Lion Air sec­ond black box re­cov­ered

Re­cov­ery of cock­pit voice recorder may be crit­i­cal to ex­plain­ing why the brand new jet crashed

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE -

JAKARTA: The cock­pit voice recorder from an In­done­sian Lion Air jet that crashed in Oc­to­ber has been re­cov­ered, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, a dis­cov­ery that could be crit­i­cal to ex­plain­ing why a brand new plane fell out of the sky just af­ter take-off.

The Boe­ing 737 MAX van­ished from radar about 13 min­utes af­ter de­part­ing Jakarta, slam­ming into the Java Sea mo­ments af­ter pi­lots had asked to re­turn to the cap­i­tal and killing all 189 peo­ple on­board.

The bright or­ange voice recorder was dis­cov­ered early Mon­day about 10 me­tres from a flight data recorder that was lo­cated back in Novem­ber, au­thor­i­ties said.

“It’s bro­ken into two pieces so hope­fully it’s still use­ful to in­ves­ti­ga­tors,” Haryo Sat­miko, deputy head of In­done­sia’s Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Com­mit­tee (NTSC), told AFP.

More hu­man re­mains were also found near the voice recorder, he added, with­out giv­ing de­tails.

“This will re­ally help the in­ves­ti­ga­tion... and could give some more an­swers on the cause” of the crash, said Jakarta-based avi­a­tion an­a­lyst Dudi Sudibyo.

The doomed air­liner’s flight data recorder supplied in­for­ma­tion about the its speed, al­ti­tude and di­rec­tion be­fore it plunged into the sea on Oc­to­ber 29.

“But (the data recorder) does not show how the f light crew’s de­ci­sions were made or dis­cussed in those fi­nal mo­ments,” Stephen Wright, an avi­a­tion ex­pert at Leeds Uni­ver­sity, told AFP.

It’s bro­ken into two pieces so hope­fully it’s still use­ful to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

A pre­lim­i­nary crash re­port from In­done­sia’s trans­port safety agency sug­gested that the pi­lots of Flight 610 strug­gled to con­trol the plane’s anti- stall sys­tem just be­fore the ac­ci­dent.

The agency also found that the Lion Air jet should have been grounded over a re­cur­rent tech­ni­cal prob­lem be­fore its fa­tal jour­ney, and it crit­i­cised the bud­get car­rier’s poor safety cul­ture.

But it did not pin­point a de­fin­i­tive cause of the crash and a fi­nal re­port is not likely to come be­fore later this year.

Black boxes are built to sur­vive at vast depths and in ex­treme heat, and are fit­ted with a bea­con which can emit a sig­nal for one month.

Black box data helps ex­plain nearly 90 per cent of all crashes, ac­cord­ing to avi­a­tion ex­perts.

Au­thor­i­ties called off the grim task of iden­ti­fy­ing vic­tims of the crash in Novem­ber, with only 125 peo­ple named af­ter tests on hu­man re­mains that filled some 200 body bags.

“We’re thank­ful and grate­ful that they have found the CVR, but it’s not enough,” said Evi Sam­sul Ko­mar, whose son and nephew were on the fa­tal flight.

“There are still many pas­sen­gers

Haryo Sat­miko, deputy head of In­done­sia’s Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Com­mit­tee (NTSC)

un­ac­counted for.”

Nearly 30 rel­a­tives of the Lion Air crash vic­tims are su­ing Boe­ing, al­leg­ing faults in the plane led to the deaths.

The Lion Air 737’s f light 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.

The pre­lim­i­nary crash re­port stopped short of mak­ing any rec­om­men­da­tions to Boe­ing, but the Amer­i­can avi­a­tion gi­ant has come un­der fire for pos­si­ble glitches on the 737 MAX, which en­tered ser­vice in 2017.

— AFP photo

A cock­pit voice recorder, the sec­ond ‘black box’ from Lion Air flight 610 that crashed last Oc­to­ber killing all 189 peo­ple on­board, is dis­played to the me­dia by In­done­sian Navy per­son­nel af­ter the de­vice’s re­cov­ery at sea off the coast of Karawang.

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