Naval official: AirAsia tail section possibly found

PANGKALAN BUN/JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian naval patrol vessel has found what could be the tail of a crashed AirAsia passenger jet, the section where the crucial black box voice and flight data recorders are located, officials said on Monday.

News of the possible breakthrough came as the transport ministry in Jakarta said some officials on duty at the time of the accident will be moved to other roles. It also announced it was tightening rules on pre-flight procedures.

Ships and aircraft scouring the northern Java Sea for debris and bodies from the Airbus A320-200 have widened their search to allow for currents eight days after Flight QZ8501 plunged into the water en route from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people on board.

“We found what has a high probability of being the tail of the plane,” Yayan Sofyan‎, captain of the patrol vessel, told reporters.

He was speaking after his ship returned to the port in Surabaya on Monday, and it was not immediately clear if he was referring to one of the five large objects pinpointed by search vessels over the weekend.

Indonesia’s meteorological agency has said seasonal tropical storms probably contributed to the Dec. 28 crash and the weather has persistently hampered efforts to recover bodies and find the cockpit voice and flight data recorders that should explain why the plane crashed into the sea.

The recorders are housed in the tail section of the Airbus, making retrieval of that part of the aircraft crucial.

“I am not saying it’s the tail yet,” the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, told a news conference in Jakarta. “That is suspected. Now we are trying to confirm it.”

TRANSPORT MINISTRY CRACKDOWN

The transport ministry said some officials at the country’s airport operator and air traffic control agency who were involved with the AirAsia flight will be moved to other duties while the accident investigation is completed.

The ministry gave no reason.

It also said that, three days after the crash, it had issued a directive making it mandatory for pilots to be briefed in person by an airline official on weather conditions and other operational issues before every flight.

“A circular has been signed by the transport ministry on December 31, stating that pilots must have a face-to-face briefing with a flight operation officer so the briefing officer will know the pilot is in a healthy condition and so on,” said Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting director general of air transportation.

Aviation experts said this was a common practice in the industry, but it was not immediately clear if it has been normal procedure in Indonesia.

The main focus of the search is about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Borneo island, where five large objects believed to be parts of the plane – the largest about 18 meters (59 feet) long – have been located in shallow waters by ships using sonar.

While experts say the shallow sea should make the recovery fairly straightforward in good weather, strong winds and big waves have frustrated the multinational force of ships and divers that has converged at the site.

“The seas haven’t been very friendly, but the black boxes have a 30-day life and they will be able to find them,” said Peter Marosszeky, a senior aviation research fellow at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. “It’s the weather that is causing the delay.”

Thirty-seven bodies of the mostly Indonesian passengers and crew have been recovered, including some still strapped in their seats. Many more may be trapped in the body of the aircraft.

LICENSE CONFUSION

Indonesia AirAsia has come under pressure from authorities, who have suspended its Surabaya-Singapore license, saying the carrier only had permission to fly the route on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Flight QZ8501 took off on a Sunday.

It was not immediately clear what difference, if any, the day of the week had on the Dec. 28 flight, and Murjatmodjo made clear that the investigations of the route and the crash were separate.

“Please differentiate between the probe into flight licenses and the air crash investigation,” he said.

Singapore’s civil aviation authority and its Changi Airport Group said AirAsia had the necessary approvals to operate a daily flight between Surabaya and Singapore.

Indonesia AirAsia is 49 percent owned by Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia, whose shares fell nearly 5 percent on Monday.

While the license investigation could have serious consequences for the airline’s operations, insurance industry experts said insurers were expected to pay claims whether or not the airline was properly licensed to fly on the day.

The crash was the first fatal accident suffered by the AirAsia budget group, whose Indonesian affiliate flies from at least 15 destinations across the archipelago.

Additional reporting by Cindy Silviana, Eveline Danubrata and Charlotte Greenfield in Jakarta, Fransiska Nangoy in Surabaya and Jane Wardell in Sydney.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Navigating the new I-515 southbound to 215 Beltway ramp configuration
After opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, the new Interstate 515 southbound to the 215 Beltway westbound freeway ramp configuration caused confusion amongst motorist. Here’s how to navigate the new ramp. (Mick Akers/ Las Vegas Review-Journal).
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like