THE key to why AirAsia flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea has been found.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency has said that the tail section of the airliner – where the black box flight recorders are kept – has been located.
An unmanned submarine and teams of divers spotted the wreckage, which a fleet of ships and aircraft had been seeking for 11 days.
On his Twitter account the budget airline’s chief executive Tony Fernandes confirmed that he had been led to believe the tail section had been found.
He added: “We need to find all parts soon so we can find all our guests to ease the pain of our families. That still is our priority.”
So far the bodies of 39 of the 162 people aboard the flight have been recovered. The airliner crashed on December 28 en route to Singapore from Surabaya (Indonesia’s second city) 40 minutes after take-off.
The cause of the crash remains unknown, although there are suspicions it may have been due to extreme weather conditions. Shortly before it disappeared from radar screens, the pilot had requested permission to change course to avoid a storm. The plane went down without a mayday signal being given.
Now a team of 95 divers is due to inspect the tail wreckage in an effort to retrieve the black boxes and hopefully find the reason for the tragedy.