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AirAsia Jet's Cockpit Voice Recorder Recovered

Divers retrieved the cockpit voice recorder from the wreck of AirAsia QZ8501 on Tuesday, a key step towards determining the cause of the crash that killed 162 people.

The cockpit voice recorder, which retains the last two hours of conversation between the pilots and with air traffic controllers, was found close to where the flight data recorder was recovered from the bottom of the Java Sea on Monday.

When asked if the so-called black box was found, Santoso Sayogo, an investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee, said: "We can confirm".

Together, the cockpit voice and flight data recorders contain a wealth of information that will be crucial for investigators piecing together the sequence of events that led to the Airbus A320 crashing into the ocean.

CALMER WEATHER

The AirAsia group's first fatal accident took place more than two weeks ago, but wind, high waves and strong currents have slowed efforts to recover bodies and wreckage from the shallow waters off Borneo island.

Dozens of Indonesian navy divers took advantage of calmer weather this week to retrieve the recorders and now hope to find the fuselage of the Airbus.

Forty-eight bodies have been recovered from the Java Sea and taken to Surabaya for identification. Searchers believe more bodies will be found in the plane's fuselage.

"Our main task is to find the victims," Fransiskus Bambang Soelistyo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, told reporters before heading to Surabaya to meet families of the victims.

"Even if both (recorders) are found, it doesn't mean that our operation is over."

Relatives of the victims have urged the authorities to make finding the remains of their loved ones the priority.

"Even if the search has to last for a month, we are still hoping to find them," said Lioni, who lost four family members in the plane crash. "If they can find even one, we would feel a little bit relieved."

(Reuters)