It is true that 30 bodies have been recovered out of the 162 passengers that lost their lives in the unfortunate Indonesian AirAsia jet that crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday, but bad weather has made it impossible for rescue operations to locate the plane’s intelligence box – and until this black box is found, analysts can never know what caused the Airbus A320 to crash down.
Rescue operations have deployed ships and aircrafts to scour about 1,575 square nautical miles of the northern Java Sea, but heavy seas and strong winds have hindered divers from searching for the plane’s fuselage, where according to Indonesian’s head of search and rescue agency, Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, “Waves were between 3 and 4 metres today, making it difficult to load bodies onto ships and between ships,” but he promised that “Tonight we are sending tug boats which should make the (body) transfers easier.” Two of the 30 retrieved bodies had been found still strapped to their plane seats.
To underscore the impracticability of searching through the strong winds and contrary seas, sophisticated underwater acoustic detection devices and other towed sonar equipment brought by France’s BEA accident investigation agency could not be used because of high waves on Friday. The French BEA attends upon all Airbus plane crashes, but their hydrophones were rendered redundant because of the inclement weather.
However, the United States, Singapore, and Indonesia have deployed their naval vessels with inbuilt anti-submarine capabilities to sonar-sweep the sea floor. It is believed that if the batteries of the black boxes are still functional – they can remain working for 30 days – and their locator beacons are still working, then finding the boxes should only be a matter of time.
“I‘m arriving in Surabaya to take Nisa home to Palembang,“ tweeted AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes who promised to accompany the body of one of the victims home for burial. “I cannot describe how I feel. There are no words.”
The ill-fated flight crashed on Sunday after 40 minutes of taking off from Surabaya in Indonesia on a two-hour flight to Singapore. Aboard the plane 155 Indonesians, three South Koreans, and one person each from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain, but the co-pilot was French.