The chief of Indonesia’s National Search & Rescue Agency (Basarnas), FHB Soelistyo, confirmed on Wednesday that the main body of the aircraft had been located, and images from the seabed showed the fuselage with part of AirAsia’s slogan ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’.
“The fuselage with a wing still attached was found today,” Indonesia’s Antara news agency quoted Soelistyo as saying in Jakarta.
“The fuselage was found some 3,000 meters away from where the tail was recovered and 800 metres from where the flight data recorder was found,” he added.
This week has seen several major breakthroughs in the QZ8501 recovery effort. First the tailfin of the Airbus A320 was lifted from the water, and then the aircraft’s black boxes – the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder – were recovered. Both have now been sent to Jakarta for analysis.
As of Thursday 15 January, 50 bodies had been recovered, 38 of which have been identified. But Basarnas believes that many more remain trapped inside the fuselage.