AirAsia QZ8501: Plane tail lifted from seabed

  • 10 January 2015
  • From the section Asia
Media captionAlice Budisatrijo reports: ''There were hopes the crucial black boxes were in this wreckage"

The Indonesian navy has retrieved from the seabed the tail of the AirAsia plane that crashed two weeks ago.

Divers used an inflatable device to pull the tail to the sea's surface.

They are also searching for the plane's "black box" flight recorders, which officials believe have been separated from the tail section.

QZ8501 disappeared from radar in bad weather on 28 December with 162 people on board. It was flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore.

Forty-eight bodies have been retrieved so far. Search teams believe most of the remains may still be inside the fuselage of the plane, which has yet to be found.

On Friday, pings were detected in the Java Sea near where the tail was found. Officials said they could have come from the plane's "black box" flight recorders.

Crucial clues

The rear part of the Airbus A320-200 was spotted on Wednesday by an unmanned underwater vehicle at a depth of about 30m (100ft).

Media captionBBC News takes a look at where the black box might be located and how it could be retrieved

It was upside down and partially buried about 30km (20 miles) from the point of last contact with the plane, off the coast of Borneo, authorities said.

Search teams have been pulling bodies and wreckage from the sea but progress has been slow due to high waves and stormy weather.

The cause of the crash is unknown but the plane had encountered bad weather and asked for a flight path change before communication was lost.

The "black box" flight data recorders are usually housed inside the rear part of the plane.

They are designed to survive a crash and being submerged in water, and contain underwater locator beacons which emit the so-called "pings" for at least 30 days.

Finding them has been one of the top priorities for search teams as they provide crucial clues from the last moments of the flight before it came down.