One of Brian’s Favorite Quotes
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
— Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965)
Hansard, November 11, 1947
Rough conditions expected to hamper AirAsia recovery efforts for days
Recovery teams endured another frustrating day on the Java Sea on Thursday as bad weather and murky waters late into the night continued to prevent divers from reaching Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, believed to be submerged 150 feet below the surface.With inclement conditions expected to continue at least until Sunday, officials said it could be several more days before recovery crews get to the wreckage of the Airbus A320-200 and attempt to locate the “black box” flight recorders that investigators say will help explain what caused the plane to crash Dec. 28 during a thunderstorm.
AsiaBad weather stalls AirAsia wreckage search; 7 bodies recoveredSee all relatedOfficials said that churning waves and noise levels below the water’s surface were making it harder for teams conducting an acoustic search to isolate pings from the recorders.“In deep water black boxes are easier to detect, but in shallow water the noise level is higher,” said Toos Sanitioso, an investigator from Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee. “It will take some time to find them.”The head of Indonesia’s National Transport Safety Committee, Tatang Kurniadi, said teams were “racing against time” because the black boxes emit signals only for 30 days, after which it becomes more difficult to locate them.!– Indonesia plane crash Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images An Indonesian navy helicopter carrying two bodies from AirAsia Flight 8501 recovered from the Java Sea prepares to land at Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan on Jan. 1. An Indonesian navy helicopter carrying two bodies from AirAsia Flight 8501 recovered from the Java Sea prepares to land at Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan on Jan. 1. (Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images) –Crews were expected to step up efforts Friday to pinpoint the fuselage. A San Diego-based U.S. Navy destroyer, the Sampson, was approaching the search area, and along with Indonesian and Singaporean ships would begin conducting undersea search operations overnight, officials said.More than two full days since debris was discovered south of Borneo island, some luggage, part of the aircraft’s emergency stairs, a metal tank and stray chunks of fuselage were among the few items that teams had pulled from the water despite a massive search operation involving six nations.“Today the weather was unfriendly,” search chief Bambang Soelistyo told a news conference, adding that waves were between 10 and 13 feet.
Amid signs that debris had scattered upon impact with the Java Sea, officials widened the search area to nearly 18,000 square miles, double the area of a day earlier.Nineteen ships from the United States, Indonesia and Singapore were involved in the search, along with four helicopters and five fixed-wing planes, officials said.Search officials have not ruled out survivors, but after more than four days at sea, the mostly Indonesian passengers and crew were all presumed dead.An Indonesian C-130 cargo plane brought four bodies retrieved from the water since Tuesday to the Indonesian city of Surabaya, the origin point of the Singapore-bound flight, where families have gathered to identify relatives.A post-mortem examination identified one of the victims as passenger Hayati Lutfia Hamid, officials said. Her family collected her remains at a hospital in Surabaya.“We extend our profound condolences to the family and friends of late Hayati Luthfi Hamid,” Indonesia AirAsia CEO Sunu Widyatmoko said in a statement. “AirAsia will support everything that the family may need during these difficult times.”Indonesian media have identified two of the other victims as Khairunnisa Haidar, 22, a flight attendant who was found in her uniform, and Kevin Alexander Soetjipto, a university student whose wallet was found on his body, according to Indonesian media reports.Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, posted a Twitter statement confirming that Soetjipto was a student there, adding that he would have turned 21 Thursday.“On this day that would have been Kevin’s 21st birthday, we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the university said.Fernandes wrote that reports of a crew member being identified were “heartbreaking” and “soul-destroying.”Special correspondent Pathoni reported from Jakarata and staff writer Bengali from Mumbai, India. Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times UPDATES8:50 a.m.: This story has been updated with additional details.6:50 a.m.: This story has been updated with details from an evening news conference by search officials.12:05 a.m., Jan. 1: This story has been updated with information regarding dive teams being prevented from locating the fuselage, four bodies brought to Surabaya and reaction to identification of bodies.This story was original published at 8:50 p.m., Dec. 31.