Although nothing can bring back those who lost their lives, the missing fuselage for missing Air Asia flight 8501 was been located by search crews and hopefully will provide families with some degree of closure.
In a statement, F.H. Bambang Soelistyo, chief of the National Search and Rescue Agency, confirmed that the fuselage of Air Asia QZ8501 has been found and recovered. A naval ship from Singapore recovered the fuselage at 3:05 pm, with one wing still attached.
The fuselage was located about 9,482 feet from where the tail had been recovered and roughly 2,624 feet from where crews finally located the Flight Data Recorder (FDR). The finding and recovery of the massive fuselage was also confirmed by the Basarnas chief.
Until today, the only major part of Air Asia’s wreckage that had been found was the tail section, which was located on the seventh day of search operations. Then on the sixteenth day, the FDR was recovered in the Karimata Strait waters by a joint team, as well as the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), which was found by divers some 65 feet away.
After finding the FDR, and CVR, both were taken for further investigation by the National Committee of Transportation Safety in Jakarta. As far as continued searches, the Basarnas, along with joint teams expect that major operations will come to a halt soon. However, there will still be efforts to locate the remains of missing passengers daily.
Air Asia Flight 8501 was flying from Indonesia to Singapore on December 28, carrying 162 passengers and crewmembers. While over the Java Sea, the pilot had requested permission to increase altitude due to poor weather conditions but was denied. Shortly after, the Air Asia flight disappeared from radar with no further communications.
Now with a major portion of the plane located and recovered, officials will have the opportunity to conduct a detailed investigation to determine if bad weather was in fact the cause of the fatal crash or if perhaps there was another reason.