Finding the bodies of the passengers of flight QZ8501 is now the priority of the search teams. The ‘two black boxes’ (the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder) have been retrieved from the ocean already. The ships of the teams are now being used to find the corpses. Meanwhile, the data obtained from the black box will be processed in laboratory.
After the two components making up the black boxes of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 were found, the search teams began focusing solely on finding the dead bodies. Previously, the flight data recorder together with the cockpit voice recorder were spotted by the divers only a short time span away. The tail had been found last week, and from then on, it was relatively easy to search for the ‘two black boxes’. Now, the ships that had been delegated for the search programs are being dedicated to looking for the fuselage which is the main body of the plane, believed to contain most of the corpses.
The tail of the plane being airlifted
More than 100 dead bodies not found
Around 40 corpses have been found during the searches of the Java Sea. Some debris and belongings of the passengers were also found. However, most of the dead people onboard have remained missing: more than 100 of them are still in the water, most probably near the fuselage. The latter is expected to be lying northeast from the region of the sea where the tail was found. Nothing is confirmed yet though.
Debris & luggage found previously
Of the 162 people onboard, only 48 bodies have been lifted from the sea so far, with many of them still attached to their seats by the belts.
The plane broke apart
The way the plane debris have been scattered suggests that the plane broke apart when it landed into the ocean, and not when it was still in the sky. The locations of the different chunks of the airplane indicate that it only broke into segments when it crashed into the water – “exploding on impact”.
However, other experts have affirmed that it is still too early to draw such conclusions and that the term “exploding on impact” might be an overstatement.
Processing information obtained so far
The flight data recorder is currently in a lab in Jakarta where analysis will be done. To start off, the data has to be downloaded, a process expected to take around an hour. An overview of the information will give a broad idea of the chain of events leading up to the crash. However, the detailed interpretation of the data will take much more time though.
The procedures will be time-consuming because of the hundreds of parameters and even more data points to analyse.
It will only be months later that the final report will be made available.