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Indonesia air crash: hours of data recovered from black box

Indonesian investigators succeeded in retrieving hours of data from the first black box on Lion Air's Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet, which crashed into the sea off the coast of Karawang in West Java province on October 29, killing 189 people on board. 

Indonesia air crash: hours of data recovered from black box


Speaking at a press conference on November 4, Haryo Satmiko, deputy head of the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia, said 69 hours of flight data was downloaded from the recorder including its fatal flight.

On November 1, the aircraft’s first black box data recorder was found in damaged condition among debris in the mud on the sea floor at a depth of 32.5m. Investigators said it required special handling to retrieve its information.

The second box has not been found which recorded voice in the aircraft’s cockpit. Divers are mapping the search area based on a small "ping" signal emitted by the device.

Indonesian authorities have decided to extend the three-day search for the victims and the second black box.

This decision was made based on assessments and observations at the scene of the accident.

The second black box is said to be located about 50 metres from the main search area and at a depth of 30 metres. However, sea currents and one-metre sediment on the seabed are hampering the search work. 

On November 3, head of the National Search and Rescue Office Muhammad Syaugi said the rescue team detected again the sound of a ping locator installed at the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the air plane. 

In the meantime, all turbines and two landing gears and the fuselage of the aircraft have been discovered at the seabed. 

Syaugi also confirmed that a volunteer Indonesian diver died in the search for the downed flight.

After an inspection carried out on November 2, the Indonesian Transport Ministry announced that  it found faults in two other Boeing 737-MAX 8 jets, including a cockpit indicator display problem which an analyst warned may be similar to one reported in the crashed Lion Air Jet.

The ministry said it examined 10 of the newly released jets owned by Lion Air and flagship carrier Garuda, as authorities analyse data from a recovered black box that may help explain why flight JT610 crashed into the Java Sea.

So far, the search and rescue force has collected and handed over 105 body bags to the police for identification. Only 14 bodies have been identified.


The jet, a Boeing 737 MAX 8, was en route from Jakarta to Pangkakpinang in Bangka Belitung province off Sumatra island. It lost contact with air traffic control just 13 minutes after takeoff.

The incident is reported to be the first major accident involving a Boeing 737 Max – an updated version of the 737.

The Lion Air crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died after a Garuda flight crashed near Medan.

As scheduled, a preliminary investigation report on cause of the accident will be released after 30 days. - VNA 

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