PANGKALAN BUN (Reuters) – Indonesian search teams loaded lifting balloons on to helicopters on Friday ahead of an operation to raise the tail section of an AirAsia jet off the sea bed, raising hopes the black boxes can be found to reveal the cause of the disaster.
Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501 vanished from radar screens on Dec 28 less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.
There were no survivors among the 162 people on board. The Airbus A320-200 carries the black box cockpit voice and flight data recorders near the tail section. Officials have warned, however, that they could have become separated from the tail.
The tail was found on Wednesday, upturned on the sea bed about 30km from the plane’s last known location at a depth of around 30 metres.
“For today’s operations, we will use helicopters to carry the balloons that will assist in lifting the tail,” Lt Col Penerbang Jhonson Hendrico Simatupang told Reuters.