One ‘black box’ recovered from crashed Indonesia jet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Officials from the US National Transportation Safety Board (centre) and the Indonesian authorities examine recovered debris from the ill-fated Lion Air flight JT 610 at a port in Jakarta on Thursday. BAY ISMOYO/AFP

One ‘black box’ recovered from crashed Indonesia jet

ONE black box from the crashed Lion Air jet has been recovered, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee said on Thursday, which could be critical to establishing why the brand new plane fell out of the sky.

The devices record information about the speed, altitude and direction of the plane as well as flight crew conversations and could hold vital clues to the cause of the deadly accident.

“We found one of the black boxes,” Soerjanto Tjahjono told reporters adding that it was not clear whether it was the flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder.

The Boeing-737 MAX 8, which went into service just a few months ago, plunged into the Java Sea off Indonesia’s northern coast on Monday, killing 189 people, just 12 minutes after taking off from the capital Jakarta for Pangkal Pinang city.

The single-aisle Boeing plane is one of the world’s newest and most advanced commercial passenger jets.

“Data from the plane – the engine, all the instruments – are recorded there,” said aviation analyst Dudi Sudibyo.

“If there is an anomaly, some technical problem, it is recorded there too.”

Images from the crash site showed two divers swim to a support vessel and place an orange-coloured device into a plastic tub, which was then carried onto the boat.

Despite the name, the two black boxes are in fact bright orange with reflective stripes, and all commercial planes are obliged to have them on board.

Authorities picked up the box’s signals below the water’s surface on Wednesday, but were unable to get to the device immediately because of rough seas and strong currents.

The treasure trove of information black boxes provide helps explain nearly 90 per cent of all crashes, according to aviation experts.

They each weigh seven to 10kg and can survive as deep as 6,000m underwater or an hour at 1,100 degrees Celsius.

To make them easier to find, they are fitted with a beacon which can emit a signal for one month.

Dozens of divers are taking part in the massive recovery effort along with helicopters and ships, but authorities have all but ruled out finding any survivors.

DNA testing

On a Jakarta dockside, grief-stricken relatives sifted through clothes, wallets and other retrieved personal effects, as authorities sent body parts to hospital for DNA testing.

Forensic experts identified Jannatun Cintya Dewi as the first victim of the crash on Wednesday evening.

The 24-year-old’s coffin arrived in her East Java hometown Sidoarjo on Thursday, draped in a green and yellow cloth and inscribed with Arabic writing and carried through the neighbourhood by pallbearers.

Dewi’s mother collapsed and had to be carried into their home, while friends and relatives wiped away tears as the casket was laid in a freshly dug grave sprinkled with flowers, a bowl of fruit and two palm branches at one end.
Aviation experts say it is too early to determine what caused the accident.

But Lion’s admission that the aircraft had an unspecified technical issue on a previous flight – as well as the plane’s abrupt nosedive – have raised questions about whether it had any faults specific to the newly released model, including a speed-and-altitude system malfunction.

The accident has also resurrected concerns about Indonesia’s patchy air safety record which until recently saw the country’s carriers facing years-long bans from entering EU and US airspace over their safety records.

Lion Air has been plagued by safety woes and customer complaints over unreliable scheduling and poor service.

The budget carrier was involved in a number of incidents including a collision between two planes at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’