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Lion Air Crash: Investigators pick up 69 hours of flight data from the black box


November 04, 2018 23:29:35

For hours, the investigators retrieved data from the Lion Air Jet's flight recorder, which crashed off Jakarta on October 29. It killed 189 people on board.

Key points:

  • 14 out of 189 victims identified by the recovered survivors are still present
  • Search for victims extended by three days
  • The investigators are still looking for a second black box

The news came when on Sunday the Indonesian authorities expanded the search for victims and debris at sea.

Deputy Chairman of the National Road Safety Commission, Haryo Satmiko, told a press conference that 69 hours of flight data has been downloaded by the recorder, including the fatality flight.

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed just minutes after launching in Jakarta on October 29 in the worst airline disaster since 1997.

The flight data recorder was recovered Thursday by divers in a damaged condition and investigators stated that special treatment was required to retrieve the information.

The second black box – a cockpit voice recorder – has not been restored, but the viewfinders focus on a specific area based on a weak locator signal.

"From here we will analyze what happened to this flight," said Nurcahyo Utomo, head of the Indonesian Road Safety Committee, to reporters.

Analysis of the data and a restored aircraft landing gear and engine will start on Monday. If necessary, information is forwarded to the police, Utomo said.

The search has been extended by three days

The head of the National Search and Rescue Service, Muhammad Syaugi, said on Sunday that the search operation on her seventh day, involving hundreds of employees and dozens of ships, would take three more days.

Mr. Syaugi paid tribute to a volunteer diver, Syahrul Anto, who died on Friday while seeking.

The 48-year-old's family refused an autopsy and was buried in Surabaya on Saturday.

By Sunday, a total of 105 body bags, of which only a few had remained intact, had been salvaged and handed over to the police for forensic identification, but only 14 victims had been identified.

"I'm sure the total will increase," said Mr. Syaugi, adding that leftovers were now being washed ashore.

It is assumed that the second black box is located about 50 meters from the main search area, where the water is only 30 meters deep, but sea currents and mud on the seabed, which is more than one meter deep, complicate the search queries.

Mr. Syaugi said that a considerable amount of "aircraft skin" had been found on the seabed, but no large intact part of his hull, as he announced on Saturday, was possible.

Patchy safety record

The pilot of JT610 had asked for permission to return to Jakarta, but what went wrong remains a mystery.

Flight tracking sites show that the plane was unpredictable during its deadly 13-minute flight and a previous flight from Bali to Jakarta the day before.

The passengers of the Bali flight reported scary departures and in both cases, the various cockpit crews asked to return to the departure airport shortly after departure.

Lion Air claims that a technical problem has been resolved after the Bali conflict.

The first crash of a Boeing 737 MAX is the focus of the global aviation industry.

Preliminary study results are expected to be released after 30 days.

Indonesia is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, but its safety record is inconsistent.

The Lion Air crash is the worst air disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan.

In December 2014, an AirAsia flight crashed from Surabaya to Singapore into the sea, killing all 162 on board.

From 2012 to 2017, the Road Safety Panel examined 137 serious accidents in aviation.

"We still have much to improve," said Air Transport Director General Pramintohadi Sukarno at a Saturday press conference on safety rules.

AP / Reuters


Disasters and accidents


Air and space,


First posted

November 04, 2018 23:24:12


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