The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, January 19, 2015, Page Page 5, Image 5

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    January 19, 2015
ASIA / PACIFIC
Balloons helped divers retrieve
AirAsia black box from debris
By Achmad Ibrahim
THE ASIAN REPORTER n Page 5
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P
ANGKALAN BUN, Indo-
nesia — Search and rescue
workers used balloons and
other equipment to lift debris from
the AirAsia plane wreckage to allow
divers to retrieve the cockpit voice
recorder, according to the search
coordinator.
Divers recovered the flight data
recorder January 12, but the second
black box — which is actually orange
— was pinned under chunks of the
plane’s wing at a depth of 105 feet in
the Java Sea.
The divers could see the flight data
recorder clearly as an orange object,
but it was difficult to retrieve as
layers of heavy metal and debris were
above it,” according to Suryadi
Bambang Supriyadi, the operation
coordinator for Indonesia’s national
search and rescue agency.
The two instruments, which emit
signals from their beacons, are vital
to understanding what brought
Flight 8501 down on December 28,
killing all 162 people on board. They
should provide essential information
about the plane and all of the
conversations between the captain
and co-pilot for the duration of the
flight.
More than 80 Indonesian navy
divers plunged into the shallow sea
about 20 meters away from where the
flight data recorder had been located,
Supriyadi said. Workers prepared
balloons and lifting bags to raise the
debris, he said.
Supriyadi also said an Indonesian
warship had found pieces of the
plane’s windows and interior cup-
boards near the Java port of
Semarang, about 450 miles southeast
of where the jet had lost contact with
Indonesian air traffic control,
showing how far some debris has
drifted since the accident.
The flight data recorder has been
taken to Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital,
for evaluation. Downloading and
analysis of the information has
already
started,
according
to
Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator at
the National Committee for Safety
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ROUGH RETRIEVAL. A member of the Indonesian Air Force holds the recovered cockpit
voice recorder from the ill-fated AirAsia Flight 8501 during a press conference in Pangkalan Bun,
Central Borneo, Indonesia. Divers hope to retrieve the crashed AirAsia plane’s second black box
from the bottom of the Java Sea to give experts essential tools to piece together what brought the
jet down. (AP Photo)
Based on past crashes, the infor- us an ocean of material.”
The pilots of the AirAsia jet last
mation retrieved from the black boxes
could be vital. The two separate de- had contact with air traffic
vices — designed to survive extreme controllers less than halfway into the
heat and pressure — should provide two-hour flight from Surabaya,
investigators
with
a
second- Indonesia’s second-largest city, to
by-second timeline of the plane’s Singapore. Saying they were entering
flight.
a stormy area, they asked to climb
The voice recorder takes audio from 32,000 feet to 38,000 feet to
feeds from four microphones within avoid threatening clouds, but were
the cockpit and records all conver- denied permission because of heavy
sations between the pilots and air air traffic. Four minutes later, the
traffic controllers as well as any plane dropped off the radar. No
noises heard in the cockpit, including distress signal was sent.
possible alarms or explosions. It
Searchers also located the main
records on a two-hour loop, so section of the plane’s cabin, where
investigators won’t just capture the many of the victims’ bodies are
plane’s final minutes but the entire believed to be entombed.
42-minute trip.
So far, only 50 bodies have been
The flight data recorder captures recovered. Decomposition is making
about 25 hours of information on the identification more difficult for
position and condition of almost every desperate families waiting to bury
major part in a plane. It includes a their loved ones. Nearly all of the
multitude of data, including altitude, passengers were Indonesian.
airspeed, direction, engine thrust,
“I still believe many victims remain
the rate of ascent or descent, and trapped there, and we must find
what angle up or down the plane was them,” said Gen. Moeldoko, Indo-
pointed.
nesia’s military chief, who uses one
“[There are] like 200-plus param- name.
eters they record,” said aviation
Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini
safety expert John Goglia, a former
in Jakarta, Indonesia, Scott Mayerowitz in
U.S. National Transportation Safety
New York, and Nicki Mayo in Washington
Board member. “It’s going to provide
contributed to this report.
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Censors strike again as China bans bosoms in popular TV show
By Didi Tang
The Associated Press
B
EIJING — At the end of De-
cember, a popular television
series chronicling China’s
most famous empress suddenly went
on a four-day hiatus. When it
returned on New Year’s Day, the
low-cut necklines and squeezed
bosoms had vanished.
Instead, the screen was filled with
close-up shots showing only the heads
of the female characters in the period
piece, which depicts the seventh-
century Tang Dynasty, an era when a
woman’s beauty was defined partly
by plumpness.
No one has claimed responsibility
for the awkward cropping, but it is
widely believed to be the work of the
country’s prudish censors.
The changes have drawn a wave of
mockery from a public that is fed up
with
ham-handed
censorship.
Chinese have lit up social media with
complaints and jokes, with some
posting cropped photos of celebrities
and drawings that add in the missing
BOSOM BAN. A television, left, displays the original version of a popular drama next to a com-
puter displaying the version that was re-edited, in Beijing, China. At the end of December, a popular
television series chronicling China’s most famous empress suddenly went on a four-day hiatus.
When it returned on New Year’s Day, the low-cut necklines and squeezed bosoms had vanished.
Instead, the screen was filled with close-up shots showing only the heads of the female characters
in the period piece, which depicts the seventh-century Tang Dynasty, an era when a woman’s
beauty was defined partly by plumpness. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
cleavages to show the absurdity of the nessman who has been outspoken on
social issues, wrote on his microblog.
cuts.
“It was not a public issue, but has “What people are concerned about is
become one after shameless officials not cleavage, but that a bunch of
wielded their powerful administra- cultural hooligans are in charge of
tive powers,” Ren Zhiqiang, a busi-
Continued on page 13
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