Fri, 23 Aug 2019

Black box recorder from crashed Lion Air flight recovered

By Sheetal Sukhija, Myanmar News
15 Jan 2019, 11:49 GMT+10

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Months after the tragic Lion Air flight crash, that left 189 people dead on October 29, 2018, authorities in Indonesia said that they had recovered the cockpit voice recorders. 

On October 29, the Lion Air Flight JT-610 was on a short flight from the Indonesian capital city to Pangkal Pinang, on the Indonesian island of Bangka Belitung.

Merely 13 minutes after takeoff from the Jakarta Airport, the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers on ground.

A major search and rescue operation launched by Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency led to the discovery of the Boeing-737 Max 8 aircraft, that had crashed into the sea off Jakarta.

All 189 people onboard the flight, including 178 adults, 1 child, 2 babies, 2 pilots and 6 flight attendants, were killed in the crash.

A month after the tragic crash, Indonesia's transport safety committee (KNKT) said in its preliminary report that the Lion Air Jet that crashed, was not in an airworthy condition on its second-to-last flight.

On Monday, Indonesian officials said that the black box cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air jet crashed into the Java Sea in October last year, had been recovered by Indonesian Navy divers.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Agung Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia Navy's Western Fleet, said that the divers had been using high-tech equipment to uncover the voice recorder beneath 26 feet of seabed mud.

After locating the bright orange device, it was recovered by divers and was transported to a port in Jakarta.

The National Transportation Safety Committee, which is overseeing the accident investigation has taken the recovered black box and will now examine its data.

While the aircraft broke into several pieces after hitting the water at high speed, its flight data recorder was found in the sea three days after the crash.

According to investigators, the flight data recorder had revealed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights.

On Monday, officials revealed that the black box voice recorder was recovered about 50m (165 feet) from where the plane's flight data recorder was found after the crash.

They added that the voice recorder was "broken into two pieces."

According to Haryo Satmiko, Deputy Head of Indonesia's Transport Safety Committee (KNKT), "Hopefully it's still useful [to investigators]."

However, investigators are now hoping to learn more about the situation before and in the moments leading up to the crash, from the recovered devices. 

The circumstances surrounding the crash are shrouded in mystery since the pilot of the doomed passenger jet had asked air traffic control for permission to turn back to the airport.

However, soon after making the request, the flight lost contact with the ATC. 

Investigators have claimed that the plane had encountered technical problems and have pointed out that it should not have been flying on the day it went down.

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