Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Indonesia struggles with damaged black box from crashed jet, hunts for second

Divers In Indonesia Find Crashed Airliner's 'Black Box' Search ‘finds fuselage’ of crashed Jakarta jet in sea
Andrew Cummings | 04 November, 2018, 07:11

"I was desperate because the current below was strong but I am confident of the tools given to me", said navy 1st Sgt. Hendra, who uses a single name.

The same Boeing 737 MAX jet then took off at 6.20am the next morning, bound for Bangka island, off Sumatra, and plunged into the sea 13 minutes later.

The disaster has reignited concerns about safety in Indonesia's fast-growing aviation industry, which was recently removed from European Union and USA blacklists, and also raised doubts about the safety of Boeing's new generation 737 MAX 8 plane.

The discovery of the landing gear comes a day after investigators found the flight data recorder, commonly known as a "black box", from Lion Air Flight JT610.

"Their forms are similar", he said.

"The good news is we have found one of the black boxes", Syaugi told reporters earlier Thursday.

But while downloading the data from the flight recorders can be a relatively quick progress, combing through the information could take weeks or even months.

He said that his team had not heard the ping from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which records audio from the cockpit. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board says sophisticated computer and audio equipment is used to extract and translate the data into an understandable format.

More than four days after Lion Air flight JT610 carrying 189 people lost contact, Indonesian search crews have fished out little else than small pieces of the aircraft, body parts of victims and personal belongings. Television images showed divers tying ropes to twisted plane parts scattered along the sea floor.

Officials said human remains were collected in 37 body bags after sweeps of the site, about 15km off the coast.

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Her father and others knelt by the grave, which was sprinkled with red, white and yellow flowers, and prayed. An expert team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and General Electric Co., the maker of aircraft engines, is assisting in the investigation, according to the Indonesian government.

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

On the day prior to the deadly crash, the same plane had technical problems just 5 minutes after take-off, causing the pilot to put out an urgent call just one level below Mayday, requesting to return to the airport.

Lion Air has ordered 50 of the MAX 8 planes and one of its subsidiary airlines was the first to operate the new generation jet a year ago.

Inspections of the 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia since the accident found no technical issues, according to a statement by the country's Transport Ministry.

Indonesia's Tempo news website published a minute-by-minute summary of what it said were the conversations between air traffic control and the pilots of Monday's fatal flight, who reported a "flight control problem" and were unsure of their altitude. The licenses of all suspended employees had even frozen for 120 days.

"Investigators say a preliminary report into the accident could be released within a month but complete findings will take several months more", the AP reports.

The budget carrier has been involved in a number of incidents including a fatal 2004 crash and a collision between two Lion Air planes at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport.

The plane plunged into the Java Sea early Monday, just minutes after taking off, killing all 189 people on board.

The tragedy has raised questions about the safety record of a country whose airlines were for years judged too risky to fly over Europe.

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