Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Indonesian Divers Recover ‘Black Box’ From Lion Air Jet

Indonesian Divers Recover ‘Black Box’ From Lion Air Jet

More than four days after Lion Air flight JT610 carrying 189 people lost contact, Indonesian search crews have fished out little else than small pieces of the aircraft, body parts of victims and personal belongings.

A member of National Transportation Safety Committee held the flight data recorder from the crashed Lion Air jet as Chief of National Search and Rescue Agency Muhammad Syaugi gestured during a press conference on board of a research ship Baruna Jaya anchored in the waters of Tanjung Karawang, Indonesia, Thursday. The pilot and co-pilot had 11,000 hours of flying time between them, it said.

Boeing Co. experts are expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday and Lion Air has said an "intense" internal investigation is underway in addition to the probe by safety regulators.

Commercial airliners are required to carry two boxes, one which records flight tracking data and another which records conversations from the cockpit.

Officials have now reportedly deployed "pinger locators" to find the recorder.

However, at 06:29 the ATC saw Lion Air JT 610 left 5,000 feet followed by the Bhavye communicating to the ATC upon a problem with the plane's flight control and asked for his plane to be given 3,000 feet separation with other aircraft in his airspace.

Analysts are working to extract data from the first box in the hopes it will explain how the nearly-new aircraft crashed, but are not sure which of the boxes they have.

Radar showed that the aircraft climbed and descended erratically and that its speed increased dramatically.

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Indonesia's military chief said he believed the plane had been located, and a transport safety official said divers would be sent to confirm the origin of a "ping" signal picked up by a search and rescue team late on Tuesday.

The government also planned to send an inspection team to conduct a special audit on PT Lion Mentari Airlines and Batam Aero Technic maintenance company.

Lion Air flight JT610 crashed not long after departure from Jakarta on Monday morning.

The minister also said fares provided by low-cost carriers will be evaluated, saying they are frequently too low and excessive cost-cutting could indirectly affect flight safety. It said the "crash-survivable memory unit" was opened and washed and some of its wiring will need to be replaced and a new shell provided from Lion Air to enable a download of data.

The crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea in December 2014, killing all 162 on board.

The crash has renewed concerns about the safety of Indonesian airlines, soon after United States and European regulators removed prohibitions against them. The Federal Aviation Administration lifted that ban in August 2016.

Founded in 1999, Lion Air is Indonesia's largest low-priced airline and has had half a dozen non-fatal accidents and one fatal accident, which occurred in 2004 in the city of Solo, leaving 25 people dead. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

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