RI resumes search for AirAsia crash victims

Rescuers on Sunday resumed their search for 86 victims still missing from the AirAsia plane that crashed on Dec. 28, 2014, with 162 people on board, an official said.

National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) chief Bambang Soelistyo said last week search and rescue teams were being given two days’ break after weeks searching in inhospitable conditions.

Sixty-eight divers from Basarnas as well as others from companies and clubs would focus on scouring the fuselage of flight QZ8501 and the seabed for remaining bodies, he said.

  • inhospitable – tdak ramah
  • fuselage – badan pesawat terbang
  • seabad – dasar laut

So far, 76 bodies have been recovered after the plane went down in the Java Sea in stormy weather during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

“Search operations have resumed. Our focus today is to find bodies that could be trapped in the fuselage, or buried in mud,” S.B. Supriyadi, a Basarnas official who has been coordinating the hunt, told AFP.

“The weather is good, and the waves were only a meter high,” he said, adding that six boats were in the search area.

The search mission has been expanded to the island of Sulawesi after fishermen found bodies with identity documents matching the passengers on the ill-fated flight.

The Indonesian military, which has provided the bulk of personnel and equipment for the operation, withdrew from the search Tuesday.

But Supriyadi said the current group also comprised competent divers.

“Skills-wise, they are as good as those from the military as they have experience helping to recover sunken boats before,” he added.

“We hope we can still find the remaining bodies,” he said.

Two people familiar with the investigation earlier said that captain Iriyanto of the AirAsia jet was out of his seat conducting an unusual procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane, two people familiar with the investigation said.

Details emerging of the final moments of flight QZ8501 are likely to focus attention partly on maintenance, procedures and training, though officials have not ruled out any cause and stress it is too early to draw firm conclusions.

Investigators were examining maintenance records of one of the automated systems, the Flight Augmentation Computer (FAC), and the way the pilots reacted to any outage.

One person familiar with the matter said the captain had flown on the same plane with the intermittently faulty device days earlier. There was no independent confirmation of this.

  • outage – kekurangan
  • intermitently – dengan sebentar-sebentar

After trying to reset this device, pilots pulled a circuit-breaker to cut its power, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

People familiar with the matter said it was the Indonesian captain who took this step, rather than his less experienced French co-pilot Remy Plesel, who was flying the plane.

Meanwhile, a month after the crash, AirAsia Bhd resumed its online promotions and advertising this week. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes had imposed a moratorium on advertising after the crash of the Indonesia AirAsia plane.

  • moratorium – penundaan, penangguhan

Fernandes recently told Reuters Television the airline’s sales in Indonesia were slowly recovering after the crash, which was the first involving an AirAsia plane and which cast a spotlight on the patchy safety record of Indonesian airlines.

  • patchy – setengah-setangah, tidak selesai

“We were 50 percent behind where we were after the incident,” Fernandes said from Davos. “We are now about 12 percent behind and it’s fast recovering.”

Indonesia AirAsia, in which AirAsia has a 49 percent stake, declined to give details about passenger numbers for January or December.

  • stake – a share in something, esp. a financial share in a business, or an emotional investment in something

One of its competitors, national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, said it had seen an increase in passenger numbers

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/02/ri-resumes-search-airasia-crash-victims.html#sthash.mfqedfNm.dpuf



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