Divers from the Indonesian Navy have recovered the ‘black box’ voice recorder from Lion Air flight JT610.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 (PK-LQP c/n 43000) crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta/Soekarno–Hatta to Pangkal Pinang in October 2018. All 189 people onboard the narrowbody jet died in the incident.
The voice recorder – which was discovered January 14 – was found in two separate pieces 26ft (8m) deep under mud on the sea floor according to Agung Nugroho, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Navy. Speaking to the Reuters news agency, he said the recorder had “obvious scratches on it”, but was unable to confirm what – if any – damage the machine had suffered in the crash.
With the flight data recorder found shortly after the incident, investigators hope this latest discovery will allow them to better piece together what went wrong on the short domestic flight. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, authorities said it could take up to six months to fully analyse the data held within the recorder.
Initial findings by the Indonesian air safety authority suggest the MAX’s anti-stalling system forced the nose of the jet downwards, despite the efforts by the flight crew to correct the issue. Air traffic control transcripts also reveal the pilot requested permission to turn back to Jakarta, however the exact cause of the crash is still unclear.