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AirAsia Search Through The Eyes Of A San Diego-Based Helicopter Crewman (Video)

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Joseph Jiardina

When Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Joseph Jiardina departed San Diego on Oct. 31 aboard the USS Sampson for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, there was no way he could've known he'd become a critical part of the search for wreckage and bodies after the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 in the Java Sea on Dec. 28.

Jiardina is assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Three Five (HSM-35) - a squad known as the "Magicians" and based at Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado.

He spends his days with his eyes scouring the surface of the ocean, looking for any sign of the plane or the passengers who lost their lives when the aircraft went down.

It's not an easy job, but Jiardina finds honor in it:

"To give those families closure - I'm proud to do that."

The Wall Street Journal reports members of the Indonesian-led international search team have discovered the black boxes from AirAsia Flight 8501:

Divers retrieved the jet’s flight-data recorder early Monday morning and late in the day officials said they had also located the second black box, the cockpit voice recorder, about 20 meters away under the wreckage of the wing.

Investigators hope the discovery will provide them with the information they need to figure out what made AirAsia Flight 8501 crash into the Java Sea with 162 on board.

You can learn more about Jiardina and the mission of the USS Sampson in the video below:

USS Sampson and HSM-35: Part of the search for AirAsia QZ8501

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