunawan, a 37-year-old male. Both of them were from Surabaya.

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