Divers recover one of jet’s flight recorders from sea floor
JAKARTA, INDONESIA » Divers in Indonesia recovered one of the crashed Lion Air jet’s flight recorders from the seafloor on Thursday, a crucial development in the investigation into what caused the 2-monthold plane to plunge into the ocean earlier this week, killing 189 people.
Indonesian television showed footage of two divers after they surfaced, swimming to an inflatable vessel and placing the bright orange device into a large container that was transferred to a searchand-rescue ship.
“I was desperate because the current below was strong but I am confident of the tools given to me,” said navy 1st Sgt. Hendra, who uses a single name. After narrowing the possible location, “I started digging and cleaning the debris until I finally found an orange object,” he said on TV, standing on the deck of a ship next to his diving mates.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed early Monday just minutes after takeoff from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. It was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia in more than two decades and renewed concerns about safety in its fastgrowing aviation industry, which was re- cently removed from European Union and U. S. blacklists.
Navy Col. Monang Sitompul told local TV an object believed to be part of the aircraft’s fuselage was also seen on the seafloor.
Minutes after the device was taken out of the sea, Bambang Irawan, an investigator with the transport safety committee, said it was the flight data recorder.
But at a later news conference, another investigator, Ony Soeryo Wibowo, said they still haven’t determined if it’s the flight data or cockpit voice recorder. It was displayed inside a clear container submerged in water to prevent damage from rapidly drying out.
“Their forms are similar,” he said. Speaking about the overall investigation’s progress, Wibowo said, “We have collected data and did find some problems, but it must be investigated further.”
The flight data recorder is expected to provide investigators with detailed information about the flight such as altitude, airspeed and heading. The voice recorder also provides valuable information — not only the cockpit crew’s voices but engine sounds, instrumentation warnings and other audio that investigators can interpret.
An Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee member holds a flight recorder that was recovered from the crashed Lion Air jet in waters off Tanjung Karawant, Indonesia.