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Indonesia plane likely spiraled into sea JAKARTA - A jetliner with 102 people onboard probably went into a spiral at cruising altitude and plunged into the sea, a top transport safety official said Tuesday, deeming a mid-flight explosion unlikely. Setyo Rahardjo, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the chance is small the Boeing 737 blew up because search and rescue teams have not found burnt wreckage or human remains since New Year's Day, when the Adam Air plane went missing.

"We have only found little pieces of aircraft which indicates the main body of the aircraft is at the bottom of the sea," Rahardjo told The Associated Press. "Until now no human bodies have been found." The explosion option has been dropped from a list of three crash scenarios that still includes possibilities that the plane suffered a catastrophic structural failure and broke apart at 35,000 feet, or was damaged in severe weather.

It was the first public speculation by aviation authorities on the cause of the accident in northeastern Indonesia after the plane encountered 80 mph winds and went off the radar without issuing a mayday. The main priority for search teams is now recovering the black box to reveal flight data on its last moments in the air that could help piece together what went wrong, Rahardjo said. "It is very difficult to find the cause with so little information and so few parts of the aircraft having been found," he said.

A U.S. navy ship plans to start trawling the waters off Sulawesi Island with equipment designed to pick up the signal soon. Singapore also has contributed four sets of detectors to help in the hunt. They have so far picked up no signals from the recorder. No trace of the plane was found until early last week, when a fisherman pulled a section of the plane's tail from waters 300 yards off shore. Since then, food trays, life vests, pieces of tire and fuselage also have been found.

No bodies have been found, although a top search and rescue official, Eddy Suyanto, said Monday that fragments of human hair and what appears to be part of a scalp were recovered from one of the jetliner's headrests.


Link to related event Related event:
Adam Air plane missing

Related blog entries (category 'Accidents') Related blog entries (category 'Accidents'):
15 January 2007 · Fuel spill may be new clue on missing Adam Air jet
14 January 2007 · Probe into Indonesia jet crash hampered
11 January 2007 · Piece of missing jet found off Sulawesi
10 January 2007 · Canada joins search for missing Adam Air plane
09 January 2007 · Plane search focuses on undersea object


Posted in Accidents @ 16 January 2007 08:46 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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