Indonesia Plane Crash: Cockpit Voice Recorder Found Two Months After Passenger Plane Plunged Into Sea

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Indonesian divers have found the voice recorder in the cockpit of a passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea more than two months ago, killing all 62 people on board.

The Boeing 737’s CVR is recording cockpit crew conversations and authorities say it could take up to a week to listen to the recording as they try to explain how the plane will start in less than a minute after takeoff. Jakarta airport fell 10,000 feet on January 9. .

Divers had previously found the Sriwijaya Air jet’s flight data recorder, which measures speed and altitude, in the Java Sea three days after the crash.

Authorities today said they would mine the data from the retrieved recorder in the hope of hearing what the crew said when the flight went down.

Found: Indonesian divers found the cockpit voice recorder of a passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea more than two months ago, killing all 62 people on board

Found: Indonesian divers found the cockpit voice recorder of a passenger plane that crashed into the Java Sea more than two months ago, killing all 62 people on board

Authorities today said they would mine the data from the retrieved recorder in the hope of hearing what the crew said when the flight went down.  Pictured: Head of Indonesia's National Transport Security Commission, Soerjanto Tjahjono, greets Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumad

Authorities today said they would mine the data from the retrieved recorder in the hope of hearing what the crew said when the flight went down.  Pictured: Head of Indonesia's National Transport Security Commission, Soerjanto Tjahjono, greets Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumad

Authorities today said they would mine the data from the retrieved recorder in the hope of hearing what the crew said when the flight went down. Pictured: Head of Indonesia’s National Transport Security Commission, Soerjanto Tjahjono, greets Indonesian Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumad

The bright orange voice recorder has been taken to Jakarta and handed over to the National Transportation Safety Committee, which oversees the accident investigation.

The device was found Tuesday night on the last day of an operation using dredging equipment to comb the muddy seafloor, after failing to locate it when searching the divers, they said.

Vice Admiral Abdul Rasyid Kacong, the Navy’s fleet commander in the western area, said the voice recorder was buried under three feet of mud at a depth of 23 meters.

Divers removed debris and performed “desludging” operations to reach the voice recorder, he said.

The device was found Tuesday evening on the last day of an operation using dredging equipment to comb the muddy seabed after searching for a dive to locate it, authorities said.

The device was found Tuesday evening on the last day of an operation using dredging equipment to comb the muddy seabed after it was found during the dive to locate it, authorities said.

The device was found Tuesday evening on the last day of an operation using dredging equipment to comb the muddy seabed after it was found during the dive to locate it, authorities said.

The plane - a Boeing B737-500 - is said to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds, just four minutes after it took off

The plane - a Boeing B737-500 - is said to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds, just four minutes after it took off

The plane – a Boeing B737-500 – is said to have fallen 10,000 feet in less than 60 seconds, just four minutes after it took off

“It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” Soerjanto Tjahjono, head of Indonesia’s National Transport Security Commission, told reporters as the recorder was displayed in Jakarta’s main port.

“We take the CVR to the lab for reading, about three days to a week. Then we will transcribe it and match it with the flight data recorder.

“Without the CVR it would be very difficult to identify the cause of the Sriwijaya Air accident.”

A preliminary report of the crash last month stated that the crew on previous flights had described the jet’s throttle system as ‘inoperable’ and that it had been repaired several times before the fatal final flight.

The report said catastrophic throttle failure and possible human error are among the factors being considered. But researchers had said it was too early to pinpoint a cause.

The 737 had deviated sharply from its intended course just before its dive.

Divers had previously found the Sriwijaya Air jet's flight data recorder, which measures speed and altitude, three days after the crash in the Java Sea.

Divers had previously found the Sriwijaya Air jet's flight data recorder, which measures speed and altitude, three days after the crash in the Java Sea.

Divers had previously found the Sriwijaya Air jet’s flight data recorder, which measures speed and altitude, three days after the crash in the Java Sea.

Despite calls from air traffic controllers, the crew – including an experienced captain – did not respond to questions about the sudden change of course.

Safety experts say most airplane accidents are caused by a combination of factors that can take months to determine. According to international standards, the final report must be published within a year of the crash.

The 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 aircraft was flown by US-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines before being purchased by Sriwijaya, which flies to destinations in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia.

All 62 passengers and crew on board the flight were Indonesian, including seven children and three babies.

Aldha Refa, the wife of Okky Bisma, a flight attendant and one of 62 people aboard Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that crashed shortly after takeoff on January 9, mourns his husband's grave during a funeral ceremony in Jakarta on January 14

Aldha Refa, the wife of Okky Bisma, a flight attendant and one of 62 people aboard Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that crashed shortly after takeoff on January 9, mourns his husband's grave during a funeral ceremony in Jakarta on January 14

Aldha Refa, the wife of Okky Bisma, a flight attendant and one of 62 people aboard Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 that crashed shortly after takeoff on January 9, mourns his husband’s grave during a funeral ceremony in Jakarta on January 14

The plane’s captain, Afwan, a 54-year-old father of three who, like many Indonesians, bears one name, was a former Air Force pilot with decades of flying under his belt.

His cousin Ferza Mahardhika told me BBC Indonesia that the pilot had left home quickly on the day of the flight and complained that ‘his shirt was not ironed, which is usually very neat’.

Afwan also apologized to his children for having to leave the house to board the doomed flight.

Ferza Mahardhika said, “He was a very good man. He often gave advice, wise advice. He was a prominent figure in his neighborhood and known for his kindness. ‘

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands, has suffered a series of deadly plane crashes in recent years.

In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet crashed into the sea.

That accident – and another in Ethiopia – resulted in the 737 MAX being grounded worldwide due to a faulty anti-stalling system.

The 737 that crashed last month was not a MAX variant.