One ‘black box’ recovered from crashed Indonesia jet

By: AFP November 01,2018 - 11:39 PM

Officials from the US National Transportation Safety Board examine recovered debris from the ill-
fated Lion Air flight JT 610 at a port in Jakarta.
/AFP

One black box from the crashed Lion Air jet has been recovered, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee said 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 AFP, 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 told AFP.

“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-colored 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 percent of all crashes, according to aviation experts.

They each weigh seven to 10 kilograms and can survive as deep as 6,000 meters 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.

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.

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