Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Lion Air crash voice recorder and human remains found by Navy divers

Lion Air crash voice recorder and human remains found by Navy divers

An Indonesian official says the cockpit voice recorder of the Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October has been found. Ridwan Djamaluddin, a deputy maritime minister, told reporters Monday that the National Transportation Safety Committee had informed the ministry about the discovery.

Navy officer Lieutenant Colonel Agung Nugroho told Reuters a weak signal from the recorder was detected several days ago and it was found buried deep in soft mud on the sea floor in water about 30 meters deep.

Indonesia's aviation safety record has improved since its airlines, including national carrier Garuda, were subject to years-long bans from United States and European airspace for safety violations, but the country still recorded more than three dozen fatal accidents over the past 15 years.

"We don't know what damage there is but it has obvious scratches on it", Nugroho said.

The bright orange voice recorder was discovered about 10 metres from the plane's data recorder, said Isswarto, the commander of the navy's Lion Air search and rescue task force.

The cockpit data recorder was recovered within days and showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights.

If the voice recorder is undamaged, it could provide valuable additional information to investigators.

Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off on October 29 from the capital, Jakarta, heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.

The pilots appeared to struggle with an automated system created to keep the plane from stalling - a new feature of the Boeing 737 Max.

Divers have found the second black box from a doomed Lion Air jet that crashed a year ago killing all 189 people onboard, Indonesian authorities said Monday.

Investigators also found that the Lion Air jet should have been grounded over a recurrent technical problem before its fatal journey, but did not pinpoint a cause of for the accident.

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