Tamil Diplomat

Data Recorder From AirAsia Flight Successfully Downloaded

Air-crash investigators said they successfully downloaded data from the flight data recorder of AirAsia Flight 8501 on Tuesday, paving the way to begin data analysis of what led to the Dec. 28 crash.

“The flight data recorder has been downloaded, and all the data are now safe,” Santoso Sayogo, an air-crash expert with Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said in an interview.

Investigators would begin reading the data Wednesday morning, a process that could take several days or more, he said.

Investigators begin by looking at about 30 indicators—among hundreds—showing such measurements as speed, altitude and engine temperature in the plane’s final moments.

Flight 8501, an Airbus A320, crashed in the Java Sea on Dec. 28 with 162 people on board. Searchers have so far recovered 48 bodies, most found floating in the sea off the southwest coast of Borneo.

Investigators received the plane’s second black box—the cockpit voice recorder—Tuesday night in Jakarta after it was retrieved from about 30 meters of water that morning not far from where the flight data recorder was found a day earlier.

The cockpit voice recorder, which captures the pilots’ conversation, cabin announcements and other sounds, appears “more or less in good condition,” Mr. Sayogo said.

The download of the flight data recorder and the delivery of the cockpit voice recorder come 16 days after Flight 8501 disappeared from radar midway in its flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

“Thanks to everyone,” lab investigators said in a text message forwarded by the agency’s chief, Tatang Kurniadi.