Three weeks after the AirAsia Airbus A320 crashed into the Java Sea claiming the lives of the 162 people on board, the inquest advances. Thanks to the ongoing analysis of the two black boxes which were recovered with difficulty due to bad weather, the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee investigators (NTSC) have excluded any possibility of a terrorist attack.
The recording of conversations in the cockpit minutes before the disappearance of the aircraft from radar screens seems to attest :
The NTSC said : "We have heard no other voices than those of the pilots. We have heard no sound of gunfire or explosions. (...) At the critical moment, the recording indicates that the pilot was too busy handling the aircraft."
A situation that could explain why the pilots did not send a distress signal. If the terrorist theory seems to have been excluded, for the time being, the cause of the crash remains unknown. Of course the bad weather at the time of the crash is still in the minds of the investigators, but, according to AFP, the French News Agency, the possibility of human error or damage to the aircraft is also being studied closely. According to the Indonesian Minister of Transport, in the final minutes before falling out of the sky, the speed of the plane increased by an incredible 2,000 metres/minute (over 6,500 ft./minute).
To establish the precise scenario of the AirAsia flight QZ8501 on 28th December, the investigators will have to analyze some 1,200 flight parameters of the Flight Data Recorder, and re-transcribe all the conversations in the cockpit. A recording polluted by "sounds of machines and alarms" in the final minutes, according to the investigators, and which will take some time.
A preliminary report on the crash, should nevertheless, be published on 28th January.