Indonesian navy divers prepare operations to lift the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 in Java sea, Indonesia Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
Indonesian navy divers prepare operations to lift the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 in Java sea, Indonesia Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
Indonesian navy divers prepare operations to lift the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 in Java sea, Indonesia Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.

Indonesian authorities say searchers have detected ping signals from the black boxes of AirAsia Flight 8501, which crashed in the Java Sea on December 28.

An official said Friday the pings appeared to be coming from an area on the sea floor separate from the tail section where the voice and data recorders were located. The recorders may offer essential information about the doomed flight.

The tail section of the plane was located Wednesday on the sea bed about 30 kilometers from the plane’s last known location at a depth of around 30 meters.

The Airbus 320 vanished from radar screens over the northern Java Sea less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore.

There were no survivors among the 162 people on board. Only 46 bodies have been recovered so far.

Authorities hope most of the rest of the victims can be recovered from the several large pieces of wreckage on the ocean floor.

Before takeoff and during the last moments of the flight, the pilots requested to fly at a higher altitude to avoid a storm. The request was not approved because other planes were in the area.

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