Indonesian Navy personnel look at a map of the crash site, in Surabaya on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Suryanto)

Indonesia Steps Up Search for AirAsia Plane's Black Boxes

JANUARY 05, 2015

Jakarta. The search for AirAsia flight QZ8501's black boxes has been intensified nine days after the plane carrying 162 passengers and crew crashed in waters off Kalimantan, an official said.

Indonesia's National Committee on Transportation Safety (KNKT), said on Monday that it sent two teams to Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan to search for the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

"At the moment we have two teams on the Andromeda and the Jadayat, ready for the search," KNKT investigator Nurcahyo Utomo said on Monday, referring to two Transportation Ministry ships currently in the area.

Nurcahyo said the "pinger" on the flight data recorder was still active, but the search teams so far haven't been able to determine its exact location.

Several countries, including France, Singapore, Russia and South Korea are helping Indonesia to find the recorders of the Airbus A320, but bad weather in the crash area continues to hamper the search effort.

Nurcahyo said the KNKT search teams hadn't been able to reach the crash site because of huge waves.

"But the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency [BMKG]'s forecast said the waves will be less high tomorrow so we will return," he said.

The investigator added that the pinger would remain active for up to 30 days and that he was confident the KNKT would be able to locate the black boxes in time.

Dozens of bodies have already been found and several parts of the plane have also been salvaged.