Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Indonesia closing in on plane's black box

Indonesia closing in on plane's black box

Divers have located a "black box" from Lion Air flight JT610, which crashed into the Java Sea earlier this week with 189 people aboard, offering a critical piece of evidence in the investigation into what caused the disaster.

The US plane maker said in a statement: "The Boeing Company is deeply saddened by the loss of Lion Air flight JT 610".

As the plane crashed in shallow water, recovering the black boxes should be easier than with deepwater crashes such as AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 in 2014 and Air France flight 447 in 2009, said Greg Waldron, managing editor of Flightglobal Asia, an industry publication.

"Yesterday afternoon, the team had heard a ping sound in a location at 35 metres depth", Haryo Satmiko, the deputy chief of the national transport safety panel, told Reuters, referring to a depth of 115 feet.

The pilot pushed on with his flight and continued on with his journey from Bali to Jakarta, Herson said.

The minister also said fares provided by low-cost carriers will be evaluated, saying they are frequently too low and excessive cost-cutting could indirectly affect flight safety.

Experts from Boeing Co. were expected to arrive in Jakarta on Wednesday to help with the accident investigation, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee said.

It is known the Lion Air 737 had control problems relating to erratic speed and altitude the day before, similar to those seen just after the fatal flight took off.

The Boeing-737 MAX, which went into service just two months ago, crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia's northern coast moments after it had asked to return to Jakarta on Monday. According to the Guardian, citing data from FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website, the jet displayed unusual variations in altitude and air speed in the first few minutes of flight before stabilizing and flying on to Jakarta.

Military chief Hadi Tjahjanto said that divers had already gone down to check the location from where the signal was picked up by a search and rescue team late on Tuesday, but were contending with strong currents. Officials said the pilot and co-pilot had a combined 11,000 hours of flying experience.

It shows passengers' boarding passes being checked and people walking along a concourse and then down stairs with bright red and white Lion Air jets visible on the tarmac.

On Wednesday, the ministry also ordered that an audit of Lion Air's maintenance, fix and overhaul unit be performed.

Navy divers on Thursday pulled from the muddy seabed the "crash-survivable memory unit" of one black box, raising hopes its stored data will show what went wrong on flight JT610, whose pilot had received permission to turn back before the crash.

The device, identified as the flight data recorder, would be handed over to Indonesia's transportation safety committee (KNKT), authorities said.

The tragedy has raised questions about the safety record of a country whose airlines were for years judged too unsafe to fly over Europe. It is assumed that this part can be a body of the aircraft, reports our site. The ban was completely lifted in June.

Lion Air, a discount carrier, is one of Indonesia's youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and global destinations.

Indonesia is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets.

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