No sign of terrorism in crash

Indonesian investigators said yesterday they had found no evidence so far that terrorism played a part in the crash of an AirAsia passenger jet last month that killed all 162 people on board.

Andreas Hananto said his team of 10 investigators at the National Transportation Safety Committee had found no threats in the cockpit voice recordings to indicate foul play during AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

The Airbus A320-200 vanished from radar screens on December 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.

There were no survivors. When asked if there was any evidence from the recording that terrorism was involved, Hananto said: “No. If terrorism was involved, there would have been a threat of some kind.

“In that critical situation, the recording indicates that the pilot was busy with the handling of the plane.”

Investigators said they had listened to the whole of the recording but transcribed only about half.

“We didn’t hear any voice of other persons other than the pilots,” another investigator, Nurcahyo Utomo, said.

“We did not hear any sounds of gunfire or explosions. For the time being, based on that, we can eliminate the possibility of terrorism.”
Utomo said investigators could hear almost everything on the recording contained in one of the flight’s two black boxes.

The other is the flight data recorder, and both have been recovered from the wreckage at the bottom of the Java Sea.

He declined to give details about what was said during the doomed flight’s final moments, citing Indonesian law. Authorities have said bad weather was likely to have played a part in the disaster.

According to Hananto, evidence also showed that an explosion was unlikely before the plane crashed.

The flight’s final minutes were full of “sounds of machines and sounds of warnings” that had to be filtered out to get a complete transcript of what was said in the cockpit.

The team, which is working with French, Singaporean and Chinese air safety investigators, hoped to finish transcribing the recording this week, Hananto said.

– The Telegraph

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