NAVY divers have located the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, Indonesian officials said Monday.
“We have found the cockpit voice recorder this morning, at around 9 am,” Haryo Satmiko, deputy head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, told AFP.
A spokesman for the Indonesian navy’s western fleet, Lt. Col. Agung Nugroho, said divers using high-tech equipment found the voice recorder beneath 8 metres of seabed mud. The plane crashed in waters 30 metres deep.
The Lion Air flight crashed into the ocean just minutes after taking off from Jakarta airport on October 29, killing all 189 people onboard. It was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997.
Investigations into the crash have shown the pilots fought against an automated system that pitched the Boeing jetliner’s nose down repeatedly because of a faulty sensor until they finally lost control.
Pilots of previous flights had reported problems with control systems on the brand-new jet. The cockpit data recorder, which was recovered within days of the crash, supported their claims, showing the jet’s airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights.
Officials had said then that it could take up to six months to analyse data from the black boxes.
Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.