AirAsia Black Box Recovered
Divers working to free 2nd recorder from wreckage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2015 10:01 PM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2015 4:08 AM CST
Search-and-rescue personnel carry the seats of AirAsia Flight 8501 after being airlifted by a US Navy helicopter at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia, today.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
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(Newser) – Divers retrieved one black box today and located the other from the AirAsia plane that crashed more than two weeks ago, a key development that should help investigators unravel what caused the aircraft to plummet into the Java Sea. The cockpit voice recorder was found hours after officials announced that the flight data recorder had been pulled from beneath a piece of the aircraft's wing and brought to the sea's surface, says a spokesman for Indonesia's national search-and-rescue agency. He says the voice recorder is about 66 feet away from the data recorder, but it's still lodged beneath heavy wreckage, and divers are struggling to free it at a depth of 105 feet.

The two instruments, which emit signals from their beacons, are vital to understanding what brought Flight 8501 down on Dec. 28, killing all 162 people on board. They should provide essential information about the plane and all of the conversations between the captain and co-pilot for the duration of the flight, although it could take up to two weeks to download and analyze their information. "There's like 200-plus parameters they record," an aviation safety expert says. "It's going to provide us an ocean of material." Divers raised the plane's tail section on Saturday, but the main fuselage has yet to be recovered.