Indonesia recovers cockpit voice recorders from crashed passenger planes

Cockpit voice recorders from a crashed Indonesian passenger jet have been found, the country’s transportation ministry said on Wednesday, more than two months after the accident that killed all 62 passengers and crew.

Officials said a press briefing “on the discovery of the Cockpit Voice Recorder” from the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 would be held later Wednesday morning.

The 26-year-old plane – previously flown by US-based Continental Airlines and United Airlines – plunged around 3,000 meters into water off Jakarta just minutes after takeoff on January 9.

Divers had been searching the Java Sea for the missing voice recorder – one of the flight’s two “black boxes” – which records conversations between the flight crew.

An aviation data recorder was previously picked up from the wrecked seabed.

A preliminary report on the crash last month said Indonesian pilots had reported several problems with the aging jet’s throttle control before the fatal crash.

But investigators had said it was too early to find an exact cause.

The cockpit voice recorder could provide important clues to what the desperate crew said when the flight from Jakarta to Pontianak in Borneo went down.

Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago that relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands, has been hit by a series of fatal plane crashes in recent years.

In October 2018, 189 people were killed when a Boeing 737 MAX jet from Lion Air crashed into the sea.

That accident – and another in Ethiopia – led to 737 MAX worldwide grounding over a faulty anti-stall system.

The 737 that crashed last month was not a MAX variant.

(AFP)