In­done­sia re­cov­ers sec­ond Lion Air black box

China Daily - - WORLD - Worst dis­as­ter in 20 years MPV Ever­est.

The cock­pit voice recorder from a Lion Air jet crashed in Oc­to­ber has been re­cov­ered, In­done­sian au­thor­i­ties said on Mon­day, a dis­cov­ery that could be crit­i­cal to an­swer­ing why the plane fell down shortly after take­off.

The Boe­ing 737 Max van­ished from radar about 13 min­utes after tak­ing off from Jakarta on Oc­to­ber 29, slam­ming into the Java Sea mo­ments after pi­lots had asked to re­turn to the cap­i­tal and killing all 189 peo­ple on­board.

Haryo Sat­miko, deputy head of In­done­sia’s Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Com­mit­tee, said on Mon­day morn­ing that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had al­ready re­cov­ered the flight data recorder from the Boe­ing 737 Max, which pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about the speed, al­ti­tude and di­rec­tion of the plane be­fore it plunged into the sea.

The pre­lim­i­nary crash re­port from In­done­sia’s trans­port safety agency suggested that pi­lots of Flight 610 strug­gled to con­trol the plane’s anti-stalling sys­tem im­me­di­ately be­fore the crash.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors also found that the Lion Air jet should have been grounded over a re­cur­rent tech­ni­cal prob­lem be­fore its fa­tal jour­ney, but did not pin­point a cause for the ac­ci­dent.

A fi­nal crash re­port is not likely to be filed un­til later this year.

The cock­pit voice recorder was dis­cov­ered about 10 me­ters from the plane’s data recorder, com­man­der of the navy’s Lion Air search and res­cue task force said.

Cock­pit voice recorder and data recorder are called “black boxes”. De­spite the name, black boxes are usu­ally bright or­ange with re­flec­tive stripes, and all com­mer­cial planes are obliged to have them on board. They’re built to sur­vive at vast depths and in ex­treme heat, and are fit­ted with a bea­con which can emit a sig­nal for one month. Ac­cord­ing to avi­a­tion ex­perts, black box data help ex­plain nearly 90 per­cent of all crashes.

Agung Nu­groho, the spokesman for the In­done­sian Navy’s western fleet, said divers us­ing high-tech “ping lo­ca­tor” equip­ment had started a new search ef­fort on Fri­day and found the voice recorder be­neath 8 me­ters of seabed mud, the Jakarta Post re­ported. The plane crashed in wa­ters 30 me­ters deep.

“This is good news, es­pe­cially for us who lost our loved ones,” said Irianto, the fa­ther of Rio Nanda Pratama, a doc­tor who died in the crash.

“Even though we don’t yet know the con­tents of the CVR, this is some re­lief from our de­spair,” he said.

Re­ports said the grim task of iden­ti­fy­ing vic­tims of the crash had been called off in Novem­ber, with only 125 peo­ple of­fi­cially iden­ti­fied after tests on hu­man re­mains that filled nearly 200 body bags.

Fol­low­ing re­quests from vic­tims’ fam­i­lies, Lion Air said in De­cem­ber it would al­lo­cate 38 bil­lion ru­piah ($2.6 mil­lion) to hire a Dutch com­pany to con­tinue the search with its ship the

Nearly 30 rel­a­tives of the crash vic­tims have filed law­suits against Boe­ing, al­leg­ing faults with the new model 737 MAX led to the deaths, AFP re­ported.

Lion Air is one of In­done­sia’s youngest air­lines but has grown rapidly, fly­ing to dozens of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions. The crashed plane Boe­ing plane is one of the world’s new­est and most ad­vanced com­mer­cial pas­sen­ger jets.

After in­ves­ti­ga­tors said the doomed air­craft had prob­lems with its air­speed in­di­ca­tor and an­gle of at­tack (AoA) sen­sors, Boe­ing is­sued a spe­cial bul­letin telling op­er­a­tors what to do when they face the same sit­u­a­tion.

An AOA sen­sor pro­vides data about the an­gle at which air is pass­ing over the wings and tells pi­lots how much lift a plane is get­ting. The in­for­ma­tion can be crit­i­cal in prevent­ing an air­craft from stalling.

The plane’s flight data recorder showed that pi­lots had re­peat­edly tried to cor­rect its nose from point­ing down, pos­si­bly after er­ro­neous data from AoA sen­sors was fed into a sys­tem that au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs some of its move­ments, ac­cord­ing to Reuters.

The Lion Air crash was the worst air­line dis­as­ter in In­done­sia since 1997, when 234 peo­ple died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In De­cem­ber 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Sin­ga­pore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 peo­ple on board.

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